CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women’s tennis coach Sara O’Leary has signed a five-year contract extension through the 2027 season, director of athletics Carla Williams announced today (March 29).
“Since Sara joined our staff in 2017, she has done a remarkable job of advancing our women’s tennis program,” Williams said. “She has great energy and is a tremendous competitor which translates to our players on the court. Her ability to attract and develop talented players in an amazing team environment has contributed to Virginia being one of the nation’s top programs. We are fortunate to be able to make this announcement that will keep Sara as part of our tennis program for years to come.”
O’Leary has led the Cavaliers back to national prominence, returning to a top-10 national ranking after inheriting an unranked team in 2018, and making the NCAA Championship field in each of her seasons at the helm, including a Sweet-16 run last season. O’Leary’s crowning achievement was recruiting, signing and mentoring 2021 NCAA Singles Champion Emma Navarro. In the last two years, O’Leary has mentored back-to-back ITA National Freshmen of the Year in Navarro and Natasha Subhash. Both have risen to top-10 singles rankings. Under her guidance, O’Leary’s players have earned seven All-America honors.
“First, I’d like to thank President Ryan, Carla Williams and Jim Booz for the vote of confidence and opportunity to coach our women’s tennis team for another five years,” O’Leary said. “The University of Virginia is a really special place and one I believe has everything we need to compete at the highest levels of college tennis for years to come. I’d also like to thank all of the players, coaches, staff and supporters who have been so integral to our success during my first five years here. We know we’ve only begun to tap the potential of Virginia women’s tennis and look forward to putting in the work necessary to achieve all of our goals for the program.”
O’Leary joined the Cavaliers after a three-year stint as the head coach at Davidson. She took over the Davidson program in July of 2014 and led the Wildcats to three consecutive winning seasons. She was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year after the Wildcats reached the conference finals during her second season. During her time at Davidson, the players she coached received all-conference honors 10 times.
O’Leary has also been directly involved with USTA Player Development, as a coach for the USTA Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2015. During these three months, she coached and mentored some of the nation’s top collegiate players.
Prior to taking over the Davidson program, O’Leary was an assistant coach at North Carolina, her alma mater, from 2008 to 2014. During her six years as an assistant coach, O’Leary helped the Tar Heels reach the NCAA Tournament each year, including the 2014 season when UNC reached its first national championship match.