Armstrong's Earnshaw Leaves for N.C. State - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Armstrong's Earnshaw Leaves for N.C. State

Simon Earnshaw Simon Earnshaw
(Savannah) - Longtime Armstrong tennis coach Simon Earnshaw is leaving to take over the women's program at North Carolina State.  Earnshaw led both the men's and women's teams to a combined nine NCAA Division II titles.

The Pirates will begin a National search for a new head coach.



RELEASE FROM ARMSTRONG:

Head Coach Simon Earnshaw Resigns To Take NC State Head Coaching Position

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong Atlantic State University head men's and women's tennis coach Simon Earnshaw has resigned his position to accept the head women's tennis coaching position at North Carolina State University.

Earnshaw was announced as the head coach on Friday morning by the ACC institution. He leaves the Pirates after serving as the head coach of both Armstrong men's and women's tennis for the last 15 seasons, compiling an overall 411-35 record with the women's program (.922) and an overall 336-83 record with the men's program (.802) for a total 747-118 head coaching record with the Pirates, an .864 winning percentage.

He directed the Pirates to nine NCAA Division II national championships, winning the crown six times with the women in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, while also winning three with the men, in 2008, 2009 and 2012. 

"It's been 16 great years for me and my family," Earnshaw said. "I was at Armstrong through the 16 most important years of my life so far. I think, initially, the goal was to just win another national championship, then somehow, someway we managed to understand what it took to really push the program over the top, and the last seven years we have put ourselves in position every year to get that championship experience.

"I think Armstrong tennis has become a tremendous position and situation for anyone," Earnshaw said. "It's in extremely good shape moving forward with or without me. I think we've established ourselves as the top overall tennis program in the nation outside of Division I."

The Armstrong women's tennis team especially enjoyed unparalleled success over the last nine seasons under Earnshaw. The Pirates won 270 of 280 matches played in this stretch, including the six National Championships in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 & 2013. Armstrong has also not lost a home match in Savannah since 2003, a span of 137 consecutive matches, as well as a streak of 123 consecutive regular season Peach Belt Conference matches, also dating back to 2003.

"I want to thank Simon for his dedication and loyalty to Pirate Athletics and more specifically to our men's and women's tennis teams," Armstrong athletic director Lisa Sweany said. "He has developed a program that is a national contender year in and year out and has tremendous success with his student-athletes both on the courts and in the classroom.  I wish him and his family all the best in their new endeavors."

Earnshaw is a four-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Women's Coach of the Year (2004, 2006, 2009, 2012) and 19-time Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year. In addition to the nine national titles, his programs reached 13 NCAA Division II finals, 18 Final Fours, 23 NCAA quarterfinals, produced 35 ITA All-Americans, 30 ITA Scholar-Athletes, and 15 ITA All-Academic teams. 

"I've obviously had a lot of people help me out over the years," Earnshaw said. "First of all, the great support from my family, without whom I would not have this opportunity; my collegiate coach Duward Whelchel at Georgia College and my predecessor at Armstrong, Andreas Koth. I am very thankful to all three ADs I served under; [University] President Bleicken was a tremendous supporter of the program, equally David Carson; all my assistant coaches through the years, especially David Secker, who was with me as a player and as an assistant coach. 

"I also would like to thank all of my players through the years, as I would not have been able to accomplish these things without their commitment to the program day in and day out, in practice and in matches," Earnshaw said. "And then people who don't necessarily get recognized, like Walter Pollard, Jill Bell, Jessica Tuttle, Dr. Donald Anderson, all of the athletic training staff over the years, many of the faculty and staff of the Armstrong campus, my fellow Armstrong coaches and the Athletic administration, and of course, Alan Segal."

A national search for a new head men's and women's tennis coach will begin immediately.


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