Women's Tennis vs Portland - April 5, 2013
Photos by Jeff Golden
Jamie Sanchez is in his 39th season as head coach of the Loyola Marymount women's tennis program. Sanchez, the program's only coach since its inception, began coaching the team in 1975 and posted a career record of 459-453 in 37 seasons.
In 2001, the Lions were represented in the Individual NCAA Playoffs with the doubles duo of Andrea Lord and Angelina Zdorovytska. In 2002, Sanchez guided the Lions to their first ever West Coast Conference Championship with a 4-2 win over Pepperdine. With the win, Sanchez and the Lions advanced to the NCAA playoffs as a team for the first time in program history. He was named the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year in 2002, and in 2006 he earned his third WCC Coach of the Year honor. In his first 31 years at the helm of the Lions' program, Sanchez's teams never finished lower than fourth in the WCC. The Lions finished 12-14 and in second place after reaching the WCC Championship in 2006.
In November of 2004, Sanchez was honored with the US Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Campus Recreation Award as the sectional winner for all of Southern California. In its second year, the award honors an ITA coach who has done an outstanding job implementing recreational tennis programs on campus in an effort to grow tennis participation. Sanchez, who developed and supervised the original LMU fitness center and club sports program, also worked with the current Campus Recreation department to direct LMU Tennis 101, where a recreational class open to all members of LMU's Burns Recreation Center is offered twice a week to promote fitness and interest in the sport of tennis. As the Southern California sectional winner, Sanchez advanced to the national finalist pool of nine.
In 2013, Sanchez guided the Lions to a sixth-place finish in the WCC. The Lions fell to Santa Clara in the second round of the WCC tournament. He led the team to its first national ranking since 2007 when the team entered the ITA rankings at No. 72 and eventually were ranked as high as No. 61.
Among other highlights of his 38-year coaching career are leading his 1978 squad to a No. 20 national ranking at the AIAW Division II level (one of three straight undefeated conference title teams), and the 1982 squad finishing 12th in the nation in NCAA Division II, its only year at that level. The Lions then received a preseason ranking of third in the nation in 1983, before the Lions moved to the Division I level.
Through the years, Sanchez has had four players earn LMU Athlete of the Year honors (Pavla Mesterova 2005-06; Penka Fileva 2002-03; Edit Pakay 2001-02; Julie Oshiro 1993-94) while Kris Anderson was named LMU Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice (1987-88; 88-89). He has had34 players earn All-WCC honors as singles players in the lastten seasons, while 16 doubles teams have earn all-conference accolades since 2000-01. In 2006, a record-equalling six Lions received All-WCC recognition. In addition, eight players have earned Academic All-WCC honors since 1996 and 40 National Scholar-Athlete selections since 1990.
Sanchez has been a student-athlete, coach and administrator at Loyola Marymount for over 36 years. He earned eight varsity letters in tennis and football at LMU from 1969 to 1974. He graduated from LMU in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in English. In February of 1993, Sanchez was inducted into the Loyola Marymount Athletics Hall of Fame. He became a two-time inductee in 2003 when he was inducted again with the 1969 Club National Championship football team.
Sanchez has served in many different capacities throughout his tenure. He coached the men's tennis team for 21 seasons (1975-96) and posted 211 Division I victories. He was an assistant coach for both the football and men's soccer teams in the 1970's, and served as the head athletic trainer and equipment manager in 1978 and 1979. He was also the NCAA Division I Chair of the West Region and will serve on the NCAA Tennis Committee once again this year.
Sanchez also served as the director of intramurals for 14 years. In 1990-91, Sanchez was the Athletics Facilities Manager and the Assistant to the Athletic Director for seven years, with duties including supervision of the ticket and event management staff for men's and women's intercollegiate athletic events. His work as a liaison to the NCAA on compliance issues led the department to add a position dedicated to that work.
Sanchez has been a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) since 1968, and a member of the United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR) since 1987.
In addition to his duties at LMU, Sanchez serves as the Head Tennis Professional at the El Segundo Recreation Center. He still competes in regional tournaments in the open division.
Sanchez currently resides in El Segundo, Calif. with his wife, Tami. He has two daughters, Erin and Gabriella. Erin joined the Lions' tennis program in 2001 and played four seasons for her father and the Lions.