The 30 summer graduates will join the 104 Tide student-athletes who graduated following with the fall and spring semesters, pushing the athletics department's graduation tally at 134 for the 2012-13 academic year
Alabama women's tennis head coach Jenny Mainz announced the hiring of Shelley Godwin as the program's new assistant coach following the completion of the 2014-15 season. Godwin spent four seasons as a player for Mainz from 2005-09, and returns to her alma mater from Middle Tennessee State where she has spent the last four seasons as the Blue Raiders head coach.
"It's great to welcome back former UA women's tennis standout Shelley Godwin to our Alabama family," said Mainz. "Our Alabama women's tennis program has taken a giant step forward with Shelley's commitment to return to her alma mater to coach. Shelly has done a commendable job in her coaching career where she has coached the same way she competed for the Tide -- with a fierce competitive spirit and a genuine love for the game."
Godwin returns to Alabama after spending four seasons at the helm of the Middle Tennessee State women's tennis program. As the head coach of the Blue Raiders, Godwin has led the program to four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in over ten years. She coached two nationally ranked singles players, including the Conference USA Newcomer of the Year in 2014. The Birmingham, Alabama native saw her team reach as high as No. 65 in the national rankings in 2014-15, and finished the campaign ranked No. 75 -- the first time the Blue Raiders have finished a season in the national rankings in over ten years. Prior to her stint with the Blue Raiders, Godwin completed two seasons as the assistant head coach at Michigan State, helping the Spartans reach as high as No. 52 in the ITA rankings in 2010-11.
"I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to be the assistant women's tennis coach at The University of Alabama," said Godwin. "It's an honor to return to my alma mater and have the privilege of giving back to a program and university that has given so much to me. I'm excited to work alongside Coach Mainz, one of the best in college tennis, as we share the same passion and vision for continuing to grow this great program."
Off the court, the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders shined under Godwin's leadership. Her team earned numerous ITA All-Academic Team honors, and saw six of its members named ITA Scholar Athletes. In 2014, MT earned the All-Academic Team award, and two Blue Raiders were tabbed ITA Scholar Athletes. Seven Blue Raiders were named to the 2014 Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, while two earned C-USA Academic Medals. Additionally in 2014, Godwin saw Nayara Moraes garner Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar First Team Women's Tennis honors. Following the 2014-15 campaign, Godwin was awarded the "Making A Difference Award" at the 2015 Raider's Choice Awards for leading a group of our female athletes on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
A Birmingham, Ala., native, she played collegiately at Alabama and finished her career with a combined 88 victories, including 59 in singles action. She received one of the ITA's highest honors in 2009, as she was tabbed the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award honoree. The award is presented to the women's tennis player who exhibited outstanding leadership and sportsmanship as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
On the court, she served as the Crimson Tide captain her final three years, and was picked as a member of the Academic All-SEC Team all four seasons. She was a member of the Dean's List at Alabama since 2007.
Godwin also served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative. In her role with SAAC, she was instrumental in coordinating the tennis teams' community service activities throughout Tuscaloosa. She also attended the Fall 2008 SEC SAAC Conference in Birmingham.
She also has served as an instructor at the Alabama Tennis Camps where she provided individual training for high school athletes, fine tuning their game in preparation for tennis at the collegiate level. She assisted in weekly structured practices, while helping to improve the technical skills of each player.
"Shelley has been a pillar of our Alabama Program since she graduated in 2009," Mainz added. "She epitomized the consummate student-athlete representing the Tide with character, integrity and class. The future of our program is bright with Shelley's experience, leadership and passion for the Alabama Crimson Tide."