Dr. Kathy Kolankiewicz finished her 2th season as the head coach of the University of New Mexico women's tennis program. Kolankiewicz retired after the 2008-2009 season. Associate head coach Roy Canada will be taking over as head coach at the start of the 2009-10 season.
As a result of her leadership, the program has experienced both consistency and success throughout the years. Kolankiewicz has guided the Lobos to seven NCAA Championship appearances in the last 12 seasons. UNM won 60 percent of its matches under Kolankiewicz, posting a 356-236 record in regular seson and 48-24 in Mountain West Conference. Between 1986 and 2008, Kolankiewicz took the women's tennis team to conference finals or semifinals every year. During those years, the Lobos received their highest ever national ranking, reaching No. 21 in 1996, 1999 and 2004.
Kolankiewicz is also responsible for coaching two of the greatest doubles teams to come out of the UNM program. Under the guidance of Kolankiewicz, the duo of Sandy Lukowski and Maja Kovacek became the first players in New Mexico women's tennis history to earn All-America honors after advancing to the semifinals at the 2004 NCAA Championships. The pair finished the season with a No. 5 national ranking. Kolankiewicz then went on to guide a second duo to All-America honors. Kovacek paired with Iva Gersic to automatically earn All-America honors after receiving a No. 4 seed in the 2005 NCAA Championships. The pair also achieved the highest ranking ever by a UNM tennis player at No. 2 as well as the highest postseason ranking at No. 4.
New Mexico has made its mark in the world of women's collegiate tennis, having finished with 20-plus wins four of the last 11 seasons and having been nationally for the past 13 years. Kolankiewicz has earned Central Region Coach of the Year three times in her career at UNM and has garnered WAC Coach of the Year (1997) and MWC Coach of the Year (2004) recognition.
Honors for the team off the court include being named an ITA All-Academic squad for 11 straight years. Incredibly, the women's tennis team has maintained above a 3.0 team G.P.A. for the last 31 semesters. The Lobos achieved a 3.6 team G.P.A. in the fall of 2007.
A top competitor and coach, Kolankiewicz brings a lifetime of tennis experience to the court to share with her student- athletes. Kolankiewicz's high school tennis career began in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., where she was a two-time Pennsylvania state champion in doubles.
Success and winning have characterized Kolankiewicz's tennis career. Prior to coming to New Mexico, she was the assistant coach at the University of Mississippi from 1982-85 where she helped lead the Rebels to a top-20 national ranking. During that time she completed work on her master's degree, cum laude, in Recreation Administration.
As an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (1977-81), Kolankiewicz had a distinguished career, garnering numerous individual and team honors. Her first two years the UT-Chattanooga squad won the AIAW Division II national title, with Kolankiewicz earning All-America honors. In 1980 she placed fifth in doubles at the NCAA Division I National Championships. She graduated in 1981, cum laude, with a BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. As a senior Kolankiewicz was the singles and doubles champion in Division I at the Tennesee state championships. In the fall of 1995 she was honored by UT-Chattanooga by being inducted into the UTC Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1982 Kolankiewicz competed on the women's tennis professional circuit, achieving a world ranking of No. 250. The professional experience Kolankiewicz gained on the pro tour has served her well in the collegiate coaching ranks.
Kolankiewicz finished a three-year stint as the Central Region Ranking and Selection Chair in 2002. Currently, she serves on the ITA Women's Collegiate Hall of Fame Committee.
In 2002, Kolankiewicz met all the standards and competencies established in the U.S.A. Tennis High Performance Coaching Program and was recognized as a specialist in Competitive Player Development. In 2003, Kolankiewicz was awarded the Southwest Region USTA Coach of the Year award.
Kolankiewicz received her doctorate in Sports Administration from the University of New Mexico in 1996. She also currently serves as the Director of the Lobo Tennis Club, home of Lobo women's tennis.