Jenny Mainz, Bama’s longest tenured coach, reflects on career

By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Jack Hutchens

Known as “The Dean” among head coaches at Alabama, Jenny Mainz is retiring after 26 seasons of heading the Alabama women’s tennis team. This weekend will be her final home matches of her Alabama coaching career. Women’s tennis hosts No. 17 Florida and No. 29 South Carolina to wrap up the regular season.

Mainz is the longest-tenured head coach at the University of Alabama. She became head coach in 1998 following two seasons as head women’s tennis coach at the University of Iowa.

She quickly turned a struggling program into a respectable team, as Alabama reached the NCAA Tournament in her fourth year. That began a string of six consecutive postseason trips.

Overall, Mainz would lead Alabama to the NCAA Tournament 15 times. She is a three-time SEC Coach of the Year, winning in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Over the years, Mainz has become one of the most accomplished and decorated coaches in the Southeastern Conference.

“So many special memories, so many great moments. Everything at Alabama has been great,” Mainz said. “I am going to leave Alabama and I’m going to be thankful. I’m going to have gratitude in my heart for being given the opportunity.”

Notably, eight of Mainz’s former assistant coaches and two former players are current head coaches of college programs, including three in the Southeastern Conference.

When Mainz took the job 26 years ago, she had one goal.

“I just want to leave it better than when I got here,” said Mainz. “I want to be known for maybe not always being the best coach ever, but hopefully the best person.”

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