BOULDER Danielle Steinberg, a former All-Pac-10 player and most recently the head coach of the Kansas State women's tennis program, has been hired in the same position at the University of Colorado, athletic director Rick George announced Tuesday.
The 2018 ITA Central Region Coach of the Year, Steinberg comes to Boulder following four seasons at Kansas State where this past spring she led the Wildcats to a 15-11 record and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament, its first postseason appearance in 15 years. The 15 wins tied the second-most in program history.
"We are excited that Danielle will become our new tennis coach," George said. "I charged our search committee, led by (assistant AD) Jill Keegan, to find the very best coach for CU and they did an outstanding job getting Danielle as our next coach. She brings great experience to her role both as a player and coach and I am excited to see what she will accomplish in the future."
Steinberg takes over the reins of the program from Nicole Kenneally, who retired after 19 seasons as head coach on May 21. She becomes the 10th head coach in program history, but just the third in the last 30 years, as prior to Kenneally, Tom Russ was Colorado's head coach from 1987-99.
"I want to thank Rick George and the entire CU administration for this incredible opportunity," Steinberg said. "They have shown a tremendous amount of energy and passion throughout this process, which I always admire. I also want to thank Gene Taylor and Scott Garrett at K-State, for being incredibly supportive in my years with them.
"The University of Colorado has one of the premier athletic departments in the country, and it's a privilege to be trusted in developing and leading CU's tennis program. Having played in the Pac-12, I am excited to return to the Conference of Championship as a coach, and honored to do so as a Buff. I am anxious to get on campus and extremely excited and eager to get to work."
Steinberg did a marvelous job in building up the Kansas State program. Prior to her being hired, the Wildcats had just two winning seasons in the previous 11 years.
Her last Wildcat team went 15-11 and 4-5 in the Big 12 to tie for fifth place, the programs first top five finish in conference play in a dozen years. The crowning achievement for her Wildcats came in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, when KSU overcame a 3-1 deficit versus No. 26 Kentucky to win 4-3. It was K-State's first NCAA appearance since 2003 and led to Steinberg collecting the regional coach of the year honors.
Among some of her top Wildcats that she recruited to Manhattan include Maria Linares, the 2018 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and Margot Decker, an All-Big 12 singles and doubles selection.
The momentum Steinberg built up in her four seasons at Kansas State resulted in her singing the 14th-best recruiting class in the nation in 2018, according to tennisrecruiting.net.
She will come to Boulder with a 76-74 (.507) career record in six seasons as a head coach.
Steinberg was previously the head coach at McNeese State for two seasons (2013-14). She guided the Cowgirls to unseen heights with a 29-17 overall record in her two campaigns there.
In 2014, Steinberg guided the Cowgirls to a 16-7 overall mark, including a 10-2 record in Southland Conference action, earning both Southland Conference Coach of the Year and All-Louisiana co-Coach of the Year honors. At the conclusion of the season, the Cowgirls achieved the first top 10 regional ranking from the ITA in the program's history. McNeese State's 16 wins marked the first time the Cowgirls finished a season with 15 or more dual match victories since the 2005 season.
Steinberg recruited top prospect Klaudia Gawlik to Lake Charles, La. Gawlik playing under Steinberg was a two-time Southland Conference Player of the Year, the 2013 All-Louisiana Player of the Year and 2013 SLC Freshman of the Year. Another recruit, Sara Castellano, backed up Gawlik's honor the following year by winning the 2014 SLC Freshman of the Year award.
The year prior to taking over at McNeese State, the Cowgirls' had gone just 3-16. Her first season in Lake Charles, Steinberg flipped that around and produced a 13-10 record, the programs first winning season in eight years.
Steinberg got in to coaching as an assistant at Wichita State for two seasons from 2010-12. There she helped guide the Shockers to back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championships along with a pair of NCAA berths.
She also performed coaching duties for Romina Oprandi of Switzerland from December 2011 through April 2012 on the WTA Tour. In her one season working with her, Oprandi's world ranking improved form No. 88 to No. 61 and she reached the third round of the 2012 Australian Open, a career-best at a Grand Slam event.
Steinberg was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection playing primarily at the No. 1 singles position in her collegiate career at the University of Arizona, where she was a team captain. She qualified for three NCAA Singles Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008, was the 2009 Pac-10 Toyota Spring Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She also won the ITA Arthur Ashe Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership that same year, was named to the Academic All-American team in 2006 and was a three-time Academic All-Pac-10 selection.
A native of Tel Aviv, Israel, Steinberg graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2010 from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in social and behavioral science. In May of 2012, Steinberg obtained her master's in sport management from Wichita State University.