McManigal Resigns, Finishing with a Solid Season

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - May 21st, 2016


Photo by Brad Elliott

Photo by Brad Elliott

By Kaci Mexico
May 21, 2016

After three years as the head coach of the Westmont Women’s Tennis Team, Kendyll McManigal has announced her resignation. McManigal posted a record of 37-30 and has taken the program to the second round of the NAIA National Championship Tournament in each of the three years she has been head coach.

“Under Kendyll’s leadership the Women’s Tennis Program has gained national prominence – as they have competed in the national tournament for each of the three years she has been head coach,” said athletic director Dave Odell. “The program has also benefited from the tough schedule that Kendyll has had our teams play – a schedule consisting of matches against top caliber NCAA Division I, II, and III teams.”

McManigal’s involvement with Westmont began in 2001 when she played tennis for the Warriors from 2001-2004, under Coach Kathy LaSage. During her time as a player, McManigal played at number one singles for three out of her four years, advanced to the NAIA National Tournament three times and was named to the All-GSAC team three times.

As coach, McManigal was recently named the 2016 Golden State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after the Warriors won both the GSAC Regular Season and the GSAC Tournament Championships. Under McManigal’s direction, two Warriors have been named NAIA All-Americans and three have earned All-GSAC honors. In the academic realm, her players have been recognized as NAIA and GSAC Scholar-Athletes on ten occasions. This year one of her players – Haley Strandness – earned the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for Westmont.

“This decision to stop coaching has been so hard and emotional for me,” said McManigal. “With that said, I know it is the right choice for my family. Next season I would have a second grader, a kindergartener and a baby – also a husband who has been incredibly supportive, but is ready to have me home more.

“I strive to be my best at all things – wife, mom, and coach – and next year that seems like a stretch. I still believe, as I did when I started, that Westmont tennis can be one of the best programs in the country and I pray that they find a coach who has more time and energy to pour into the players and program.”

“I have loved coaching these past few years and am so thankful that the opportunity presented itself,” continued McManigal. “I have a greater respect for all coaches as it is a 24 hour seven days a week job. I have enjoyed all the practices, hard conversations, late night phone calls, 6:00 am workouts, wins and even some of the losses. I think my favorite or most rewarding part has been the relationships with my players. While not always easy, to see them deepen and grow has been very special – especially with the three seniors: Lauren, Fernanda and Haley.

“I want to thank Dave Odell for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to coach. Also the entire athletic department who has been more than helpful and patient with this inexperienced coach!

“Next year, I plan on being around more for my children Beckett, Gigi and the baby on the way; missing less Saturday sports and field trips; and maybe my husband will have a few more home cooked dinners. I also plan on being a part of the returners and recruits live – to be able to be their friend and ride off campus, someone to play tennis with outside of the team and someone to call if they need anything.

“At Westmont we always advocate family first,” said Odell. “So while we will miss her greatly, we respect her decision and are glad that she will be nearby and continue to support the Warriors.”