Shannon Tully | Head Coach | Women’s Tennis | University of Illinois – Chicago

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

I am looking for a player who is competitive and has the guts to win.  Like myself, I would like a future player who hates losing as much as she loves to win.  I would like a player who is thrilled to be on the team and who LOVES the school she chose and is grateful for her opportunity here.  I do not want a player who compares this program with others and with what other people get compared to what we give here.  My players have my 100% dedication to this team, and I expect them to be 100% committed as well.  It is unfortunate that in 14 years as a head coach here, I am finding that players are more about what they can get rather than what they can give.  I want a player who loves competition and is driven by a team atmosphere.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

A player who exceeded my expectations was not the best player I have ever coached.  She was my number 1, but did not have the results that some of my previous number 1s have had.  She was a “team player,” and one who communicated openly and honestly with every single one of her teammates.  She never voiced any discontent with me or my practices EVER in front of her teammates and would simply speak to me at a later time if she felt there was something we could do that was more productive for her or her teammates.  She was a leader, a captain, and a friend to her teammates, and they respected her without a doubt.  She led not by her results, but by her work ethic everyday and her dedication and determination to get results for the team.  She was grateful for her experience and loved being on road trips and spending time with the team.  She brought a positive vibe to 99% of our practices, and when she was having a bad day, she’d tell the team that she was sorry she wasn’t “on” and would make sure to make it up tomorrow.  This kid was one that any coach would love to have.  I’d love to have another…