Alison Swain, Who Led Williams To 8 NCAA Titles, Named USC Women's Tennis Head Coach

    Alison Swain (Photo: Williams Sports Info.)
    June 7, 2017

    Alison Swain, who built a women's tennis dynasty at Williams College by leading the Ephs to 8 NCAA Division III team championships, including in 2017, was named the women's head coach at USC, Trojan athletic director Lynn Swann announced today (June 7).

    "We are delighted and excited to welcome Alison Swain to the Trojan Family," said Swann. "She is a proven winner as a head coach. Winning a national championship at any level is difficult to do; winning 8 of them like Alison has done in a 10-year span is beyond impressive. We are confident that she can bring the Women of Troy to that championship level.

    "She has a vision and a plan for our program. She is an educator and a developer of tennis players, of scholar-athletes and of women. She will create a supportive and healthy culture for our program that will lead to success in the classroom, in life and on the tennis court."

    Said Swain: "I would first like to thank Lynn Swann, (USC associate athletic director) Scott Jacobson and the entire search committee for the incredible opportunity to join the USC family. USC has an exceptional athletics tradition, but more importantly the university truly values creating an overall amazing experience for its student-athletes in the classroom, on the court and beyond.

    "I have had an incredible 10 years at Williams and am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to coach high-caliber student-athletes and be part of a close-knit and driven athletic department. It is exciting for me to enter into a similar environment at USC. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the players to create an exciting future for USC women's tennis. I can't wait to meet the entire team and get started."

    Swain, 38, posted an .889 winning percentage (224-28) in her 10 seasons (2008-17) at Williams, including 48-2 in NCAA tournament play. She led the Ephs to 8 NCAA team championships, including in each of her first 6 seasons (an NCAA Division III record and tying Stanford for most consecutive at any level) as well as in 2015 (going 25-0) and the just-concluded 2017 campaign. In her other 2 seasons, Williams was the NCAA runnerup in 2016 and was third in 2014. She also helped Williams win 5 conference championships.



    She was named the 2013 ITA National Division III Coach of the Year, was a 5-time conference Coach of the Year and twice (2010-13) was the ITA Northeast Coach of the Year. She produced 2 NCAA champion doubles teams (Juli Raventos and Linda Shin in 2015 and 2016) and a trio of NCAA singles runners-up, along with 18 All-Americans, 2 ITA National Senior Players of the Year and an ITA National Most Improved Senior of the Year.

    She also was an assistant professor of physical education at Williams.

    "What an inspired choice!" said Timothy Russell, chief executive officer of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. "USC has made a triple crown appointment. With Alison Swain, the Trojans have a great coach with a championship pedigree, a fabulous teacher with a proven commitment to the highest levels of academic achievement and a splendid mentor of extraordinary character. Alison is a proven leader in the world of college tennis, including as a magnificent member of the new ITA Board. She is poised for an incredibly successful future."

    Swain was the second person in any division to win an NCAA tennis team championship as a player and a coach. She co-captained Williams' 2001 NCAA championship squad (the first in school history). She won All-New England Small College Athletic Conference honors and was named a Scholar-Athlete All-American.

    After graduating from Williams in 2001 with a degree in American studies, she taught eighth grade and coached the girls' tennis team at Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga., for 3 years (2002-04), winning the region each year and getting to the state finals in 2004. She received a master's degree in education from Washington in 2006 and then taught upper schoolers at Telluride (Colo.) Mountain School for a year (2006-07) before returning to her alma mater to take the Williams head job in the summer of 2007.

    Swain is a native of Bainbridge, Wash. She is a member of the board of directors of the ITA through June of 2018. She and her mother, Sue Swain, were the nation's top-ranked mother/daughter doubles team in 2003, winning both the National Mother/Daughter Indoor and Grass Court doubles tourneys. She has been an instructor in indoor cycling and downhill skiing, as well as a white water rafting guide.