Feb. 8, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman announced on Wednesday that Cowgirl Tennis Coach Kati Gyulai has resigned her position and has accepted the head coaching position at SMU in Dallas, Texas. He also announced that current Cowgirl Assistant Coach Dean Clower will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the spring season. A national search for a head coach will be conducted at a later date.
"It's unfortunate timing with Kati Gyulai leaving midyear," said Athletics Director Tom Burman. "We will try and provide every opportunity to the players in order for this team to be successful. The current players have helped us take Wyoming tennis to the next level. We look forward to rest of the season and what this team can accomplish. Coach Clower has also been an important contributor to Wyoming Tennis' success and we are confident that he can guide the program in the interim."
Gyulai was in her fourth season with the program and posted a record of 37-34 overall and a 9-15 conference mark during that time. Over the past two seasons, she has led the team to their most wins in school history (14), plus a school best five conference victories and a third-place finish in 2010. She coached five All-Conference selections including current team members Alexandra Kovacs, Simona Synkova and Veronica Popovici. The Cowgirls were ranked in the Campbell's/ITA ranking four times throughout the season in 2011 including a school best 68th on March 22. They finished 74th in the season ending Campbell's/ITA rankings and third in the Mountain Region.
In 2010, the team almost doubled their number of wins from the year before as they went 14-8 overall and 5-3 in the MWC to place third. The 14 overall wins and five conference victories were the most ever in school history, plus the third-place finish was the highest a Wyoming team had ever placed in league play. Three Cowgirls garnered postseason honors in 2010. Alexandra Kovacs was named First Team All-MW in singles, while the team of Simona Synkova and Kim van Ginkel earned All-Conference honors in doubles. For their efforts, the team finished the season ranked in both the NCAA Division I and Regional rankings plus three individuals were recognized in the rankings. As a team, the Cowgirls finished 73rd among 323 schools with Division I women's tennis programs, while placing sixth out of the 21 schools in the Mountain Region Rankings.
Clower is also in his fourth season with the Cowgirl coaching staff in 2011-12. He came to Wyoming after two seasons as an assistant coach at Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas). His duties included assisting with practice sessions, on the court training of both singles and doubles teams, creating and maintaining data bases for prospective players, along with ensuring compliance with recruitment regulations. Prior to that, he spent one season as a volunteer assistant with the program and an adjunct professor for kinesiology.
He also has worked as an assistant teaching pro at The Greens Country Club in Oklahoma City (2002, 2004, 2007). Clower trained juniors players and was responsible for tournament travel and preparation for competition, while providing private and group lessons to juniors and adults. Prior to that, he worked at the Indian Springs Country Club in Broken Arrow, Okla.
Clower began his collegiate career as a student-athlete at Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas. He was a two-year team captain and was ranked fifth in the nation in doubles as a freshman and sophomore. Clower then moved on to a two-year career at Lamar University. He finished with a season-best 14-7 record in singles play and 9-9 in doubles at the number one spot as a junior. During his senior season, he posted a 9-10 overall record, 12-6 in doubles-play and a 48th ranking in NCAA Division I. He became the first player in school history to accomplish that feat.
A native of Broken Arrow, Okla., Clower earned a bachelor's of arts degree in general studies with a minor in history and kinesiology from Lamar University in 2006.
Wyoming is currently 2-2 overall during the 2012 spring season. They will be on the road to face Long Beach State, on Friday, Feb. 10, UC Irvine, on Saturday, Feb. 11, and Loyola Marymount, on Sunday, Feb. 12.