Williamsburg, VA. – Hundreds of distinguished members of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association gathered at Brinkley Commons in College of William and Mary on Saturday, September 28th to celebrate the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees, including former Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis Coach Ann Lebedeff. After getting announced by the ITA back in 2018, Lebedeff was formally called up on stage on Saturday night to receive the award alongside fellow inductees Linda Gates, Patty Fendick-McCain, and Mary Ellen Grant (Gordon).
"I felt very humbled to be included with so many of my heroes in collegiate tennis including many past coaches, mentors, peers, and former friends and players," said Ann Lebedeff after receiving the award. "All inductees have performed extraordinary accomplishments and have been great ambassadors to the collegiate game of tennis. To be included with these exceptional people is such an honor."
Lebedeff's coaching career spanned 38 years, retiring from her post at Pomona-Pitzer after the 2017 season. She coached the Sagehens for 19 years, leading them to the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals seven times (2001-03, 2007-10), including a semifinals appearance in 2008.
Lebedeff has tallied more than 654 wins over her coaching career, with 286 of them at Pomona-Pitzer. She led her teams to two NCAA National Championships and seven CCAA Titles while at Cal Poly Pomona and has eight SCIAC Championships during her time with the Sagehens, two National Champions (one doubles, one singles) and won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Championship with Pomona-Pitzer in 2016.
"Coaching at Pomona-Pitzer was a wonderful experience," said Lebedeff. "I coached so many great kids who found success both on and off the court, and built strong relationships with their teammates. That was such a special moment for me to have 10 plus Sagehen players connecting in Williamsburg for a reunion of Pomona-Pitzer tennis. That is what my 40 years of coaching was about--building relationships through tennis."
Throughout her coaching career, Lebedeff was named ITA Coach of the Year twice in Division II (1990, 1992) and twice in Division III (2008, 2016). She also won National Wilson ITA Coach of the Year in 2001 and ITA Coach of the Decade, Division II in 2001.
Off the court, Lebedeff has served as the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis chairperson, the ITA National Chairperson, and ITA West Regional Ranking Committee. She is also the professor of physical education at Pomona College since she joined in 1998.
"As a coach/professor/colleague and leader in athletics, physical education and collegiate tennis, Ann leaves a legacy that will live way beyond her 40-year career," said Lisa Beckett, Emerita Professor of Physical Education at Pomona College. "Ann leaves her greatest legacy in her student-athletes at University of Arizona, Cal Poly Pomona, and Pomona-Pitzer. Ann taught her student-athletes to appreciate their opportunity to play tennis, to treasure relationships with their teammates and coaches, to step up and lead, and to live their lives with purpose, confidence, humility, determination and resiliency."
Every two years, the ITA Women's Collegiate Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional players, coaches and contributors in women's intercollegiate tennis. For more information on the Hall of Fame, visit the official website here.