Callen pick for new women's tennis coach

by Scott Harrison | 7/30/99 5:00am

After being ranked the number one singles player in the NCAA East for women's tennis, touring the WTA for three years as a professional player, and acting as an assistant women's tennis coach at Harvard University, Jennifer Callen has settled down at Dartmouth College.

Athletic Director Richard Jaeger announced Callen's selection as the women's tennis head coach yesterday after Chris Kerr's departure this past June. Callen will be just the third women's tennis coach in 26 years, 25 of which were under Kerr's reign.

"We needed to make a change in the tennis program," Jaeger said in regard to the Kerr's exit.

"We are so excited to have this opportunity," sophomore tennis player Carolyn Roth said. "We are ready to embrace a new program with more matches, conditioning and one-on-one attention."

Roth's enthusiasm was important in the selection process as she and teammate Courtney Smalley '01 met with the three final candidates chosen by the Athletic Department to help find the best match for the women's team. After both agreed on Callen for the job, they gave their recommendation and the College went with it.

A quick look at Callen's background makes the reasoning of their decision apparent. Callen was an ACC first team selection all four years of her career at University of Virginia. She ranked in the top 20 of the NCAA Division I league her last three years at UVA and in 1994 she was voted the senior player of the year in her region.

After graduating from UVA with a degree in psychology she moved on to the professionals where she attained a ranking of 450 in singles and 505 in doubles over a three year period. Last year she was an assistant for the Harvard team, for which she supervised practices, recruiting, scheduling, conditioning and team travel.

Callen also worked as a tennis professional at Weymouth, Mass. and as an associate director of Harvard's tennis camps. A member of the USTA committee for advanced junior tennis and the USTA/New England intersectional coach for the girls' 18 division, she certainly has a lot of experience teaching the game.

"I think Jennifer's impact will be immeasurable. She's got a tremendous tennis background and very good connections. Her strength training and knowledge of injury prevention will help so much. Most of all her desire -- she's got a lot of passion and we want a coach to step in and lead us," Jaeger said.

"She's done some very good camp and clinic work and she understands the recruiting challenges of an Ivy League school. She also knows our players after competing against them at Harvard," he said. "I think her impact will be immediate."