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Naval Academy Adds Women's Tennis as a Varsity Sport; Keith Puryear Named Head Coach

Oct. 9, 2008

• OFFICE PHONE: 410-293-8709

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced Wednesday that women's tennis will be elevated from a club to a varsity sport in the fall of 2009 and that 2007 Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year Keith Puryear will serve as the head coach.

"Coach Puryear brings to our midshipmen a wealth of successful experience and documented winning ways," said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. "Meeting him is to be immediately impressed. Everyone is very enthusiastic about Keith joining the academy family. His philosophies resonate the fundamental values and academic aspirations of our programs and his expect to win mindset will be just what we need to jumpstart our new varsity women's tennis program."

"I would like to thank Chet Gladchuk for giving me the opportunity to start the women's tennis program at the Naval Academy," said Puryear. "I know the rich history of Navy athletics, so it is an honor to be given this opportunity. I am looking forward to the challenges presented by all of the schools in the Patriot League. My staff and I will work hard to develop a program that is successful and is one that all can be proud of. In addition, I would like to thank Deputy Athletic Director, Eric Ruden, Head Men's Tennis Coach, John Officer, Professor Christine Copper and Associate Athletic Director, Robb Dunn, for all their help in my transition to the Naval Academy."

Puryear has won 443 matches and 10 conference coach-of-the-year honors over the last decade as the head men's and women's coach at UMBC. His men's teams have appeared in five NCAA Tournaments (2000-2003, 2007), while the women have also made five trips (1999-2003) to the NCAA tournament.

Puryear's squads were also successful in the classroom. UMBC's women's tennis squad posted a grade-point average of 3.49 last year, best amongst all the programs in the America East Conference.

Puryear is a certified USPTA professional and instructor for the Tennis Institute, where he coaches several MATA and nationally-ranked juniors. He also currently plays at the competitive level in both Maryland and in the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association, where he has been ranked in the top five in the state and has been ranked as high as No. 2 in doubles on four different occasions. In 1998, Puryear was ranked No. 1 in the state in the men's 35 and older, and in 1999, was No. 6 in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Puryear played two years of tennis at Howard University before transferring to UMBC. Following a year at UMBC, Puryear enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served from 1983-88. Returning to his studies at UMBC, Puryear graduated with a B.S. in economics in the spring of 1990.

Puryear was selected Big South Conference Women's Coach of the Year in 1997-98, and was the NEC Women's Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2001. In addition, he was selected as the NEC Men's Coach of the Year for 1999-2000 and 2000-01. In 2002, he accomplished a double, earning both men's and women's coach-of-the-year honors, and in 2003, he captured the women's award for the third-straight year.

Puryear and his wife, Venida, have two daughters, Jasmynn (19) and Keri (13).

Puryear Year-By-Year

Men: 228-176 (.564)
Women: 215-127 (.629)
! Big South Champions
* Northeast Conference Champions
# America East Champions

Puryear's Accolades

1997-98Big South Women's Coach of the Year
1998-99NEC Women's Coach of the Year
1999-00NEC Men's Coach of the Year
2000-01NEC Women's Coach of the Year
 NEC Men's Coach of the Year
2001-02NEC Women's Coach of the Year
 NEC Men's Coach of the Year
2002-03NEC Women's Coach of the Year
2006-07America East Men's Coaching Staff of the Year
 America East Women's Coaching Staff of the Year
2007USPTA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year

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