Friday, June 13, 2014

Sources: Goldstein likely to take over at Stanford

Stanford coach John Whitlinger, above with Maciek Romanowicz, left,
and Trey Strobel during a match in April and below, announced his
retirement at age 60 on May 29. Photos courtesy of Stanford University.
    Former Stanford star and professional player Paul Goldstein has emerged as the front-runner to succeed John Whitlinger as the Cardinal men's coach, sources indicated.
   "I think it's already decided," one source said, although there has been no official announcement. "I'd be shocked if they didn't name him."
   Stanford spokesman Kurt Svoboda declined to discuss the search, including the timetable for hiring a new coach.
   Whitlinger announced his retirement at age 60 on May 29 after Stanford's second consecutive first-round exit from the NCAA Tournament.
   The Cardinal won 17 NCAA team titles in 38 years under Whitlinger's predecessor, Dick Gould (776-148 overall, .840), but never advanced past the quarterfinals in 10 years under Whitlinger (160-85, .653).
   "Being able to coach at a place you've played is really a dream come true," Whitlinger, a native of Neenah, Wis., who was inducted in the ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999, said in a news release. "It's been a great ride, and I want to thank everyone that's been a part of it, especially the players and coaches I've worked with over the years.
   "It has been an honor to coach at such an outstanding university and athletic program, and while it is difficult to step away, I'm looking forward to new beginnings."
   Added Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir: "John has been an integral part of our tennis family for more than 40 years, and we have benefited from his accomplishments as an NCAA champion student-athlete and coach. We appreciate his service over these past 10 years as our head coach and wish him luck in this next chapter of his life."
   Goldstein, a 37-year-old native of Washington, D.C., has impeccable playing credentials but little or no coaching experience. He has worked as an account manager for a clean energy company in the San Francisco Bay Area since retiring from pro tennis in 2008. Efforts to reach Goldstein have been unsuccessful.
   Goldstein became the first player in college tennis history to compete on four NCAA championship teams (1995-98), a feat also accomplished by USC's Steve Johnson (2009-12).
   An All-American four times in doubles and once in singles, Goldstein reached the NCAA singles final as a senior before losing to teammate Bob Bryan.
   Goldstein was named All-Pacific-10 Conference three times and the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a senior. He also received the ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership in 1997 and 1998.
   Goldstein ranks fifth in school history with 84 career dual-match singles victories and was inducted in the ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame last year. He attended high school and college with Chelsea Clinton, and graduated from Stanford in 1998 in human biology.
   Only 5-foot-10 (1.77 meters) and 160 pounds (72.6 kilograms), Goldstein went on to an 11-year career as a pro player. He attained career highs of No. 58 in singles in 2006 and No. 40 in doubles in 2007.
   Goldstein never won an ATP singles or doubles title but captured a record 30 championships combined on the minor-league USTA Pro Circuit. In 2006, he earned the singles crown in the second Sacramento Challenger.
   At the top level of men's tennis, Goldstein owns singles victories over International Tennis Hall of Famer Patrick Rafter, future Hall of Famers Novak Djokovic (when Djokovic was 18) and Lleyton Hewitt, and former top-10 players Greg Rusedski and Alex Corretja.
   In doubles, Goldstein reached the semifinals of the 2005 U.S. Open with former Stanford teammate Jim Thomas and was a two-time runner-up in San Jose (2003 with Robert Kendrick and 2006 with Thomas).
   Stanford went 14-6 (5-2 in the Pacific-12 Conference) this season but finished No. 32 in the national rankings. The Cardinal was 5-6 against ranked teams and 9-0 against others.
   Stanford won all four of its 4-3 decisions, prevailing at unranked UNLV, No. 52 Utah and unranked Arizona and at home against No. 43 Washington.  
    As a player, Whitlinger helped Stanford win its first two NCAA men's team titles (1973 and 1974). In 1974, he became only the fourth player in program history to capture the NCAA singles and doubles crowns in the same year.
   Under Gould, Stanford won four straight NCAA team titles (1995-98), five in six years (including 2000) and 10 in 15 years (1986-2000). The 2000 crown is the Cardinal's last.
   Making Stanford's decline all the more galling is that USC, known as the "University of Spoiled Children" on the Farm, has replaced the Cardinal as the top program in the nation. The Trojans have won five NCAA team championships in the last six years.
   The Stanford women, meanwhile, remain a national power under longtime coach Lele Forood. The Cardinal won its 17th NCAA team title last year and reached the semifinals this year.

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