Hocutt Announces Changes to Tech Tennis Leadership
Aug 26, 2019 @ 10:01am
Petty elevated to Director of Tennis/Head Women’s Tennis Coach, Whitehead tabbed as Head Men’s Tennis Coach
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt announced changes to the leadership of the school’s men’s and women’s tennis programs on Wednesday. Women’s head coach Todd Petty will be elevated to the role of Director of Tennis and will coach the Lady Raiders while overseeing both the men’s and women’s programs. Former Red Raider assistant coach Daniel Whitehead will take over as head coach of the men’s program.
“Todd Petty has proved himself to be one of the best coaches in collegiate tennis,” Hocutt said. “He has developed our women’s program into an annual contender for Big 12 titles and a consistent presence in the NCAA Tournament. Under his guidance and the leadership of Coach Whitehead, I expect our men’s program to continue to grow and compete at the highest level.”
The tennis program will have a combined coaching staff working with both men’s and women’s tennis student-athletes. Second-year assistant coach Melissa Kopinski will remain on staff and a fourth coach will be named at a later date.
“This is a challenge that I’ve been excited to take on if it ever presented itself,” Petty said. “I’ve always respected the men’s program here at Texas Tech and the history they’ve had. To be able to serve in a role where I can help grow both of these programs and build them even further is something that after 12 years at Texas Tech is something I’m excited to take on.”
Petty is set to take over as Director of Tennis, and will enter his 12th season at the helm of the Texas Tech women’s tennis program.
Under Petty, the Lady Raiders have earned a program-long streak of eight-straight NCAA Tournament bids. He has guided Texas Tech’s women’s program to national prominence behind three Big 12 regular season championships, the program’s first Big 12 tournament title, five 20-plus win seasons, four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and a pair of NCAA Elite Eight bids to go along with a 208-91 overall record.
A three-time Big 12 Coach of the Year and three-time Wilson/ITA Texas Region Coach of the Year, Petty has coached the Lady Raiders to ITA top-25 final rankings during six of the last eight seasons, including top-10 finishes in two of the last three years.
Petty is the winningest coach at Texas Tech with 208 wins and a .695 winning percentage over his 11 seasons. Under his watch, the Lady Raiders have finished in the top four of the Big 12 tennis standings each year since 2011, including top-two finishes in four of the last five seasons.
Petty coached the program’s first All-American Gabriela Talaba to two All-America honors in 2017 and 2018, and Felicity Maltby to an All-America accolade in 2019. He has also guided 11 players and 12 doubles teams to All-Big 12 recognition to go along with two Big 12 Players of the Year, three ITA Texas Region Rookies of the Year and two ITA Texas Region Players to Watch.
Petty’s student-athletes have been just as impressive in the classroom. The Lady Raiders have produced 49 Academic All-Big 12 selections and 32 ITA Scholar-Athletes. Texas Tech has been listed as an ITA All-Academic Team in eight of the last 10 seasons, and the Lady Raiders have consistently been among the athletic department’s best NCAA APR program.
New men’s head coach Daniel Whitehead has served as assistant coach for the Red Raiders over the last two seasons, helping the team to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. He helped guide the program to a 19-11 season in his first year as an assistant, followed by a 15-12 record in 2018-19.
“It’s an honor to lead this team,” Whitehead said. “I know these men in the locker room better than any coach in the country and I am thrilled to lead them. You come to Texas Tech to compete at the highest level in the country, that’s what we will continue to build on. I want to thank Todd Petty for his help the past couple years and moving forward, and I want to thank Kirby Hocutt for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. This is all a blessing and I’m ready to fight for this team, university, and Lubbock.”
“I think Danny is a perfect fit to lead our men’s tennis team,” Petty said. “Obviously, he had an unbelievable playing career at the University of Texas and spent two years helping build this program to an elite status. I know that the players respect Danny and what he means to this program. The opportunity to build this as one combined program with all of us working together will be an asset to both the men’s and women’s teams.”
Prior to arriving in Lubbock, Whitehead served for two seasons as the men’s and women’s head coach at Concordia University in Austin from 2015 to 2017. Under his watch, both programs set single-season program records for wins, and the two teams combined for eight American Southwest All-Conference awards. He coached both Tornado teams to the ASC Tournament during the 2016-17 season.
Whitehead spent two seasons at Houston as an assistant coach on the women’s side under head coach Patrick Sullivan. In 2013-14, his first year at UH, Whitehead helped guide the Cougars to one of the best seasons in school history. Houston finished with a 21-6 overall record, and the program earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1998. In 2014-15, Whitehead helped lead the Cougars to an ITA top-40 ranking, 11 consecutive victories and a perfect record in American Athletic Conference action.
Whitehead began his coaching career with volunteer assistant stints at Houston and Rice.
As a player, Whitehead was a two-year team captain at Texas, where he earned a pair of All-Big 12 selections in singles and one in doubles while helping the Longhorns to four ITA top-25 finishes. Whitehead was an ITA top-100 singles and doubles player for a majority of his collegiate career, and his 86 singles victories rank 22nd in program history at Texas. He was a standout in the classroom as well, also earning three Academic All-Big 12 honors.
Before his college career, Whitehead was ranked No. 1 in the state of Texas in boys’ 14, 16 and 18 age divisions. The Houston native also was ranked as high as No. 27 nationally in the USTA boys 16 division.
Whitehead earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health with an emphasis in physical culture and sport from Texas in 2013. His wife, the former Samantha Adams, was a two-time All-Big 12 honoree in singles at Texas Tech during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.