The 2015-16 campaign marks University of Delaware alumna Laura Travis’ 24th season as head coach of the Blue Hens women’s tennis team.
Travis previously served as both the men’s and women’s tennis head coach for more than 20 seasons before handing over the men’s coaching reigns to former Blue Hens student-athlete Chris Hincker in August 2014.
The former Laura LeRoy has enjoyed nothing but success with both teams since taking over the women's squad from B.J. Ferguson in 1992-93 and the men's head position from UD Hall of Fame member Roy Rylander in 1993-94. She served as Rylander's assistant coach in 1992-93.
On the women's side, Travis has led the Blue Hens to a 23-year record of 263-142 (.649), which includes establishing school records for wins in three different seasons when the Hens posted marks of 17-0, 17-1, and 17-9.
She led the Blue Hens to eight straight America East Tournament second place finishes in 1994-2001 and was the league Coach of the Year in 1994-95, 1995-96, and 1999-2000. Most recently, Travis has led the Blue Hens to 10-plus wins in eight of the last 11 seasons.
The 2012-13 squad, with just one senior on the roster, advanced to the CAA Semifinals for the first time in school history and were led by three all-conference honorees.
Her 1996-97 team went undefeated with a 17-0 mark and her 1997-98 squad completed a school record 42-match win streak which tied the longest win streak by any women's athletic team in UD history.
Her Delaware men's teams had won at least 10 matches in all but six seasons with her overall record as 217-179 (.548), including a 15-5 record in 1996-97 when the Blue Hens captured the America East title. The win marked just the second conference title in school history and the first since 1974.
She also led the Blue Hens to a second place finish in 1995-96 and semifinal appearances in 1995, 1998, and 1999. Travis was named America East Men's Tennis Coach of the Year twice, in 1996, and 1997.
Travis, the first woman to coach a men's team at the University of Delaware, has been named conference Coach of the Year five times, twice in men's and three times in women's tennis. In 1995, she was named the United States Professional Tennis Association Middle Atlantic Division Women's College Coach of the Year. In addition, she was the USPTA Women's Open Player of the Year in 1995 and the USPTA Rookie of the Year in 1994.
Off of the court, Travis’ teams have been perennial recipients of the NCAA APR Academic Recognition Award in addition to volunteering time with the Tennis in the Streets event, which introduces more than 700 inner-city at-risk youths, many of which have never held a racquet before, to the sport of tennis in Wilmington, Del.
A 1989 University of Delaware honors graduate in physical education, Travis was one of the all-time great tennis players in Blue Hen history during her career in 1985-89.
Prior to returning to her alma mater as an assistant coach, Travis served as head coach for boy's and girl's tennis at nearby A.I. duPont High School.
A native of Wilmington, Del. and an All-State player at Tower Hill School, she was a four-time East Coast Conference champion in singles and doubles and led the Blue Hens to East Coast Conference team titles in 1987 and 1988. She was voted team Most Valuable Player all four years. She was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame in November 2001.
While at Delaware, she set school records for singles wins in a season (22 in 1988-89) and a career (73-12) and doubles wins in a career (26-9 with Christie Ellis). She was the 1988-89 ECC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's tennis and was a CoSIDA/GTE District II All-Academic second team selection.
In December 2003, Travis was named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association and International Tennis Association Campus Recreation Award on December 3. She has been instrumental in the implementation of several programs geared to increasing tennis participation on the Delaware campus. Over the last six years, she has implemented USA Tennis Free for All, USA Tennis 1-2-3 and USA Team tennis programs on her campus. All these programs are related to the USA Tennis Program Pathway, which stresses "trying, learning, playing and competing" aspects of picking up and playing a sport.
Travis earned her masters degree in physical education and sports psychology from Delaware in 1998. She and her husband Gerry, reside in Newark with their daughters, Brooke and Chase. She was inducted into the USTA Middle States Hall of Fame in October 2014.