Rebuilding the GSU tennis program

The Signal looks back at the rebuilding of the tennis program following a shocking scandal (click the + button at the bottom of the timeline for additional dates):

Georgia State Athletics has spent the summer rebuilding the tennis program after a scandal last March shocking the University.

Roughly three months after former men’s tennis head coach Joerg Barthel and assistant coach Cesar Vargas were fired as a result of numerous NCAA and Georgia State violations, Athletics has quickly sought to rebuild the program filling the coaching voids.

Former Wake Forest tennis coach Brett Ross was hired last June as the next men’s head tennis coach, and he named Mike Murray his assistant last Friday. Murray was an assistant coach at East Carolina for two seasons prior to arriving at Georgia State.

Interim Athletic Director Bharath Parthasarathy said he’s impressed with Ross’ deep connections to the city of Atlanta and think that will in turn result in success for the program.

“He will bring a fresh perspective to the program that should translate into victories on the court and in the classroom and the greater University community,” Parthasarathy said.

While nearly all the pieces have been picked up from the March scandal, the program still must find a replacement for former interim tennis director and women’s coach Robin Stephenson.

Stephenson surprisingly left soon after receiving a contract extension from Georgia State to accept the head coach position of the Washington Huskies women’s tennis team. Stephenson was named the 2014 Sun Belt Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year and led her team to a conference title this past year.

Parthasarathy is looking for a women’s coach who will build off the success from last year’s team.

“The next head coach must be fundamentally strong in all relevant areas, including coaching, recruiting, administration, and encouraging excellence in the classroom,” Parthasarathy said.

Stephenson was dragged into an internal investigation of her own this past April, but was cleared of all charges as Athletics deemed there was no evidence of her committing any violations.

As fall approaches and the tennis program has revitalized itself into functioning form, The Signal looks back at the timeline of events surrounding the fall and rebuilding of the tennis program.