HAMDEN, Conn. – After a legendary coaching career spanning 23 years, including 18 conference championship titles and 526 wins, Quinnipiac Hall of Famer Mike Quitko has announced his retirement as head men’s and women’s tennis coach on Thursday, July 10, 2014.
A valued member of the Quinnipiac and tennis communities, Quitko confidently leaves the program in the hands of Paula Miller and Chris Pappas. Miller has been elevated to Interim Director of Tennis and Women's Tennis Head Coach while Pappas will serve as the Interim Men's Tennis Head Coach. Assistant Coach Nick Wormley will be alongside as well to provide both programs with a smooth transition into the 2014 Fall Season.
“Mike Quitko has been one of Quinnipiac’s most successful, respected and well-liked coaches in the history of QU Athletics,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald. “I am thrilled that both Paula and Chris will continue QU's superb tradition of tennis success and excellence, and the entire Athletics Staff looks forward to working with them."
“It’s the right time,” Quitko said. “My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing and I am extremely proud of the program that we have built here. I have had the pleasure of coaching some of the finest young men and women to grace the courts here as they've helped give me some life-long memories. I cannot forget the assistant coaches that I've had along the way, as well as the tremendous support staff here in the athletic department and the administration, professors and staff within the school that I've had the opportunity to work with.”
A career decorated with laurels and accolades, the 2012-13 season featured an unparalleled milestone for the tennis mastermind. Quitko collected his 500th career win when the Quinnipiac men’s and women’s tennis teams swept Saint Francis University on April 13, 2013. Quitko became the first coach ever at Quinnipiac to reach 500 career wins.
Quitko turned to a new chapter in his storied career in 2013-14, spearheading the charge into a new conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). On July 1, 2013, Quinnipiac officially concluded its term with the Northeast Conference, and directed its attention to the New York based association.
New league but same results for the illustrious head coach. Quitko guided the women’s tennis team to its seventh Division I Conference Championship, defeating Fairfield in the finals for the MAAC Championship Title. Quitko was tabbed 2014 MAAC Coach of the Year while the team’s ace Sophia Dzulynsky was named MAAC Player of the Year. Six other players earned All-League honors and Jacqueline Raynor earned MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer.
Previously, Quitko led the Bobcats to six Northeast Conference women’s tournament titles from 2004-11. The men’s team also won four, including three straight NEC championships from 2004-06. The women’s team faced UCLA (2011), Stanford University (2004, 2006), the University of Georgia (2005), UCLA (2007) and Miami (Fla.) (2008). The men’s team has played Stanford (2010, 2006), Harvard University (2004) and the University of Illinois (2005). Quitko left the Northeast Conference with an unprecedented 10 NEC Championships to his name.
Quitko amassed a combined record of 526-320 (.621) in his 23 seasons with the Bobcats. The men’s side posted a 238-171 (.582) record, while the women’s squad went 296-149 (.666).
His career is nothing short of extraordinary: 11 NCAA Division I Tournament appearances, 11 conference championships, one regular-season title (MAAC), and 15 Conference Coach of the Year awards. Quitko was also named USA Tennis New England College Coach of the Year in 2004 and ITA/Wilson Division II Women’s Tennis National Coach of the Year in 1995.