From Carnegie Mellon University Athletics
The Carnegie Mellon Athletics Department has restructured its intercollegiate tennis program, which includes the promotion of Mike Belmonte to Head Men's Tennis Coach. Andrew Girard will remain the Head Women's Tennis Coach and will add responsibilities as Operations Manager for Intercollegiate Tennis.
"Our men's and women's tennis programs have performed among the nation's best, academically and athletically, over the past decade. That is a tribute to the leadership Andy and Mike provide on a daily basis," said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "We are excited to have the opportunity to recognize Mike's outstanding work and elevate him to the head coaching position that he has been preparing for throughout his career. This restructuring provides us with an opportunity to most appropriately support our student-athletes as they maximize their experience at Carnegie Mellon."
Belmonte became the first full-time tennis assistant coach in Carnegie Mellon history in the fall of 2010 after serving as the team's part-time assistant for two years. He was then promoted to associate head coach for both the men and women in the fall of 2015. Belmonte has received regional and national recognition during his tenure on the Tartan staff. He was named the 2009 ITA National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, the 2012 ITA National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2014 ITA Men's Atlantic South Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
"I am deeply humbled and honored to be granted the opportunity to elevate my career at Carnegie Mellon," Belmonte said. "It is a very exciting time for the tennis programs, and I believe this new structure will have a great impact on our success going forward. I would like to thank the entire athletics department, and specifically Andy Girard, for fostering my development from the day I arrived. I am thrilled to continue to grow with my Tartan family for years to come."
Girard, in his 15th year as head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs, has 447 combined career wins, while his teams have made the NCAA tournament a combined 19 times (12 women and seven men). His teams have also competed in 14 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, with nine top-four finishes, including winning the national title for the women in 2009. Girard has coached two ITA National Singles Champions and his players have been named All-American 57 times. He has been named Atlantic South Coach of the Year a combined six times, and in 2010 was named the ITA/Wilson National Men's Coach of the Year.
"This is a historic day for our tennis programs. We have long been among the elite programs in the country in terms of tennis performance; now we join the top programs in the form of our commitment to two full-time head coaches," said Girard. "This staffing structure will allow us to focus our energy on one program, which we expect will eventually yield improved success in key areas essential to being a top program, such as recruiting and the development of our student-athletes as both tennis players and people."
Girard places a tremendous value on academic success to go with on-court achievements. The Carnegie Mellon teams have been named an ITA All-Academic Team 26 times and have had players named ITA Scholar Athletes 158 times during his tenure.
"The landscape of Division III tennis has changed immensely during my time here. A separate coach for each program is more critical than ever to long-term on-court success and a healthy work/life balance," added Girard. "Tremendous thanks to Josh and CMU administration for taking the time in countless discussions over the years to understand the needs of our two programs and then put in all of the work it took to make this happen. This move significantly levels the playing fields for us with our top competitors and further signifies Carnegie Mellon's commitment to tennis excellence."