SAINT LEO, Fla. – In a summertime already filled with the usual nationwide coaching shifts, title changes and new additions one thing has become very evident – coaching experience at Saint Leo is opening doors for other opportunities around the NCAA.
In addition to the departure of golf coach Erika Brennan to the University of Tennessee and the elevation of JR Blount as associate head coach of the Lions' men's basketball team, two other Saint Leo assistant coaches have earned head coaching positions within the NCAA ranks.
Recently, assistant tennis coach Beth Daub and assistant swim coach Devin Murphy have been named head coaches, Daub at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Ca. and Murphy with Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
Daub, an assistant under head coach James Bryce from 2011-13, contributed to what were two outstanding seasons for both the men's and women's tennis teams. Serving at the institution from which she obtained her Master's Degree in Business, Daub guided the Lions to the No. 8 national rankings on both sides after the programs' second consecutive season of a combined 34 wins with each reaching NCAA Regionals. She was also co-SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) Advisor. She also helped guide the Lions to NCAA Tournament appearances each year at Saint Leo.
"My time spent at Saint Leo was one I will cherish," Daub said. "It is the place that started it all for me (and) it was an honor to work with the athletes and see them grow not only as tennis players but also as adults. Coach Bryce was such a great mentor to me and guided me along the way. I am very thankful to him and Director of Athletics Fran Reidy for giving me that opportunity."
"I am extremely happy for Beth and this opportunity for her," Bryce said while reflecting on his former assistant. "She has proven to be an excellent coach and it has been a pleasure to work with her the past two years. I wish her the best of luck and know she will be an asset to Academy of Arts."
On the other side, Murphy, who served under head coach Paul Mangen for the past two years, saw the Lions set a total of 26 NCAA Division II "B" standards as 30 new school records were registered by Lion swimmers during his tenure on the Saint Leo coaching staff. The Lions also experienced plenty of success at the NCAA Division II Swimming Championships during the last two seasons, earning All-America honors in the 200 Freestyle Relay, the 400 Individual Medley and the 100 Backstroke while clocking Honorable Mention All-American performances in 10 other events.
"I'll always be thankful for my time spent at Saint Leo," Murphy said while settling into his new spot in Ohio. "To have the opportunity to learn from and work with such a talented group of athletes, coaches and administrators has been an invaluable experience as I take over as the next head coach of swimming and diving at Malone University. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity that Coach Mangen and Mr. Reidy gave me to be an assistant coach at Saint Leo and for their leadership and encouragement over the past two years."
"Devin asked for an opportunity to get into collegiate coaching and he was motivated and used the resources afforded to him here at Saint Leo University; that sets a great example for our athletes and others aspiring to become collegiate coaches," Coach Mangen said of Murphy's desire to advance through the coaching ranks. "I feel great about being able to once again offer that opportunity as well as get the chance to work alongside Devin (and) I very much look forward to continuing our relationship."
Both Daub and Murphy have already transitioned into their new roles and will lead their respective squads into the upcoming seasons.