Trish RiddellHead Coach
Alma Mater: Houston, '93
Office Phone: 863-616-6442
The 2013 season will be Trish Riddell’s eighth as head coach of the Florida Southern women’s tennis team, and in each of the first seven, the Moccasins have advanced to NCAA postseason play. During that time, the Mocs have posted a 109-54 overall record, and a 33-23 mark in the Sunshine State Conference, recognized as perhaps the most difficult Division II tennis league in the country. She ranks second in team history in both wins and third in winning percentage (.669).\
Twice during Riddell’s tenure the Moccasins have advanced to the region final, and in 2007, they won the first regional championship in team history. The Mocs went on to place fifth at the Division II national finals, equaling the best finish in their 40-year history.
Last year’s team went 11-11 overall, including a 3-5 mark in the SSC, they finished sixth in the SSC regular season standings and ended the season ranked 16th in the final season poll conducted by the ITA. The Moccasins advanced to the NCAA South Region Tournament for the seventh consecutive season under Riddell.
The 2010-11 squad went 16-7 overall including 5-3 in the SSC, finishing fourth in the SSC regular season standings and ending the year ranked 11th in the ITA national poll. The Moccasins advanced to the NCAA South Region Tournament for the sixth time under Riddell. The Mocs had three players named to the All-Sunshine State Conference team, including SSC Freshman of the year Sabine Goge.
Thirteen of their 23 matches the Moccasins played last year were against ranked opponents. In those matches the Moccasins went 7-6, including 5-4 wins over 7th-ranked West Florida and 8th-ranked California (PA). Since Riddell took over the program in 2006, the Moccasins have 45 wins over nationally ranked teams.
The 2009-10 season, was another testament to Riddell’s coaching ability, as the Moccasins had just six players, but still went 17-5, finished third in the SSC regular season standings, and ended the year ranked #14 in the ITA national poll. It was the seventh straight year the Mocs finished in the ITA top 20, and their .773 winning percentage was surpassed by only the 2007 region championship team in the last 20 years. Of the six players on the roster, three were named to the All-Sunshine State Conference Team, including two freshmen.
The Moccasins accomplished all of that while playing 12 of their 22 matches against other nationally ranked teams, with seven of them in the SSC alone. The Mocs were 7-5 in those matches, including a 5-4 win over 9th-ranked Rollins, the fourth different top-10 team the Mocs have beaten in the last four years.
In 2009, Riddell led Florida Southern to a 16-7 overall record, and a 6-2 mark in the SSC. That included wins over 11th-ranked Nova Southeastern, and 12th-ranked Rollins, helping the Mocs to a second-place finish during the regular season, their best since the league went to a full round-robin schedule in 2004.
In 2008, the Mocs had a nearly identical 17-7 record, with 16 of those 24 matches against nationally ranked teams. Among them was a 5-4 win over #5 West Florida that was Florida Southern’s first over a top-five team. The Moccasins went on to finish that year as regional runner-up, and among their accomplishments was an undefeated record at home for the first time since 1972.
Even with all of Riddell’s success since then, 2007 still stands out as her best, and in fact, one of the best put together by any Florida Southern tennis team. The Moccasins tied a school record for wins by going 21-5, their .808 winning percentage was the best since the 1972 team went 8-0, and their fifth-place finish at the Division II National Tournament matched the accomplishment of the 1991 team, which had been the last to win 21 matches.
Florida Southern ended that year ranked #8 in Division II, its highest final ranking ever. It was well-earned. Of the Mocs’ school-record 21 wins, 13 were against other nationally ranked teams and they played a total of 18 matches against such teams throughout the year. Two of those wins came over top-10 opponents, highlighted by a 5-3 victory over #8 Nova Southeastern in the regional title match. Put to the test nearly every week of the season, the Mocs responded brilliantly with a starting lineup that featured three freshmen, all of whom won at least 19 singles matches and 14 doubles matches.
Playing the best competition is something the Moccasins have always done, and Riddell continued that tradition after being hired on August 1, 2005, as the sixth coach in the program’s 40-year history. Nearly two-thirds of her matches have come against nationally ranked teams, representing 50 of her 109 career wins. That type of schedule also provides another testament to the way Riddell improved the Moccasins after an 11-12 campaign in her initial season. That year, the Mocs lost to six ranked opponents they turned around and beat in 2007. Among them was perennial national power Rollins College, a team the Mocs beat for the first time since 1984.
Even with that 11-12 record in 2006, Riddell still took the Moccasins to the NCAA Tournament in her rookie season as a collegiate head coach, and the team finished the year at #20 in the ITA rankings. Their record was even more remarkable considering the Mocs had just two returning players and injuries left them with a depleted roster in the middle of the season, forcing them to default at two positions in seven different matches. Among them were a 5-4 loss to #22 Indianapolis and a 6-3 loss to Division I SE Missouri State.
During her seven years at Florida Southern, Riddell has coached 11 different All-SSC players, including 2-time SSC Player-of-the-Year Senka Softic. Under Riddell’s tutelage, Softic became the program’s first 4-time All-American (2007-10), and graduated as the school’s career leader in wins. Last year marked the fourth time in the last five seasons Florida Southern had at least three members of the All-SSC Women’s Tennis Team, and the Moccasins had four players with at least 10 victories in singles play.
Riddell previously spent six years (2000-05) as an assistant coach at Rollins College, another member of the Sunshine State Conference. Under Bev Buckley, Riddell helped keep the Tars among the most prominent Division II programs in the country, with Rollins advancing to the NCAA Tournament each year. The Tars finished each season in the top ten of the final ITA Division II national poll, and advanced to the national semi-finals in 2000.
A 1993 graduate of the University of Houston and a four-year letter winner for the Cougars, Riddell had a career singles record of 29-32, and a doubles mark of 25-15. She spent one year playing at the number one position in both singles and doubles.
After graduation, Riddell earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas in 1995, and also served as the assistant women’s tennis coach during her two years in Fayetteville. From there, she moved to Palm Beach, Florida, and served as assistant pro at the Seaview Tennis Center. In June of 1996, she was named the Director of Tennis at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando, and held that position until May of 2001. She also spent six months as special events coordinator and teaching professional at Amagansett Eastside Tennis Club in New York, which included assisting with the New York Hamptons in World Team Tennis.
Riddell’s playing career is still going strong too. Not just a top-flight player in the United States, Riddell has also excelled at in the international level, playing in numerous tournaments even after her coaching career began at Florida Southern. Riddell has been a member of the U.S. senior tennis team since 2008, which competes in the International Tennis Federation’s Seniors World Team Championships. Riddell next competition will be her fifth ITF Seniors World Team Championships which will be held in San Diego, California in February 2012.
In addition to her coaching duties at Florida Southern, Riddell is also a professor in the school’s sports management program.