Remembering USC Women’s Tennis Legend Dave Borelli: A Legacy of Champions

Celebrating the Life and Achievements of Coach Dave Borelli, who Led USC Women's Tennis to National Glory

The USC women’s tennis program bids farewell to an iconic figure, Coach Dave Borelli, whose remarkable journey encompassed an era of victories and mentorship. The Women of Troy’s legendary head coach from 1974 to 1988, Borelli, led the team to an astounding seven national titles. Sadly, on July 15th, 2023, he peacefully passed away at the age of 71, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be etched in the annals of USC sports history, according to an official USC press release.

Borelli’s influence extended beyond USC, as he also contributed his expertise at Texas Christian University and on the USTA’s professional tour. However, let’s delve into his illustrious tenure at USC, where his guidance resulted in a remarkable 302-45 (.870) record. In 1983, at the young age of 32, Borelli secured his maiden NCAA title as the team’s head coach. That season, he steered the club to an impressive 33-0 record, showcasing his leadership prowess.

Among his exceptional accomplishments were the four national singles champions he nurtured: Barbara Hallquist (1976 and 1977), Stacy Margolin (1978), Anna-Maria Fernandez (1981), and Beth Herr (1983). Barbara Hallquist, who later pursued a professional career, achieved a career doubles title and reached the quarterfinals of the 1980 US Open in both singles and doubles. Additionally, Hallquist’s presence was felt as she returned to her alma mater, serving under Borelli’s guidance from 1985 to 1988 and clinching a national title in 1985.

Stacy Margolin, another of Borelli’s protégés, also tasted success in the professional circuit, securing one tournament victory and reaching a career-high ranking of No. 18. Anna-Maria Fernandez, hailing from Torrance, carved her niche in the tennis world by clinching five doubles titles during her 11-year WTA career and ascending to a commendable No. 19 ranking. Bellamy, a key player in Borelli’s legacy, achieved a career-high ranking of No. 31 and earned four doubles titles and one singles title during her nine-year professional career.

The impact of Borelli’s coaching was profound, with 25 of his USC players earning a total of 56 All-America honors. Beyond his time at USC, Borelli contributed his expertise to the TCU women’s team from 2002 to 2006 and again from 2010 to 2014. Additionally, he guided the TCU men’s team from 2007 to 2010. In recognition of his indelible mark on the world of women’s collegiate tennis, Borelli was inducted into the ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010.

As we reflect on Coach Dave Borelli’s legacy, our thoughts and condolences go out to his friends and family during this challenging period. The tennis world has lost a true visionary and leader, whose dedication to his players and the sport will continue to inspire generations to come.

Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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