Long-time women’s tennis head coach Richard Gallien announced Friday that he would step down at the end of the 2017 season after leading the Trojans for 22 years.
“It has been a privilege to have coached so many brilliant young women in my 22 fantastic years at this remarkable university,” Gallien said. “All but two student-athletes who played for me received their degrees, something of which I am very proud.”
Gallien compiled an impressive resume over the course of his Trojan tenure, guiding the program to 20 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and earning five Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards. Gallien has led the Trojans to three national semifinals and seven quarterfinals, most recently falling to eventual NCAA champions Vanderbilt in the 2015 semifinals.
USC also won four conference titles on Gallien’s watch, finishing in the national top 10 on 11 occasions to date. Four individual players won Pac-12 Player of the Year under him, and three doubles teams were named conference Doubles Team of the Year — including the duo of Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian, who won the NCAA doubles championship in 2013.
“I look forward to coaching our team through the postseason and finishing strong,” Gallien said. “And in the future, I will always be rooting for all the teams at USC.”
Since his arrival from Pepperdine in 1996, Gallien has compiled a 367-144 record at USC, though that record does not include seven vacated wins (and one win turned into a loss) from the 2010 NCAA sanctions levied against USC’s football, men’s basketball and women’s tennis programs for “lack of institutional control and extra benefits.” The tennis team’s penalty was self-imposed after former women’s tennis player Gabriela Niculescu made 123 unauthorized international calls to family members using an athletic department long-distance access code for a total cost of $7,000.
This season, the Trojans are 5-7, having snapped a four-match losing run on Wednesday with a home victory over Loyola Marymount. Gallien’s final match at Marks Stadium will come against his alma mater Pepperdine on April 19. He will then coach his final regular season contest against crosstown rival UCLA in Westwood three days later before preparing for the postseason.