Ashworth adds Daniel Leitner as assistant coach
DURHAM- Duke women’s tennis head coach Jamie Ashworth announced the addition of Daniel Lei as an assistant coach.
Leitner comes to Duke after spending the past five seasons at Iowa where he helped the Hawkeyes make exceptional progress for the program.
“What a great opportunity for us to be able to have someone like Danny here and be part of the Duke tennis family,” Ashworth said. “Danny comes highly recommended by coaches, officials and others in the tennis industry. We are delighted to have his knowledge and expertise and can’t wait to get started. He will be a great addition to us and to our program. the girls will benefit incredibly from him on the pitch.”
Ahead of the 2021-22 campaign with Iowa, Leitner was elevated to associate coach, having spent the previous four seasons as program coordinator.
“I’m thrilled to be at Duke and excited to get started,” Leitner said. “The Duke program speaks for itself and I’m excited to continue what Jamie has done here, hopefully continue to build on the success and see how far we can go.”
In 2021-22, Leitner helped Iowa sophomore Alexa Noel achieve third place in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s national rankings, the highest ranking by a student-athlete in the history of the program. The Summit, New Jersey native has won seven games this fall, including a win over the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the nation. Noel was a runner-up at the ITA US Championships and a semi-finalist at the ITA Fall Nationals.
In addition to his coaching duties, Leitner has been instrumental in all aspects of Iowa’s program, including coordinating the successful 2021 ITA Women’s Central Regional Championships in Iowa City, which was attended by representatives from 29 different institutions.
“For me, I would say I’m more comfortable on the court and helping young girls develop,” Leitner said. “I’m committed to building relationships and helping every student-athlete get the best out of themselves. And in doing that, I try to help the team be successful.”
In 2021, Leitner helped lead the Hawkeyes through a record-breaking season. Iowa finished 2021 with a 12-6 overall record and a 12-4 Big Ten record, the best conference record in program history. Iowa finished its 2021 season ranked 41st in the final ITA standings and reached No. 37 for the season, the highest team ranking since 2011. Noel, a freshman, was selected to compete in the 2021 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships. in Orlando, Fla. Noel won automatic Big Ten qualification, becoming the third player in program history to make the singles draft and the first All-American in program history. Noel finished the season 24-1 as he competed at the No. 1 singles position.
Leitner joined the Hawkeyes from Middle Tennessee State, where he served as an assistant coach for the MTSU men’s team for two seasons.
While at Middle Tennessee State, Leitner helped the Blue Raiders reach 49th in the nation. Nine of its players earned recognition from all conferences, and the team won the MTSU Manager’s Cup award for community service working with local schools. In 2016, MTSU earned the No. 25 recruiting class in the nation.
Leitner graduated from MTSU with a Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Management in May 2017. He played collegiately at South Alabama before graduating in 2015. As a student-athlete, he was named a player of the Sun Belt conference in 2014 and 2015. He was a four-time all-conference first-team winner and reached No. 49 in the national singles rankings.
As a senior in 2015, he was named Southern Alabama Male Student-Athlete of the Year and regional winner of the ITA Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award.
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