ST. JOSEPH – Missouri Western State University director of athletics Josh Looney announced the hiring of Olaya Garrido-Rivas as head women’s tennis coach.
Garrido-Rivas comes to Missouri Western after two seasons as an assistant women’s tennis coach at NCAA Division I member Middle Tennessee State. The native of Gijon, Asturias, Spain was a second team All-Big 12 selection as a women’s tennis student-athlete at Texas Christian University in 2017 and was named the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Newcomer of the Year in 2016 after transferring to TCU from the University of South Florida.
“Olaya is going to infuse our women’s tennis program with energy, enthusiasm and competitiveness,” Looney said. “She was a high-level collegiate player and has been influenced by impressive mentors that will benefit her, as well as current and future women’s tennis student-athletes at Missouri Western. We are fired up for Olaya to take the reins of Griffon Tennis and join our family of coaches.”
At Middle Tennessee, Garrido-Rivas helped the team jump 121 spots in the ITA rankings during her first season. Since graduating from Middle Tennessee with a master’s in leisure and sport management, Garrido-Rivas had been working as an instructor with the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity. I would like to thank Josh Looney, Eric Kramer, Theresa Grosbachand Regan Rodd for their hospitality and help during the process, and to the rest of the athletic staff for their kindness these past days,” Garrido-Rivas said. “Missouri Western is a great institution in a great city with an athletic department that is committed to help the tennis program succeed. I am so excited to start working with the girls and the community to accomplish great things. During my college tennis days I experienced some of the best moments in my life and grew a lot as a person and as a tennis player. I’m excited to help others to do the same.”
Garrido-Rivas was named second team All-Big 12 doubles as a senior after posting a 17-9 overall record along with an 18-9 mark in singles play at TCU. She was also a second team Academic All-Big 12 selection that season. As a junior at TCU she was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, posting more than 20 wins across doubles and singles action. In two seasons at USF, Garrido-Rivas posted 36 wins across singles and doubles and was named to the American Athletic All-Conference team as a freshman.
“Olaya is a very committed individual in all aspects of her life,” said Lee Taylor Walker, TCU head women’s tennis coach. “Whether it’s in relationships, academics, work, fitness, or tennis, the standard is always high and her desired outcome of being the best is predetermined and maintained throughout. With Olaya’s leadership, Missouri Western has no other option but to succeed at a high level. She will always be part of our Frog Family and my own personal family. I look forward to watching her grow and develop young people.”
She received her bachelor’s in communications studies with a minor in general business from TCU in 2017.