ITA On-Serve With Amanda Augustus
By Dan Johnson, ITA Director of Communications & Marketing
Though her career has included some world travel and other domestic stops along the way, there’s really only been one place Amanda Augustus has called home, and that’s on the campus of California University, Berkeley.
Augustus excelled as a player for the Golden Bears, winning two NCAA National Championships in doubles with Amy Jensen. The duo were named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Century for their accomplishments.
After several years of playing professional tennis, Augustus transitioned into coaching, and that’s what she continues to do to this day. Now in her 11th year at the helm of her alma mater, the Golden Bears are consistency among the best teams in the country.
In 2016, Cal started the year 19-0 and won the program’s first-ever ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Augustus would go on to be named the Wilson/ITA Division I Women’s National Coach of the Year that season. While the 2018 campaign is young, Augustus and the No. 34 Golden Bears figure to be in the discussion for the Pac-12 conference title yet again.
Question: When you take a step back and look at your career up to this point, what are you most proud of?
Answer: There’s two things. One is that we have had a 100% graduation rate since I’ve been coach. I’m an alum and graduated with two degrees, and I believe you can perform in the classroom and on the courts at a high level. The second thing I’m proud of is bringing our first team national championship (2016 ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship).
Q: Stanford’s Lele Forood, UCLA’s Stella Sampras-Webster and Arizona State’s Sheila McInerney are just a few examples of the great women’s tennis coaches in the Pac-12. What is it like competing against them?
A: We’ve always had a lot of respect for each other. We’re competitive, but respect what everyone is doing. A lot of coaches in our conference were coaching when I played, so I’ve known them for a long time.
Q: How would you describe your coaching style?
A: I try to be about consistency. We want people to come into our program and from Day One, get a feel for our culture and traditions, and understand that those don’t come without hard work and dedication. As a player, I was even-tempered. I’m very competitive, but I try to be a consistent voice for the players, and hopefully that helps them.
Q: As someone that went from college tennis to the professional circuit, what would you say prepared you the most about that transition?
A: Being on the professional tour is a full-time job. What’s great about college is that you learn time management and how to make choices, while still developing socially. I was glad I got my degree first, because I was able to appreciate the (pro tour) experience and was more successful because of it.
Q: You and Amy Jensen were named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Century. What was your reaction when you heard that?
A: It’s such an amazing honor. Coming into the conference as a player, there were so many players I looked up to. I was driven to win national championships, conference championships and to always do the best for my team and teammates.
Q: You have a couple of former players (Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr) on your current coaching staff. How important is it to you to serve as a mentor?
A: It’s an important part of what I do as a coach. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t of had people that supported and helped me get to where I’m at. I still think there aren't that many female coaches in our sport and if I can help other women get into the profession, that’s great.