Dasso named Furman’s head coach

GREENVILLE, South Carolina — Duke Women’s Tennis Associate Head Coach Michelle Dasso was named the head coach of Furman University women’s tennis on Monday, as announced by Furman University athletic director Jason Donnelly.

Dasso has been an associate women’s head coach at Duke since 2019, where she helped the Blue Devils finish fourth in the final ITA National Rankings in the spring of 2022. She also has head coaching experience at Campbell and Illinois.

“Furman Athletics is honored to present Michelle Dasso as our new head coach for women’s tennis,” Donnelly said. We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to our Furman family and look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that has been established for Furman women’s tennis.”

Under Dasso’s help, the Duke women’s tennis team has posted a 52-13 record over the past three seasons. The Blue Devils won the 2022 ACC Tournament, reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tag Team Tournament last season and set a program record with six ITA All-Americans in 2021.

Prior to her time at Duke, Dasso served as head coach at Campbell during the 2018-19 season, where she led the Camels to the Big South Tournament semifinals and coached two all-conference first-team selections. The team also did well in the classroom, leading all Campbell programs with a 3.68 GPA.

“I am thrilled to join the Furman family and I owe Jason Donnelly enormous gratitude for the trust he has shown in me,” Dasso said. “I am also very grateful to Drew Ingraham and the entire search committee for their valuable time. Furman’s two previous head coaches, Adam Herendeen and Debbie Southern, were nothing short of sensational and set the bar extremely high. I have had the privilege of meeting the team already and know that we will be a determined group of competitors who will compete with integrity.We look forward to hosting the ever-strong Debbie Southern Fall Classic in a few weeks.

Illinois’ head coach from 2006 to 2016, Dasso led the unranked program to its first NCAA tournament appearance in four years in just his second year on staff. Prior to his arrival, the Fighting Illini finished second-to-last in the Big Ten, and within three seasons of Dasso’s hiring, Illinois ranked among the league’s top three teams. His teams consistently produced All-Big Ten selections and under Dasso’s leadership, Illinois players earned the program’s first All-America honors in 20 years. The only female collegiate coach to represent the Concours international collégiale de Poitier, France, in 2008 (4th place) and 2009 (1st place), she recruited the fourth best recruiting class in the country in 2010.

Dasso has previous experience as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, where she was honored as the 2006 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year, and at Northwestern.

A Notre Dame tennis star from 1998-2001, Dasso was the first four-time ITA All-American in school history after being honored as an All-American for singles and doubles in 1999 and 2001. The 2001 ITA National Senior Player of the Year, she concluded her senior season ranked fifth nationally in singles and ninth in doubles and received the 2001 Gladys Heldman Award, which is given annually to the country’s top senior based for his athletic, academic, athletic and community service achievements, and the 2001 Francis Patrick O’Connor Award, which honors the student-athlete who best displays the true spirit of Notre Dame through their contribution and inspiration to its teams.

A native of Long Grove, Illinois, Dasso earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing from Notre Dame in 2001. She competed as a professional on the WTA Tour from 2001 to 2003, where she won tournaments in Harrisonburg , Virginia. , and Raleigh, NC, and was a finalist in El Paso, Texas, and Greenville, SC


(Press release provided by Furman)

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