When Patty McCain began her first head coaching position in 1997, she inherited a Washington program that was virtually unknown on the national collegiate women's tennis scene and had never produced an All-American. Seven NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 All-America certificates later, McCain has engineered Washington into one of the top programs in the nation.
Her individual coaching accolades speak for themselves: 2004 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year, two-time Northwest Region Coach of the Year, two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year. They are honors that can be added to her long list of accomplishments as a player herself; including a successful stint as a top-20 professional and a two-time NCAA Singles Champion at Stanford.
But for McCain, it is not the individual accolades that mean as much as the strides her Husky teams have taken. Seven straight NCAA appearances, three Sweet 16's and two Elite Eights. Four McCain products - Kristina Kraszewski, Claire Carter, Darija Klaic and Dea Sumantri - have combined for 12 All-America honors.
Last season, the Huskies climbed as high as fourth in the ITA national rankings, the highest rank in school history. McCain led her squad to its second-ever NCAA Elite Eight appearance, before being edged by Clemson in the quarters, 4-3. Sumantri became the first-ever Husky to earn both singles and doubles All-America honors in a single season. Carter also became the first four-time All-American in school history, earning a doubles nod with Sumantri.
The 2004 Huskies finished with an overall record of 21-6, the best in McCain's tenure as the UW head coach, and became the first in UW women's tennis history to be named ITA National Coach of the Year.
The 2003 season saw many great accomplishments for McCain, who guided her Huskies to a NCAA Round of 16 appearance and their highest final ranking in school history (sixth), earned her second Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor for the second time in three years, and was inducted into the Stanford Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as a collegiate player for the Cardinal.
That season, Washington tied for second in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 league record and finished the year with a 19-4 overall record. UW's postseason run featured wins over Southern and No. 25 Illinois, before falling to No. 11 UCLA in the Sweet 16. McCain's squad had three players earn All-America honors: Sumantri in singles and Carter and Klaic in doubles.
In 2002, the Huskies advanced as far as the NCAA Regional Final, ending the season with a No. 24 national ranking and a 14-11 overall record.
The 2001 squad registered one of the finest seasons in UW history, posting a 21-8 record, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals and finishing with a No. 11 final ITA ranking. The Huskies posted four wins over top-20 opponents, including victories over No. 5 California and a Sweet 16 triumph over No. 5 Tennessee. UW tied for second in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 mark.
Due to the impending birth of her daughter, Keegan, McCain did not travel to Stone Mountain, Ga. for the round of 16 and quarterfinals during that year. McCain was honored as the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and also received the Northwest Region Coach of the Year award.
The lofty national finish in 2001 was not a surprise, but rather the result of a consistent climb up the rankings for Washington since her arrival. The Huskies' final ITA ranking improved each season under McCain: No. 56 in 1998, No. 33 in 1999, No. 30 in 2000 , No. 11 in 2001 and No. 6 in 2003.
In 2000, Washington's 12-10 record led them to their fourth postseason appearance in as many years. McCain instilled a never-say-die attitude into her players, and the Dawgs responded. UW defeated five top-43 squads. McCain established the Huskies' motto for the 1997-98 season as "We Came To Play" and passed along to the players a confidence in themselves and an abhorrence for losing. The gutsy squad came within two points of upsetting 33rd-ranked Georgia Tech in the first round of the NCAA regional tournament. Individually, McCain tutored four-time NCAA singles competitor Kristina Kraszewski who earned three All-America honors (1998, 2000, 2001). Darija Klaic, a 2003 grad, and Claire Carter, a 2004 grad, became the first Husky doubles team to earn All-America honors in 2002, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals. The pair earned their second doubles All-America certificate in 2003. Carter also garnered All-America honors in singles as a freshman and doubles honors as a senior last year, making her the first four-time All-American in school history. Current senior Dea Sumantri earned singles All-America acclaim in 2003, and both singles and doubles honors in 2004.
McCain, formerly Fendick, brings to the Husky program outstanding playing credentials. While competing for the Cardinal from 1983-87, she was the 1986 and 1987 NCAA singles champion and helped lead Stanford to the NCAA team championship in 1984, 1986 and 1987, filling the No. 1 singles slot. McCain was a 1985 singles semifinalist and a 1987 doubles finalist. Her 57-match winning streak stood from 1987 until 2001.
McCain also earned a number of top honors as a collegian, including being named the MVP of the NCAA's All-Decade Team for tennis and Stanford's Player of the Decade, both of the 1980s. As a freshman she was named Rolex's Player to Watch, and as a senior captain she was Tennis Magazine's College Player of the Year. McCain also was the recipient of the Honda-Broderick Award for tennis and the Arthur Ashe Award for Sportsmanship.
Her career on the WTA Tour as a professional from 1987 to August 1995 was equally as impressive. She ranked as high as fourth in doubles and 19th in singles, winning 26 doubles titles and three singles championships. Six times she advanced to at least the round of 16 in a Grand Slam singles event, and she was a Grand Slam doubles semifinalist, finalist or champion nine times. McCain and former Husky assistant coach Jill Hultquist won several doubles titles on tour.
Many of McCain's victories on the tour came against legends and players who were recently ranked in the top 40 on the tour: Martina Navratilova, Jana Novotna, Mary Jo Fernandez, Zina Garrison, Brenda Schulz-McCarthy, Barbara Paulus, Sandrine Testud, Karina Habsudova, Lisa Raymond, Manuela Maleeva and Katarina Maleeva. She also represented the United States in the Federation Cup in 1988 and 1990, as well as in the Wightman Cup in 1988 and 1989.
She still actively competes at a high level, having reached the finals of the U.S. Open Master's mixed doubles competition in both 2000 and 2001.
McCain was recently named an elite athlete representative on the US TA Board of Directors. She also served on the ITA West Region committee and was elected to the USTA nominating committee. She was a member of the WTA Tour Players' Committee from 1991 to 1996, a member of its Disciplinary Committee from 1992 to 1995, and a member of its Ranking Committee in 1995. McCain has turned down several USTA development jobs so she can continue to lead the Husky program into national prominence. However, she is quite involved in helping her players to achieve world rankings and pursue tennis after their collegiate careers are over.
The Sacramento, Calif., native earned a bachelor's in psychology from Stanford in 1987 and is completing her thesis for a master's in education at St. Mary's (Calif.). She is married to Scott McCain, a former ATP Tour player and coach at California. The couple has two young daughters, Keegan, born May 23, 2001, and Hayley, born Dec. 17, 2002.