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West Liberty University Tennis Coach Sam McCullough Calls It a Career

Tennis coach ends 15-year run leading the Hilltoppers

WEST LIBERTY — Veteran West Liberty University men’s tennis coach Sam McCullough has announced his retirement after more than two decades of coaching on the hilltop.

“There is no question that Sam will be missed by his many friends and co-workers at the university,” athletics director Lynn Ullom said. “He is a man of great character who consistently produced championship-level teams on and off the court throughout his tenure.”

McCullough spent several years as an assistant under former WLU tennis coach Jim Crutchfield before taking over the head coaching reins in 2005 when Crutchfield was named head men’s basketball coach at the university.

The soft-spoken McCullough kept the Hilltoppers in the spotlight, leading them to seven NCAA Division II Tournament bids, four conference championships and four conference tournament title matches during his 15-year run.

McCullough saved one of his best coaching jobs for last as his final WLU squad, featuring one returning letterman, reeled off six straight wins at midseason and rose as high as No. 6 in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region rankings before falling to top-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan in the semifinals MEC Tournament.

In addition to their on-court success, McCullough’s squads also excelled in the classroom. His Hilltoppers earned national ITA All-Academic Team honors nine times during his tenure with numerous players achieving significant individual honors.

“We are so thankful and appreciative of Sam’s long-time service and commitment to the university and our men’s tennis program,” Ullom said. “We wish him nothing but the best in his well-earned retirement and hope to see him back on campus many times in the future as a fan and supporter.”

A nationwide search for McCullough’s successor is already underway.

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