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Longtime Linfield College women’s tennis coach and NCAA Compliance Officer Amy Dames Smith has announced her resignation after 10 highly successful years.
Dames Smith, the longest tenured and most successful women’s tennis coach in Linfield history, is stepping down to accept a new role as Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance and Academics at Concordia University of Portland.
Linfield Director of Tennis Carl Swanson, who leads the men’s program, will serve as interim women’s coach until a permanent plan is determined, Linfield director of athletics Scott Carnahan said.
Dames Smith guided the Wildcats to six Northwest Conference championships in the span of 10 seasons, including five straight crowns from 2004 until 2008. Three of her squads advanced to the NCAA regional playoffs, reaching the second round twice.
During her first five seasons, Linfield did not drop a single NWC contest, part of a record 108 conference match win streak. She departs with an overall win-loss record of 159-54, including a staggering in-conference record of 143-9.
A former college tennis player and a 1999 graduate of the University of Portland, she also seamlessly managed Linfield’s compliance office.
“Amy has had a dramatic impact during her tenure at Linfield, both in women’s tennis and keeping Linfield in full compliance with NCAA Division III rules and standards,” said Carnahan. “Beyond wins and losses, Amy has been the most congenial and collegial person we could have ever imagined having as our compliance director. In her time, she has dealt with some very difficult situations with grace and integrity.”
“When I was hired, I was a couple years out of college and since then, I have kind of grown up at Linfield over the course of 10 years - getting married and starting a family,” Dames Smith said, reflecting on her time at Linfield. “Looking back, I am so grateful to Scott Carnahan and Carl Swanson for extending me the opportunity to begin my career in college athletics at Linfield.”
With Dames Smith guiding the Linfield women’s tennis program, the Wildcats became the NWC’s premier program.
“My fondest memories will always be the ones spent with the team – whether it was a hard-fought victory under the lights on our home courts, or long road trips to Spokane - they're precious memories.”
Under Dames Smith, Linfield produced five Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Americans and three NWC Players of the Year.
“I have had the honor and privilege to coach some amazing young women during my career and know that each and every one of them will go on to achieve great things because of who they are and what the Linfield experience provides.
Amy and her husband, Kenton, live in Southwest Portland with their daughter, Riley, 6.
“Looking ahead, I am excited to launch into collegiate athletics administration full time at Concordia and be closer to my home in Portland. I know my experiences at Linfield have prepared me well for what lays ahead.”
“It’s going to be difficult to find anyone who will likely have an impact to match the magnitude of Amy’s contributions to Linfield,” said Carnahan. “She is going to be sorely missed.”