Debbie De Almeida will be in her sixth season as head tennis coach in 2010-11. She is a 1997 Evangel graduate and received her master’s degree from Missouri State University in 2005. In addition to her coaching duties De Almeida also teaches Spanish and Reading for Springfield Public Schools and is currently with Hickory Hills Middle School.
Even though Evangel did not have an active tennis program when she attended EU, De Almeida remained dedicated to the sport. She played in the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) in Philadelphia, Pa., from age seven through her senior year in high school. De Almeida’s team won several NJTL-sponsored tournaments as well as achieving her own individual accomplishments. In the early 1990s, De Almeida played at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center, where she was coached by various tennis professionals including a Swedish Davis Cup coach. She played in numerous league matches and tournaments sponsored by the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center with players from across southeastern Pennsylvania and south New Jersey.
When De Almeida started as head coach at Evangel, she took over an EU tennis roster filled with young players. The program has started to reap the rewards of De Almeida’s recent recruiting classes as well as her coaching expertise as talented players have begun to see Evangel tennis as a place where they can take their game to the next level. In the fall of 2010, she guided the first players in program history to advance to the ITA National Championships as Marcela Rosales won the Central-West regional tournament and Rosales and Maria Martinez won the doubles title. In addition, her players went a combined 15-7 in the event, another all-time best for the program.