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Thompson Tapped To Lead Gophers As Head Coach

June 16, 2017

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame women’s tennis assistant coach Catrina Thompson will make the next step in her career next season as the former three-time Irish All-American was introduced as the seventh head women’s tennis coach at the University of Minnesota on Friday.

Thompson has served as an assistant under head coach Jay Louderback for the past four seasons, helping the team qualify for the NCAA tournament each season and tutoring three NCAA individual qualifiers. Six players have earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition in Thompson’s tenure.

“We are very excited for Catrina in her move to the University of Minnesota,” Louderback said. “She has done an exceptional job for the University of Notre Dame and will be missed. The work ethic she had as a player has carried over into her coaching and I am looking forward to following her career at Minnesota.”

Prior to joining the Notre Dame staff, Thompson helped guide Boise State to a 13-10 record in 2013, earning ITA Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors. Boise State players received a total of six all-Mountain West Conference citations during Thompson’s tenure on head coach Beck Roghaar’s staff.

Thompson began her collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Yale University during the 2010-11 season. The Bulldogs posted a 22-5 record and claimed the 2011 Ivy League Championship, ultimately reaching the second round of that year’s NCAA Championship. Yale finished the season as the number 31 team in the final ITA rankings.

During her Irish career under Louderback, Thompson earned doubles All-American citations in three of her four seasons, playing alongside twin sister Christian. In 2005, the pair won the Riviera/ITA All-American Doubles Championship, while earning runner-up status in 2004 and 2006. She was also named the Most Outstanding Player for the BIG EAST Championships in 2005 and 2006. She still owns the Notre Dame record with 104 career doubles wins.

Following her collegiate playing career at Notre Dame, Thompson was a four-time doubles winner in professional events, claiming a pair of $10,000 tournaments (in St. Joseph, Missouri, and Wichita, Kansas) during the summer of 2006. Thompson added pro doubles victories in Tampico, Mexico, in 2007 and Houston, Texas, in 2008. A United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) certified teaching professional, Thompson also served as a tennis instructor at the Sutton East Tennis Club in New York City from 2008-11.


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.