April 19, 2024
UC Santa Cruz announced the hiring of head coaches for the men's tennis and women's basketball programs.

UC Santa Cruz has hired Ross Pytko as head coach for men’s tennis, the athletics department announced Tuesday.

Pytko, a former assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, becomes the sixth head coach in the program’s storied history. During his time in Cambridge, MIT qualified for the last four NCAA Division III Tournaments, and reached the Sweet 16 in 2023.

“I’m honored and thrilled to take over as the head coach at UC Santa Cruz,” Pytko told goslugs.com. “The Banana Slugs have such a strong history of success in men’s tennis and I’m so excited about the prospects of more great accomplishments on the court and in the classroom.”

Said Courtnie Prather, UCSC’s interim director of athletics and recreation: “Ross is a diligent recruiter with a proven track record of success on the court and in the classroom. He is a compassionate leader who is dedicated to the growth and development of student-athletes into champions.”

Pytko played four years at Boston College. He graduated in 2004 with a degree in psychology, and went on to earn a law degree from Suffolk University in Boston before beginning his coaching career.

Women’s basketball

Armstrong named head coach: Assistant coach Monica Armstrong was promoted to head coach of the Banana Slugs on Thursday. She takes over for Todd Kent, who retired earlier this month after 13 years at the helm.

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“Coach Armstrong’s exceptional basketball IQ and extensive recruiting network have proven invaluable in creating a highly competitive team environment,” said Courtnie Prather, UCSC’s interim director of athletics and recreation. “As a coach, she is committed to the comprehensive development of our student-athletes. We are confident that her leadership will elevate our program to the top of the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference.”

Armstrong has nearly two decades of coaching experience. She began her coaching career at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, where theMounties won six state titles in the 10 years she was on staff. She later served as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for five seasons.