Erica Perkins beings her second year as head coach for the Michigan State women's tennis program. Perkins came to East Lansing from William and Mary where she served as an assistant coach. Her coaching tenure also includes a stint as head coach at Georgia Southern, following an outstanding college career at Washington State. Perkins has been a part of six of the last 10 NCAA Championships either as a student-athlete or a coach.
In her first season with the Spartans, Perkins led MSU to a 12-11 overall record (2-8, Big Ten). The Spartans picked up conference victories against Illinois and Wisconsin. The Green and White played Penn State in the Big Ten Championship, falling in the first round 4-2.
Perkins' premier season established athletic as well as academic standards for MSU. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association recognized MSU women's tennis as an ITA All-Academic Team and also honored three student-athletes with Scholar-Athlete honors. Awards given to programs and individuals exhibiting excellence in the classroom.
During the 2006-07 season, Perkins also graduated from the NCAS Women Coaches Academy in December 2006. The NCAA Women Coaches Academy provides skills training for coaches at all levels to assist them in being more efficient, productive, resourceful and successful. The academy is designed for women coaches who are ready and willing to increase their individual effectiveness by learning advanced skills and strategies that directly affect their personal and team success.
"Erica Perkins is an excellent addition to the Spartan family as our new women's tennis coach," said Ron Mason, former MSU Director of Athletics. "She was able to separate herself from a field of quality candidates with her athletic background and coaching experience, both as an assistant and a head coach. She has experienced great success as an athlete and a coach, both on the court and in the classroom, and is a perfect choice to lead our women's tennis program as it continues to grow."
"I am ecstatic to be the women's tennis coach at Michigan State," said Perkins. "Being part of a storied athletic tradition and the opportunity to coach in an elite tennis conference is a true honor. The tennis facilities are top-rate and a wonderful showcase for the University. I look forward to working with a talented and hard-working core of returning student-athletes. I am confident we can make big strides in the Big Ten and on the national scene. I am excited to join the Spartan family and getting to know the local tennis community."
In two seasons as assistant coach at William and Mary, Perkins helped the Tribe to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2004-05, W&M finished the season with a 20-6 record and a No. 20 ITA Ranking, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championships. During the season, Perkins worked extensively with the All-America doubles team of Candice Fuchs and Megan Moulton-Levy. This past season, William and Mary finished with a 16-9 record, ranked No. 27 in the final ITA Rankings and No. 2 in the East Regional and made an appearance in the NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championships. Perkins instructed Moulton-Levy, who won the national ITA Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship and finished the year ranked No. 1 in the East Regional and No. 13 nationally. Moulton-Levy advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championship, becoming W&M's first All-American since 1998.
At William and Mary, Perkins' administrative duties included equipment budgeting and ordering, travel budgeting and planning, coordinating match scheduling, recruiting and fostering growth of the booster club, including club mailings and database management.
Prior to her stint at William and Mary, Perkins served for two seasons as head coach at Georgia Southern (2002-2004). In her first season in Statesboro, Ga., she led the Eagles to a 10-9 record and the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament, while coaching the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and the Southern Conference Sportsmanship Award Winner. In 2004, Georgia Southern posted a 12-12 record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the SoCon Tournament.
As a head coach, Perkins stressed the importance of academics. The Eagles were recognized as an ITA All-Academic Team in both 2003 and 2004, posting a 3.54 team GPA in 2003 and a 3.52 GPA in 2004.
Perkins played college tennis at Washington State, where she helped lead her team to the NCAA Championships four times, while earning spots in the NCAA Individual Championships in singles three times (1999, 2001 and 2002) and doubles in 2002. A three-time Pac-10 second-team selection, she was nationally ranked as high as 34th in singles and 11th in doubles during her career. Perkins is the only player in school history to compete in four NCAA Team Championships, the only player to compete in the prestigious ITA National Indoor Championships and the first Cougar to participate in the NCAA Singles Championship. She was selected as a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2002 and earned ITA Scholar-Athlete honors three times.
An outstanding player at University Prep High School in Seattle, Perkins was named her high school's athlete of the year all four years and was a four-time Washington State A/B champion.
Perkins graduated with honors from Washington State in 2001 with a degree in history and a minor in French, before earning her masters degree in athletic administration from WSU in 2003.