Ilene Weintraub ‘02CC enters her eighth season at the helm of the Columbia women's tennis program in 2014-15. Weintraub is the sixth head coach of women’s tennis in the 25-year history of the program at Columbia and has revitalized a program that won the first Ivy League title in 2013.
The 2014 ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year, Weintarub led the Lions to within one match of repeating as conference champions. Despite narrowly missing that feat, Columbia's overall 16-4 record and top-40 national ranking earned it the first at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament in program history. Individually, Weintraub coached four All-Ivy League selections, highlighted by singles and doubles first team selection Kanika Vaidya.
The 2013 season saw the Lions go 13-5 overall and 6-1 in Ivy League play. The 13 wins tied the most in program history set just one year before, with many of the victories in 2013 coming against highly touted competition. Highlight wins from the season include: beating No. 42 Kansas State, the highest ranked opponent Columbia has ever defeated, downing Harvard for the second time ever in program history and sweeping Princeton in the regular season finale to ensure a share of the Ivy League Championship with Yale.
Nicole Bartnik '13CC repeated as the Ivy League Player of the Year, going 13-0 in conference matches her final two seasons. Bartnik was also recognized as the ITA Northeast Region Senior of the Year. Also winning post-season awards were: Bianca Sanon (All-Ivy League first team, doubles and singles), Kanika Vaidya (All-Ivy League first team doubles, second team singles, ITA NE Region Rookie of the Year) and Crystal Leung (All-Ivy League second team doubles).
In 2012, Columbia posted a 13-6 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the Ivy League. Both were historic feats. The 13 wins were the most by a Columbia women's tennis team in school history and the 4-3 Ivy League record was also the best mark in school history.
Bartnik was a unanimous choice for Ivy League Player of the Year after a brilliant 2012 season in which she went undefeated in Ivy League play at the No. 1 singles spot. Bartnik was joined by Bianca Sanon '14CC (second team All-Ivy, singles) and Sanon and Tiana Takenaga '14CC (second team All-Ivy doubles) on the postseason awards list.
Weintraub returned to Columbia after she was the head women's tennis coach at Seton Hall. During Weintraub’s tenure at Seton Hall, the Pirates went 38-27 over three seasons with a 17-12 Big East record, and made three Big East Tournament appearances.
Weintraub wasted no time in making her mark on the Seton Hall program. Despite being hired in December of 2004, three months after the 2004-05 season began, Weintraub led the Pirates to a 14-5 spring dual match record, 7-2 in the Big East, and a sixth-place finish at the Big East Tournament in just her first season. It was the first time that the Pirates had been to the postseason in five years.
Prior to her stint at Seton Hall, Weintraub served as an assistant coach at Columbia, where she assisted with recruiting and on-court instruction from 2002-04, immediately following her playing career.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater and coach at one of the best universities in the world,” Weintraub said after her hire. “This is more than a job to me. This is my team and my school, and I know that there is no limit to what the Columbia women’s tennis program can achieve.”
Weintraub was a four-year letterwinner and two-time captain for the Lions, earning second team All-Ivy League distinction in doubles in 1999 and 2000.
Weintraub has also worked as the head assistant tennis pro at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., as an assistant tennis pro at Willowbrook Swim and Tennis Club in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., and at West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. In the summer of 2004, she was named the head tennis pro at the Old Field Club in Setauket, N.Y.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in theater from Columbia in 2002 and serves as the artistic director of Downstage Eye Music Theater, a non-profit, off-Broadway theater company.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Weintraub earned the prestigious Pegasus Award recognizing New York City’s top high school women’s tennis athlete in 1998. She resides in Manhattan.