FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh announced on Wednesday that Jen Gabou will step away from her position as women’s tennis head coach. Gabou has spent the last five years leading the program through the transition from Division II to Division I, guiding the Green and Blue to back-to-back Atlantic Sun Tournament appearances in the first two years of postseason eligibility.
“I want to thank Jennifer for her numerous contributions to FGCU Athletics over the course of her five year tenure. From elevating our team to record levels on the court to likewise performances in the classroom and with their community service initiatives, she has certainly left our Eagles Women’s Tennis program in tremendous shape across-the-board. In particular, we would like to recognize Coach Gabou for her significant role in establishing the Annual Spring Bling event at the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. We now wish her and her family all the best as they pursue new endeavors.”
Gabou most recently led FGCU to its second straight double-digit win season that featured a program D1 record 11 victories and another trip to the A-Sun postseason. The record-setting campaign came on the heels of the program’s first postseason eligible season in 2011-12 in which FGCU earned the No. 3 seed in the A-Sun Tournament with a 6-3 mark and advanced to the semifinals following its first win in its first-ever postseason match.
A former Division I National Champion at the University of Florida, Gabou’s influence helped produce 10 A-Sun All-Conference selections over the five seasons, but also extended outside the playing surface, evident by 40 A-Sun All-Academic selections. Of the 40 A-Sun All-Academic selections, 30 of them were also ITA Scholar Athletes, while three players landed on the first two A-Sun Academic All-Conference squads starting in 2012.
The Eagles coupled their program Division I record 11 wins in 2012-13 with an FGCU record-breaking 3.78 spring GPA, the highest GPA ever recorded by a team in a semester. The 3.78 team GPA marked the fifth straight year the women’s tennis program has had the highest mark in at least one semester during the academic year.
Gabou’s fingerprints will always be left on Southwest Florida, as her team completed over 1,500 hours of community service, highlighted by the creation of the annual Spring Bling event. Hosted at the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and created in 2010, the “Spring Bling” is an annual VIP evening for children with life-threatening illnesses in Southwest Florida.
“In the five years since taking over a team that was transitioning from Division II to Division I, I am proud of all that we accomplished on the court, in the classroom, and within the community of Southwest Florida,” Gabou said.