A bi-weekly series with an eye towards the 2015 NCAA Tennis Championships.
In 2006, Winterbotham, named ITA/Wilson Mountain Region Coach of the Year and Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year, led Colorado to a 20-9 record, its first 20-win season since 1996-97, the team's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1988 and a final ITA ranking of No. 23, a school best. Prior to the 2004-05 campaign when they climbed as high as No. 43, the Buffs had not been ranked that high since the 1995-96 season.
In addition, the 2006 Buffs posted a third-place finish in the Big 12 standings as Colorado recorded its most conference wins since 1998 at 5-2. In his four seasons at Colorado, Winterbotham's teams posted a 42-56 record. Under Winterbotham, the Buffs continually climbed up the Big 12 ladder, finishing sixth in 2003 and 2004, fifth in 2005 and third in 2006.
"Baylor tennis is extremely fortunate and proud to welcome Sam and his family back to Waco. He was the best assistant in the country when he left here in 2002 and his great work as a head coach at Colorado bears that out. Our players and our community will benefit tremendously from his presence and expertise," said Matt Knoll, Baylor's Director of Tennis and men's head coach.
Prior to his stint in Boulder, Winterbotham spent the previous three years at Baylor, two seasons as a full-time assistant (2000-2002) and one as a volunteer coach (1999-00). During that time he helped the Bears become a national power in the collegiate game. In addition to assisting the Bears with the day-to-day operation, Winterbotham had a hand in recruiting one of the best teams in the nation that eventually won the first team national championship in Baylor history as the Bears were crowned 2004 NCAA champions.
While at Baylor, Winterbotham was named the 2002 Region VI Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Bears win the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament. Baylor advanced to the 2002 NCAA Sweet 16 and finished the season ranked seventh nationally.
Prior to his stint at Baylor, Winterbotham attended Oklahoma Christian University (OCU) in Oklahoma City where he was a four-year NAIA All-American and ranked No. 1 nationally. In 1997 he won top honors as the NAIA Rolex national singles champion.
At OCU, Winterbotham also was the 1999 Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Year in soccer, where he was named to the all-region first team and honorable mention All-America team. He graduated in April 1999 with a degree in marketing and was honored as OCU's 1999 international business student of the year.
A native of Stoke on Trent, Great Britain, Winterbotham is a certified Lawn Tennis Association Tennis Professional. As a player, he played numerous professional tournaments at the Future/Satellite level and was ranked as one of the top juniors in Great Britain.
Born Oct 1, 1973, he is married to the former Tara McClure, a native of Asher, Okla. The Winterbothams have two daughters, Zoe and Ryann.