Lele Forood

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Lele Forood was the high school state champion in Florida before becoming a student at Stanford in 1974. She became a pro tennis player after her sophomore year in college, but then returned to Stanford University and graduated in 1979. After graduating, Forood worked in Paris as a tennis promoter. Upon her return to the United States, she was hired as an assistant coach at Stanford. 13 years later, Frank Brennan retired as head coach and Forood took his place. Forood’s experience as an assistant coach prepared her well for her role as head coach years later. Her coaching career at Stanford University has been unbelievably successful. The women's tennis team has achieved an overall record of 233-15 under Forood's coaching.[1]

College years[edit]

Lele Forood enrolled as a freshman at Stanford University in 1974. Tennis at the university then was completely different than it is now. Women and men did not play together and the women played on courts on an entirely different side of campus. Forood did not spend much time at the university. She turned pro during her sophomore year in college. Considering she was not attending on a scholarship and had to pay tuition herself, she had to make money somehow. While she returned to Stanford to finish her education, she did not play tennis during her last two years of schooling.

While playing at Stanford, she was named an All-American in 1976. She also was a “National Collegiate singles finalist as a freshman and a semifinalist during her sophomore campaign in leading Stanford to two second place national finishes”.[1][2]

Coaching career[edit]

Lele Forood is most noted for her incredibly successful 10 year coaching career at Stanford University. Before being promoted to associate head coach in 2000, Forood spent 10 years as assistant coach under Frank Brennan”.[1]

Her coaching career at Stanford is full of notable accomplishments and numerable championships. The team has also accomplished an 89 match winning streak spanning across three seasons (2004–2006). The home court winning streak at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium “dates back to the 1999 season and is recognized as the longest active home winning streak of any intercollegiate sport in NCAA Division I history”.[1]

Awards and Accomplishments[edit]

Year Record NCAA Results
2001 30-0, 8-0 Pac-10 NCAA Champions
2002 27-1, 8-0 Pac-10 NCAA Champions
2003 25-2, 8-0 Pac-10 NCAA Runner-Up
2004 29-0, 8-0 Pac-10 NCAA Champions
2005 27-0, 7-0 Pac-10 Champions NCAA Champions
2006 30-0, 8-0 Pac-10 Champions NCAA Champions
2007 24-2, 8-0 Pac-10 Champions NCAA Semifinals
2008 22-5, 7-1 Pac-10 NCAA Quarterfinals
2009 19-5, 6-2 Pac-10 NCAA Round of 16


In 1975, Forood became the national amateur singles and doubles champion. She traveled with the women’s professional tour and ranked as high as 30th. In 1976, she competed with Rachel Giscafre in the U.S. Open. Together they reached the doubles semifinals. Just one year later, again at the U.S. Open, she proved herself by defeating Wimbledon Champion Virginia Wade. Not only was she recognized domestically, but was also recognized internationally as well. Forood won gold in singles and doubles in the 1975 Pan American Games.[1]

“Forood was a member of the Board of Women's Tennis Association from 1979-1987 and served as its secretary-treasurer from 1983-87. She has been extremely active in promoting WTA events, and was the recipient of the prestigious WTA Player Service Award in 1983. After the tour and before coming back to Stanford, she promoted the first professional women's tour event in France from 1986-1988 at Strasbourg”.[1]

Before becoming head coach, Forood was the assistant coach at Stanford and recognized as the ITA Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1997. During her time as head coach, Stanford appeared at the NCAA tournament every year since she began coaching in 2001. Her teams have won five of the nine championship titles they have competed for. With her win in 2001, Forood became the first female coach to win the NCAA team title.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lele Forood > profile". Stanford Official Athletic Site. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Whiting, Sam (14 May 2006). "Tennis Pro: What has Lele Forood learned in 17 years coaching at Stanford?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 May 2010.