Julie Shropshire is not sure what to expect when practice begins a few weeks for the girls tennis season.
Shropshire was hired as the new Greenwich girls coach last week, taking over for Neal Feinberg, who resigned at the end of last season as head coach of the Cardinals.
When Shropshire gets to the first day of practice she will be inheriting a team that did not play last spring and will look completely different from the last Greenwich team to play in the spring of 2019.
“We not only lost the 2019 seniors but the 2020 seniors who never got a season,” Shropshire said. “This is a good year to start for me because everyone is coming in fresh. It will be a challenging year to start because we are building a new team with very few returning players. This year we will start to build a successful program. We will work on conditioning, sportsmanship, ethics and being a proud member of Greenwich High School.”
Shropshire said there is plenty of interest and she expects to have a large number of players trying out.
Shropshire has had decades of experience playing and coaching the sport of tennis. She played No. 1 singles throughout her high school career and continued to play at Stony Brook University, where she received multiple honors, including being inducted into their Hall of Fame.
After receiving degrees in Mathematics and Economics, Shropshire worked at UBS and has lived in London, Zurich and Singapore.
She began teaching tennis to younger children at the University of Virginia and began coaching high school tennis since 2019. She has been on the Greenwich High School Coaching staff for several years, as the junior varsity boys tennis coach and as an assistant skiing coach.
She can often be found on the tennis, paddle or squash courts in Greenwich, still competing at a high level herself.
“I am looking to bring some creativity to the program. I’m not looking at making a lot of changes because this has been a very successful program for a long time,” Shropshire said. “I will be working on laying the foundation of a program that we can hopefully build on every year. Our main focus is for the kids to have fun. We have a jam-packed schedule and there should be a lot of opportunities for these kids to play after missing all last spring.”
Greenwich last won the FCIAC team title in in 2012, marking the fourth league title in six years.
They last state title came in 2009, capping a four-year run as champions. The Cardinals were state runner-up in 2010, 2012 and 2016.