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Nevolo, Folland Ready to Lead SMU Women to New Heights

Jeff Nevolo had his eyes on Southern Methodist University long before the athletic administrators had their eyes on him.

Nevolo always considered the SMU women’s program to be a sleeping giant. The former South Carolina associate coach had some extra insight on the school because his in-laws attended SMU as did South Carolina coach Kevin Epley.

SMU Coaches Jeff Nevolo and Brigit Folland

If the job at the Dallas-based university every opened, Nevolo knew he would jump at the chance to get an interview.

“Kevin and I always talked about how we thought it could be a great place to coach. It’s a school that I think can be in the top 25 and has amazing facilities in a big-time growing city,” said Nevolo, the 2018 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. “There are just so many positives, and it seemed like a great place to get a head coaching job.”

Nevolo will be putting that theory into practice. He was named the new SMU women’s head coach earlier this month. It’s one of many big life changes for Nevolo. He and his wife, Diana, are expecting their second child on July 29th.

Obtaining his first head coaching job in college tennis completes a dream Nevolo first envisioned 11 years ago as a graduate assistant for legendary men’s coach Bill Richards at Ball State. Nevolo was making a $7,800 stipend and living in the basement of a frat house.

“My dad gave me the best advice. He said to treat it like I was making $280,000,” Nevolo said. “His message was to do whatever they ask and then do some more. That is really the only way I feel in this industry you are going to make it.”

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Page updated on Monday, March 09, 2020
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