Mark Ardizzone was announced as the Florida State women’s tennis team’s new associate head coach in the fall of 2019.
In his first season in Tallahassee, Ardizzone helped the Seminoles reach unprecedented new heights in 2020 reaching a program record-high ranking of No. 2 in the country. The Seminoles finished the 2020 season with a 14-3 record and seven ranked wins in 2020. Ardizzone also helped coach one of the top doubles pairs in the country as junior Petra Hule and freshman Victoria Allen were named ITA Doubles All-Americans. Florida State started the season with their first ranked win over No. 14 Washington (4-3) in Hawaii as the Seminoles started the season off 6-0. FSU tacked on their second, ranked win when the defeated No. 18 Texas A&M (4-0) in the final match of ITA Kick-Off Weekend to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships for the second time in program history. The Seminoles took down No. 15 UCF (4-3) before heading to Chicago for National Indoors, where the Seminoles would finish with a 2-1 record, including wins over No. 7 Texas (4-3) and No. 22 Georgia Tech (4-2).
Ardizzone would help lead the Seminoles to a 3-1 record in the COVID-19 shortened season. Florida State started 1-0 with a 4-3 win over Miami, before losing 4-3 to No. 1 North Carolina in a match that would go down to the wire. FSU would finish the season on a two-match ACC win streak with wins over No. 47 Clemson (5-2) and No. 10 Virginia (4-3).
Over the last two decades, Ardizzone led DePaul University women’s tennis to 16 consecutive winning seasons, four Big East Championship titles and appearing in five NCAA Tournaments. Off the court, he has instilled a high standard of academic integrity and community involvement in his student-athletes.
“I can’t put into words how excited I am to have Mark join our Florida State family! He brings such a rich knowledge base of the game and he is a proven recruiter and player developer and is amongst the finest coaches that exist in college tennis,” said Hyde. “He knows how to develop players and to motivate student-athletes in ways that result in tremendous progress, not just as competitors but as overall people, which is very important to the culture of our program. He is the absolute right fit to continue to push our program to even greater heights. We are abundantly lucky to have him become part of our program, I feel so blessed to have him be alongside our fantastic student-athletes and coaching staff this season.”
Ardizzone joins the Seminoles after 23 seasons as the head coach of the DePaul University women’s tennis program (1995-2019). As the winningest coach in program history, Ardizzone established himself as a mentor on and off the court. With a 364-204 overall record, he led the Blue Demons to five NCAA Tournament berths since 2010 and to four Big East Championships in the last six years. Ardizzone was named the ITA Midwest Coach of the year in 2010 and 2014 in addition to Big East Coach of the Year five times.
“I would like to thank coach Jen Hyde for giving me this wonderful opportunity to coach at a great school like Florida State. I want to continue the great tradition and take the program even farther,” said Ardizzone. “I’d also like to thank David Coburn, Vanessa Fuchs, Michelle Forte-Osbourne and Jim Curry. I’m honored to be a Nole and look forward to a great future at Florida State.”
An accomplished recruiter, Ardizzone has coached 50 all-conference players, two Big East Players of the Year, 14 nationally ranked singles players, seven nationally ranked doubles teams in the top 50 and four Big East Tournament Most Valuable Players.
“Mark Ardizzone is widely considered one of the best coaches in the country for the superb work he’s done in his decades-long career in the college game,” said Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis Head Coach Geoff MacDonald. “In addition to his coaching prowess and skill, Mark is known as one of the best citizens of the game and one of the most admired and well-liked people in the college game. I look forward to watching the Florida State women’s tennis team prosper and flourish as Mark works alongside head coach Jen Hyde.”
Ardizzone’s student-athletes lived up to his leadership on and off the court, collecting numerous awards for academic and athletic performance. In 20 of the last 22 years, his teams have been named ITA All-Academic teams. Ardizzone has coached student-athletes who have earned the ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship, the prestigious ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship and Big East Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award.
“Mark is everything right about college tennis,” said Northwestern University Women’s Tennis Head Coach Claire Pollard. “He is passionate about helping players explore how to grow as people and how to grow as a player. He is a tireless worker and brings an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. The Noles instantly improved getting Mark on board.”
Ardizzone went to DePaul from the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill. where he was the assistant coach for both men’s and women’s tennis teams. Before that, he was the assistant coach at Northwest Missouri State and served as the Director of Nike Tennis Camp in 1998.
As a player, Ardizzone was a two-year captain at Northwest Missouri State where he was nationally ranked in both singles and doubles. Off the court, he was an Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award winner and was awarded numerous scholarships. Prior to playing at NWMS, Ardizzone played two seasons at the College of DuPage.