Seth Polansky
Sports Information Coordinator

Xavier College Prep tennis coach Martin passes away

June 7, 2022 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365


Laurie Martin spent 17 years as the head coach at Xavier College Preparatory. (Xavier Prep photo)

Press release courtesy of Xavier College Prep.

Phoenix, Arizona (June 7): Xavier College Preparatory’s seventeen-year tennis coach, Mrs. Laurie Martin, passed away on Monday, June 6, 2022. She suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall. Laurie leaves behind her beloved husband, Stan, daughters, all Xavier Prep graduates, Amanda, Courtney, Natalie, and son Tanner, a Brophy Prep graduate.

As Xavier’s tennis coach, Laurie had an overall varsity record of 271 wins and 16 losses. In the just-concluded 2022 season, she had 14 wins and 1 loss and led her team to the State Division 1 Runner-Up title. In her tenure at Xavier, Laurie won 5 Division 1 state championships, 6 state runners-up, and 13 sectional/regional titles. Fifteen of her players went on to play at the collegiate level.

Laurie was the 2020 Southwest United States Professional Tennis Association Pro of the Year. Other honors include the Arizona Republic Girls Tennis Coach of the Year, NFHS Coach of the Year, Arizona Interscholastic Association Coach of the Year, and National High School Coaches Association Finalist for Coach of the Year. She was most proud of her USTA National No-Cut All-Star Team award.

Laurie felt her greatest accomplishment was starting the No-Cut freshman tennis program at Xavier in 2009. Each year 60-90 freshman girls, who might otherwise not be involved in a team sport, learned the basics of tennis, how to compete, and most importantly to Laurie, made lifelong friends.

Besides her coaching excellence, Laurie felt community involvement and service were an integral part of being on a team. Her teams raised thousands of dollars for the Guerant Foundation’s Battle of the Sexes. Her teams also ran clinics for children at Chicanos Por La Casa, collected equipment for the Nogales Border Exchange, and participated in countless other volunteer activities.

Professionally Laurie served on many tennis boards and committees. Most recently, she served as USTA National High School Committee Chair, Arizona Tennis Coaches Association President, USTA Strategic Plan Task Force Member, and served on the Arizona Interscholastic Association Tennis Advisory Committee.

Laurie was an integral part of Xavier, not just as a coach and mom, but for the values she instilled in her student-athletes. She was a coach who advanced the sport of tennis, not only here at Xavier but nationally. Laurie was immensely passionate about raising mental health awareness. She cared about the girls she coached as people first and foremost. Laurie was more concerned about the type of people they were than the type of player. Laurie inspired and motivated over a thousand girls and gave them the opportunity to be a part of a team and a part of the community.

Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM, Xavier’s Athletic Director and Vice Principal for Activities, said about Laurie, “Every girl mattered to her. Laurie believed the benefits of being part of a team were so important for girls — growing socially, making friends, and learning the sport -- were most important. Winning was secondary. And Laurie accomplished all these goals.”

The Xavier community is devastated by this loss and is praying for Laurie and her family in this most difficult time.

Funeral services are pending.

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About Xavier College Preparatory
Xavier College Preparatory is an all-girls Catholic high school in Phoenix, Arizona that prepares young women of faith with knowledge, skills, and integrity to meet the challenges of a changing global society. Xavier’s academic, arts, and sports programs are nationally recognized. Educating the whole person -- intellectually, spiritually, artistically, and physically -- is our goal.