Lois Arterberry Becomes First Black Female Head Coach At Univ. of Minnesota In 2 Decades

Lois Arterberry Becomes First Black Female Head Coach At Univ. of Minnesota In 2 Decades

The University of Minnesota has named Lois Arterberry the first Black female head coach of any sport at the university in two decades and only the third ever in the Big Ten school’s history.

Arterberry takes over as head tennis coach of the Golden Gophers after successfully guiding the tennis program at the University of St. Thomas as it transitioned from a Division III team to a Division I, according to the Minnesota Sportsman Recorder.

For the past nine years, the Grenada native has worked for various teams creating successful and sustainable programs, starting as a graduate assistant at her alma mater Southern University—where she was a three-time Southwestern Athletic Conference champion. She then went to Jackson State where she was the women’s and men’s tennis head coach. Arterberry was briefly the head coach of Eastern Illinois University before heading to the University of St. Thomas.

Moving up to a Big Ten program, Arterberry says, is the moment she’s been working toward since the start of her career.

“The opportunity came and I took a chance. And it worked out,” she said. “To be honest, I’ve been applying for jobs at this level for a really long time and haven’t had any looks. There’s a lot of reasons why I think it didn’t work out.”

The excitement around Arterberry’s cannot be denied. The University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle believes the former Grenada Sports Woman of the Year will bring “a world-class experience for our student-athletes and will prepare them to be successful athletically, academically, and socially.”

The Gophers are coming off of a season that was canceled—various injuries led to not having enough players available to compete; however, Arterberry believes the team has what it takes.

“I need everyone’s support—fans, the [players’] family and friends—to come out and support the team and just show love to these girls, and we’ll get there,” she said.