Bell finally has London on her side

By Larry Mullenix

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona women's tennis team has a new face this year a former All-American who comes highly recommended.

Stephanie London won't be playing for the Wildcats, but she is a former All-American at Southern Cal who was hired late last month as the newest edition to the UA coaching staff.

London, who was recruited by Arizona head coach Becky Bell out of high school, decided to go to USC and starred as a player from 1988-91. Her playing career was highlighted by her selection as an All-American in both singles and doubles in 1990.

London stayed on with the Trojans as an assistant coach for two years after graduation, until she was hired by the UA.

"I came to Arizona because I think that the tennis program here is really going places," London said.

Bell believes that London's hiring will help to continue that trend.

"We are very pleased to have her on our staff," Bell said. "I feel she is one of the best coaches around. She has contacts in Los Angeles and will help with our recruiting."

London feels the same way about Bell, who she respected while she was in high school.

"The major reason I considered Arizona first as a player and now as a coach was Becky Bell," London said. "I thought of her as one of the top three coaches in the nation and my thinking hasn't changed."

London, 25, is excited to begin learning and helping the players with their games and she believes it won't take long for her to learn and adjust.

Said London: "I've seen these girls before as a coach for USC and I studied their games to play against them, so now I just have to turn my attention around to helping their games, not dissecting them."

Bell agrees.

"Stephanie is a coach with class and integrity and that is what we want here at the UA," Bell said. "She was a great player in both high school and college and I've known her for years, so I don't think that she will have any problems adjusting to the program here."

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