Imergoot was ‘winningest coach’ at Wash. U.


Lynn Imergoot, described as the “winningest coach in Washington University history,” longtime founding coach of the school’s women’s tennis program, and a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, died Friday, July 24, 2009, after her car struck a tree in Glen Spey, N.Y.

Ms. Imergoot was the athletic coordinator during the summer for the nearby Camp Brookwood in Port Jervis, N.Y., where her granddaughter, Tamia, 9, is a camper. She was 60 and a longtime resident of St. Louis.

Ms. Imergoot’s daughter, Jennifer Imergoot of St. Louis told the St. Louis Jewish Light that the family is unsure of the cause of the accident.

Lynn Stockman Imergoot was born in New York on Dec. 29, 1948. At an early age she became interested in sports, and had played racquetball at the Bronx High School of Science. “Mom played against the boys until they got taller and then she switched to tennis, which became her main sport,” recalls daughter Jennifer.

Ms. Imergoot earned a degree in physical education from Lehman College in 1969, where she lettered three years in tennis, four years in field hockey and two years in basketball. In 1970, she received a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Illinois-Urbana, while serving as a graduate teaching assistant. Ms. Imergoot was a doctoral candidate in motor behavior and leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis at the time of her passing. “Mom had start ed on her dissertation towards her goal of getting her Ph.D. at UMSL,” Jennifer Imergoot said.

Prior to coming to St. Louis for her 36-year career at Washington University, Ms. Imergoot taught at the White Plains, N.Y. High School from 1970-72, coaching the girls’ tennis team.

At the time of her passing, Ms. Imergoot was in her fourth year as the associate director of intramurals and club sports at Washington University, and was in her 37th year overall of service on the Danforth Campus. She served as director of women’s and coed intramurals from 1972-79, as coordinator of women’s athletics from 1977-84 and as assistant athletic director from 1984-2005.

Ms. Imergoot was a five-time recipient of UAA Coach of the Year honors, and became the first head women’s tennis coach in program history. She built the Washinton U. women’s tennis program from ground level to a national contender. In 39 seasons, from 1975-2005, as the Bears’ mentor, she tabulated a career record of 438-166 (.725), earning her the moniker of “winningest coach in Washington U. history” in any sport.

Ms. Imergoot elevated the Bears to national prominence as the club has made six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2002, the team achieved more than in any in Ms. Imergoot’s tenure, posting a program-best 23-4 record and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The doubles team advanced all the way to the national championship match.

In addition to being inducted into the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Ms. Imergoot received the Rita “Slats” Meyer Moellering Memorial Award from the St. Louis Sports Commission and was named the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletic Administrators District Five Administrator of the Year.

John Schael, athletic director at Washington University said, “I’ll remember her as a wonderful teacher, coach, administrator, mother, friend and valued member of the Washington University community.” He added, “Establishing and coaching the initial women’s tennis program was a great accomplishment for Lynn, as there were few opportunities for women’s participation in intercollegiate athletics. She was, in a sense, a pioneer and indeed strong advocate for the advancement of women’s athletics on the Danforth Campus, and was proud of Washington University’s commitment to enhanced opportunities for women in sports.”

Ms. Imergoot’s marriage to Mike Imergoot ended in divorce. They had two children, daughter Jennifer Imergoot of St. Louis, and a son, Douglas Imergoot of Alton, Il. She is also survived by granddaughter Tamia, 9, and by a sister, Amy Kossak of Livingston, N.J.

A funeral service was held for Ms. Imergoot last Monday in Livingston, N.J., and she was buried in nearby Deans, N.J.

A memorial service in Ms. Imergoot’s honor has been scheduled for 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13, at Graham Chapel at Washington University, followed by a reception at the university’s Women’s Building.