Since becoming the head coach in 1997, he has led the program to 14 20-win seasons and 20 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Under his guidance in 2009, the Blue Devils reached the pinnacle of success as they captured the program’s first NCAA Championship. Over the past 20 years at the helm of the program, he has led Duke to a 446-115 (.795) overall record and a 162-37 (.814) ACC mark, while advancing to the NCAA semifinals eight times, NCAA Championship match twice and notching ACC Tournament Championships on eight occasions.
Following the 2014 NCAA Team Championships, Ashworth was named the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year, as voted on by his peers. He is also a two-time ACC Coach of the Year (2001 & 2003) recipient and five-time ITA Regional Coach of the Year (2000, 2003, 2008, 2011 & 2014).
Duke’s success under Ashworth continued in 2016, as the team once again qualified for the NCAA Tournament and played into the second round, marking the Blue Devils’ 20th-consecutive appearance in the national competition with Ashworth at the helm. Overall, Duke concluded the season with a 19-7 ledger, while also compiling an 11-3 record against ACC competition. The Blue Devils reached double-digit conference wins for the third straight season and the sixth time in eight years. Ashworth, who once again led the Blue Devils to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, helped guide Duke to a final ranking of 14th in the nation.
Individually, Duke placed a conference-best five competitors on the All-ACC list, with Beatrice Capra garnering recognition for the fourth time in her career. Duke leads all other programs in the conference with 104 All-ACC selections. Capra also garnered Carolina Region Senior Player of the Year honors for her efforts throughout the season. The Blue Devils were well represented in the singles and doubles rankings as well, with no fewer than three singles players and two doubles pairs appearing among those ranked in the national poll during the 2016 campaign.
The 2015 season saw Ashworth once again guide the Blue Devils to the NCAA Tennis Championships tournament, where the team played into the second round of the event. Overall, Duke earned a record of 17-10, the 19th straight season the Blue Devils compiled a winning record under Ashworth's guidance. In addition, Duke amassed a conference mark of 11-3, the fifth time in seven years the Blue Devils earned double-digit victories against ACC foes. The Ashworth-led Blue Devils also earned a berth into the ITA National Team Indoor Championships earlier in the year after opening the dual match season with back-to-back wins during the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Durham, N.C.
Multiple Blue Devils saw success individually as well in 2015, with Duke placing three players on the All-ACC team, including four-time honoree, Ester Goldfeld. Three Blue Devils also remained stalwart representatives among the nationally ranked singles players in the country, with all three concluding the year within the top 100. Two doubles pairs also finished the season among the top 60 ranked pairs in the nation. Under Ashworth's tutelage, freshman Samantha Harris earned ITA Carolina Region Rookie of the Year honors. Ashworth's continued emphasis on academics was also made evident by three Blue Devils earning spots on the All-ACC academic team.
In 2014, Ashworth once again led the Blue Devils to the NCAA Tennis Championships tournament, marking the team’s 18th consecutive trip to the national tournament during his tenure. Duke reached the quarterfinal round for the 12th time with Ashworth as head coach. The Blue Devils bounced back from an injury plagued 2012-13 season by posting a 27-5 overall record and an 11-3 conference mark. Duke opened 2014 with eight consecutive wins, four of which came during the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, where the Blue Devils earned the second ITA National Team Indoor Championship title in program history in a hard-fought contest against No. 5 UCLA. Although Duke was recognized nationally throughout the year, the Blue Devils jumped to No. 1 following their showing in the tournament, a ranking the team held for five consecutive weeks from March 18 through April 15.
Individually, three singles players ranked among the top 35 in the nation at the conclusion of the season, and four doubles pairs appeared in the top-80 of the nationally ranked doubles teams. Three All-America honors were also earned by members of the Duke team, in addition to three All-ACC accolades in 2014. With Ashworth’s assistance Hanna Mar earned the ITA Carolina Region Senior Player of the Year award following a stellar senior campaign. In addition, Mar received the Most Outstanding Player honor at the conclusion of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, during which she remained undefeated and clinched Duke’s team title by securing the final singles point in a hotly-contested match against UCLA.
The 2013 season marked Duke’s 17th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament with Ashworth at the helm, as the Blue Devils reached the round of 16 for the sixth time in as many years. Ashworth guided an injury-plagued Blue Devils squad to a 16-10 overall record and 5-5 ACC ledger. The Blue Devils closed the season with a 14th-place ranking on the ITA list. In addition to the team ranking, the Blue Devils also posted four singles players and four doubles pairs on the list. Three members of the Blue Devil squad garnered All-ACC honors, the 31st, 32nd and 33rd players to earn such an honor during Ashworth’s tenure.
In 2012, Ashworth led Duke to a 29-3 (.906) record overall to become the ACC’s all-time wins leader. Duke finished 11-0 in the ACC to become the first team in ACC history to have a perfect 11-0 record and win the ACC tournament in the same season. The team’s 29 wins tied the 2009 national championship team for the second most in a season, while the Blue Devils also tied the 2009 team for the second-longest winning streak in program history with 18 straight victories. The 2012 campaign was the fifth straight 20-win season for the program, and the eighth time that the Blue Devils reached the 25-win plateau during Ashworth’s tenure. The Blue Devils reached the NCAA semifinals for the eighth time in program history, and finished the season listed No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s final team rankings for the second consecutive year. The Blue Devils ended the season with six players ranked in the final ITA poll, four players named to the All-ACC team, and freshman Beatrice Capra honored as ACC Player of the Year.
The 2011 season saw Ashworth lead the program to its third straight quarterfinal appearance and the 16th overall in the NCAA Championships. The Blue Devils finished the season ranked No. 3, and had all six singles players and four teams of doubles in the final ITA rankings. Nadine Fahoum, Rachel Kahan, Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka were All-ACC selections. Kahan was named ACC Freshman of the Year, while Nze and Zsilinszka each concluded their college careers with four consecutive All-ACC honors.
In 2010, Ashworth reached another milestone in his career as he garnered his 300th career victory when the Blue Devils blanked ACC foe NC State 7-0 on Feb. 25, 2010. Duke posted a 22-8 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Duke also landed four players on the All-ACC Academic team.
Under Ashworth’s guidance in 2009, Duke posted 29-3 overall record and finished the year on an 18-match win streak after blanking California 4-0 in the national title match. Both numbers rank second all-time in Duke tennis history.
Just a week after capturing the team title, Ashworth helped mentor Blue Devil freshman Mallory Cecil to the NCAA Individual Singles Championship and a No. 1 national ranking. Under his watch, Cecil, Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka all captured All-America honors for singles, while Cecil was named the ITA Player of the Year. Duke was equally impressive in the classroom in 2008-09, landing an ACC-best five players on the All-ACC Academic team.
In addition to the NCAA title, the Blue Devils captured a share of the ACC regular season title and won the ACC Tournament Championship in thrilling fashion. Five Blue Devils earned at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament and seven players were ranked in the final ITA national poll.
In 2007-08, Ashworth helped put Duke back in the forefront of the nation’s best teams, leading the Blue Devils to a 20-5 overall record and a runner-up finish in the ACC. Ranked ninth in the final national poll, Duke reached the NCAA Tournament for the 19th straight year and the 20th time overall. The Blue Devils advanced to the round of 16 as a team and had three individuals capture All-America honors after earning spots in the individuals tournament round of 16.
The 2006-07 campaign saw Duke go 12-10 (5-6 ACC) and reach the NCAA Tournament for the 18th straight year and 19th time overall. The Blue Devils finished the season with a national ranking of No. 21, led by sophomore Melissa Mang, who received All-ACC recognition for the second straight year, and freshman Amanda Granson, who led the squad in singles wins (23), dual match victories (15) and ACC triumphs (eight).
In 2005-06, Ashworth rounded out a decade as the head coach of the women’s tennis program. His 10th year saw the Blue Devils go 20-8 overall and 9-1 in ACC play. Mang became the sixth Blue Devil freshman overall and third under Ashworth (Ansley Cargill, 2001; Kelly McCain, 2002) to receive ACC Rookie of the Year honors, as she also received All-ACC accolades along with Bercek and Jackie Carleton. Bercek and Carleton each received bids to the NCAA Singles Championships and Bercek garnered her third career All-America nod. The Blue Devils ended the campaign ranked ninth in the country.
After serving as a Duke assistant coach from 1994-95 through 1996-97, Ashworth took over the head coaching reigns on March 20, 1997, and paced Duke to a 12-1 overall record and a 4-0 conference mark to wrap up the season.
In his first full year as a head coach (1997-98), Ashworth led Duke to 27 wins, then a school record, the school’s 11th consecutive ACC regular season and tournament titles, Duke’s best final national ranking at No. 2, its third consecutive Final Four and the program’s first appearance in the NCAA title match.
The 1998-99 season was no letdown as he guided Duke to 27 wins, its 12th consecutive ACC regular season and tournament titles, its fourth straight NCAA semifinal appearance and a final No. 3 national ranking.
In 1999-2000, Ashworth guided a young Blue Devil team to a 23-6 record, a 13th consecutive ACC Tournament title and a Sweet 16 NCAA finish. The following campaign (2000-01) saw Ashworth lead the Blue Devils to 27 victories and an Elite Eight NCAA finish, along with Duke’s 14th consecutive ACC Championship and an undefeated 8-0 ACC regular season mark.
In 2001-02, Duke posted a 25-5 overall record and won the ACC regular season title with an 8-0 mark. In 2002-03, Ashworth led the Blue Devils back to the NCAA Final Four, tied an ACC record with 30 victories, won the ACC regular season and tournament titles, and claimed the National Team Indoor Championship. With one of his youngest teams in his coaching history, Ashworth led Duke to the Elite Eight and a 22-5 mark in 2003-04.
During Ashworth’s term as the assistant coach, the Blue Devils recorded a 59-13 overall record and a perfect 20-0 ACC mark. In his first year as an assistant in1994-95, Duke went 22-6, advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and finished the year ranked No. 7. In 1995-96, he helped pace Duke to a 25-4 mark (then a school record for wins in a season), a trip to the NCAA Final Four and a national ranking of No. 3. In 1996-97, Duke advanced to its second straight NCAA Final Four, finishing the year third in the nation, once again.
Ashworth has coached 34 different All-ACC selections and 26 different All-America honorees, two national champions and four collegiate grand slam champions during his stint with the Blue Devils. That list that includes four-time All-America and 1998 NCAA singles national champion, Vanessa Webb, who is Duke tennis’ only Honda Award winner and Olympian.
A 1994 speech communication graduate of Maryland, Ashworth was a four-year letterwinner for the Terrapins and served as a captain of the team his junior and senior years. He recently served on the ITA Board of Directors for the fifth year and just finished his sixth year on the Division I Women’s Tennis Operating Committee.
A native of Amherst, N.H., Ashworth resides with his wife Caylan, his son Bryce and his daughter Molly in Durham.