Daniel Leitner joined the Iowa coaching staff as a program coordinator in 2017. Leitner was elevated to associate coach in August, 2021.
This past season, Leitner helped sophomore Alexa Noel ascend as high as No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s national rankings, the highest ranking by a student-athlete in program history. The Summit, New Jersey, native won seven matches this fall, including notching a win over both the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the nation. Noel was an ITA All-American Championships Finalist and an ITA National Fall Championships Semifinalist.
In addition to his coaching duties, Leitner is instrumental in all aspects of the program, including successfully coordinating the 2021 ITA Women’s Central Regional Championships in Iowa City, in which representatives from 29 different institutions participated.
In 2021, Leitner helped lead the Hawkeyes through a record-breaking season. Iowa finished 2021 with a 12-6 overall record and a 12-4 Big Ten record, the best conference record in program history. Iowa ended its 2021 season ranked No. 41 in the final ITA rankings, and reached as high as No. 37 on the season, the highest team ranking since 2011. Noel, a freshman, was selected to compete at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships in Orlando, Florida. Noel earned the Big Ten’s automatic qualifier, becoming the third player in program history to make the singles draw and the first All-American in program history. Noel ended the season 24-1 while competing at the No. 1 singles position. She was named ITA Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Hawkeye in program history to earn conference player of the year honors. Noel was ranked as high as No. 13 nationally. Senior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell became the first player in conference history to earn All-Big Ten first-team honors five times in a career and was awarded the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
Leitner helped lead the Hawkeyes to a 6-6 record during the shortened 2020 season. The Hawkeyes had their first win over a ranked opponent since 2014 defeating No. 50 Kansas State. The season was canceled by Big Ten Conference and NCAA on March 12 due to concerns of coronavirus (COVID-19). Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and the ITA Central Region Senior of the Year Award.
In 2019, Leitner helped lead the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Championships. Iowa finished the season with 13 wins, the second highest total in eight years. Junior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell was named First-Team All-Big Ten for the third year in a row.
In his first year on campus in 2018, Leitner coached the Hawkeyes to a 10-14 overall record. Senior Zoe Douglas was the Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, and sophomore Elise Van-Heuvelen earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row.
Leitner joined the Hawkeyes from Middle Tennessee State, where he served as an assistant coach on the MTSU men’s team for two seasons.
While at Middle Tennessee State, Leitner helped the Blue Raiders reach as high as No. 49 in the country. Nine of his players earned all-conference recognition and the team won the MTSU Director’s Cup Award for community service working with local schools. In 2016, MTSU secured the No. 25 recruiting class in the nation.
Leitner graduated from MTSU with a Master of Science in Leisure and Sport Management in May 2017. He played collegiately at South Alabama before graduating in 2015. As a student-athlete, he was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015. He was a four-time first team all-conference honoree, and reached as high as No. 49 in the national singles rankings.
As a senior in 2015, he was named South Alabama Male Student-Athlete of the Year and the regional winner of the ITA Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award.