Richard Gallien, the former Pepperdine tennis star who has been an assistant tennis coach at his alma mater for three years, has been appointed co-head coach with Allen Fox.
Fox said "elevating Richard to co-head coach is simply a change of semantics. (He) has been heavily involved in all phases of the program for three years, and I thought he deserved more recognition for his hard work."
Hard work and confidence are paying off for Robbie Weiss, a top player for Fox and Gallien, who has rebounded from illness and injuries last year to become perhaps the hottest player in college tennis.
Before the team's dual-match season that starts next week, Weiss has won 15 straight matches, 13 in straight sets, and has won championships in the Citrus Bowl and the national collegiate tournaments.
Last weekend he advanced to the finals of the Adidas Tournament in Palm Springs, but rain postponed his final match against USC's Scott Melville, the nation's top-ranked player. The match was rescheduled for Saturday in Orange County, but an exact time and location had not been determined at press time.
Weiss is ranked 48th in the preseason poll of the Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Assn. but will probably be rated much higher in the first ITCA season poll in mid-February. He said his turnaround has been a result of believing in himself.
"It all boiled down to me," he said. "I had to believe in my heart that I could walk out on the court and make the shots necessary to win."
The senior from Wheeling, Ill., who had helped the Waves to the finals of the NCAA tournament in 1986, where they lost to Stanford, said that 1987 "was a total disaster." He was hampered by a viral infection, among other things, and tumbled from a No. 5 ranking in the preseason to No. 48 this year.
"But I decided that I wanted to put that behind me and look toward a successful 1988 season."
Paul Garrett, the 6-9 Palisades High School senior basketball center who signed an early letter of intent with Stanford, may not be able to play any more this season.
Garrett attended last week's Pepperdine-University of San Diego game in Malibu walking on a crutch. The Palisades star broke the fibula in his left leg in an early January game against Jordan when he collided with a teammate and crashed to the floor.
He expects to begin therapy this week and will try to return to the team.
Three women basketball players in the West Coast Athletic Conference had more steals than turnovers before conference play began last week. Leading the way was Pepperdine's Earnesta Grace, who had 49 steals and 31 turnovers. Others with positive ratios were Portland's Jodi Harding, 18 steals and 15 turnovers, and Ann Corbett of Santa Clara, 16 and 10.
LaVar Ball, the former West Los Angeles College basketball star, has moved into the starting lineup in his first year at Washington State. First-year WSU Coach Kelvin Sampson apparently thought that the 6-6, 225-pound Ball would provide more rebounding strength for the Cougars.