Feb. 5, 2009

Courtesy of Georgia Athletics

ATHENS -- University of Georgia coach Manuel Diaz has been named the 2008 USOC National Coach of the Year for Tennis, the United States Tennis Association announced Thursday.
Each year, Olympic and Pan American sport organizations select their nominations for the National, Developmental, Volunteer and/or Paralympic Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. The program seeks to elevate the status of coaching as a profession and recognize the best coaches in the United States. Coaches were judged based on coaching performance, the ethics and character of the coach, the attitude of athletes, service to the sport, and volunteer work within the sport.
“It will be very humbling to receive this award, and I share it with every player and coach that I have ever worked with along with my two mentors, the legendary Georgia coach Dan Magill and Welby Van Horn, who was my junior coach growing up,” said Diaz.
Along with Diaz, the members of the tennis community who will be honored with national awards as part of the program are: Frank Salazar of Chevy Chase, Md., Director of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., is the USOC Developmental Coach of the Year for Tennis, and Rita Gladstone of Port Orange, Fla., is the USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year for Tennis. They will be honored and receive their award at the 2009 U.S. Open in New York in August.

Diaz, currently in his 21st year as the head men’s tennis coach, has led the Bulldogs to four NCAA Championships including their second consecutive title in 2008. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA final three straight years and 11 times overall under Diaz. He owns a career winning percentage of .829 (466-96). He is a three-time winner of the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year award, and has coached 27 All-Americans, including four-time All-American John Isner, currently ranked No. 139 on the ATP World Tour.
The 2009 Bulldogs are 3-0, ranked third nationally and play host to East Tennessee State Friday at 3 p.m.