LA JOLLA, Calif. - After 14 seasons at the helm of the UC San Diego men's tennis program, Eric Steidlmayer will be leaving his alma mater to take over the head coaching position at UC Davis. The announcement was made Monday by UCSD director of athletics Earl W. Edwards.
Steidlmayer is the winningest men's tennis coach in UCSD history, amassing a record of 182-108, good for a .628 win percentage.
"During the past 14 years, UC San Diego has not only been a home for me professionally, but it has also been my extended family," said Steidlmayer. "It has been a great pleasure to work with top-notch student-athletes, as well as capable and caring staff and faculty members.
"There are many people at UCSD who have invested themselves in the men's tennis program and contributed to its success over the years. We talk of the Triton Family, and I truly buy into that concept."
After taking over the program in 1999, Steidlmayer shaped UCSD into a perennial national contender, guiding the Tritons to 12 consecutive NCAA postseason appearances from 2000-2011.
"Simply put, Eric has had an outstanding 14-year run as head coach, bringing an unprecedented level of stability and success to UCSD men's tennis," said Edwards. "He guided the team through the transition from NCAA Division III to Division II and developed a program that has consistently been at the top of the West Region and contended at the national level.
"Just as importantly, Eric has contributed significantly outside of the competitive arena. He has been a team player at the department level and always displayed the utmost professionalism. It's never easy to say goodbye to accomplished coaches, particularly a UCSD alum, but I'm sure he will do great things at UC Davis and we wish him well."
In 2011, Steidlmayer led the Tritons to a perfect 20-0 record in regular season dual matches. UCSD advanced to NCAA postseason play as the West Region's top seed, earning a free pass to the Division II round of 16. The Tritons were ranked 10th in the final national poll and senior Erik Elliott picked up ITA All-America honors.
In 2007, UCSD posted its best-ever finish, placing third in the nation with an 18-7 overall record. The 18 wins included four against NCAA Division I opponents as well as victories over UC Santa Cruz (the NCAA Division III National Champion) and Azusa Pacific (the NAIA Division I National Runner-Up). Additionally, juniors Blake Meister and Eric Rubens were honored as ITA All-Americans after posting a 19-4 record together at the top spot on the doubles ladder.
Steidlmayer graduated from UC San Diego in 1996 and competed for three years on the tennis team. He was named the Tritons' Most Valuable Player after helping them earn a berth in the 1996 NCAA Division III National Championships.
No stranger to UC Davis, Steidlmayer served as an assistant coach with the Aggies for two seasons from 1997-98. He earned a Master's Degree in economics from UCD in the fall of 1998.
"I am very excited to be heading back to Northern California and to UC Davis," said Steidlmayer. "My immediate and extended families are excited for us to move there. We think that the UC Davis athletics community is great and the Davis community as a whole is fantastic. I will be working extremely hard with the student-athletes to make the push up to the next level and compete for Big West championships."
Steidlmayer assumes his new duties at the NCAA Division I institution on July 30.
-- UCSDtritons.com --