When searching for continued success in recent years across the sport of men’s tennis, followers of the game should look no further than Gainesville, Fla., where 11th-year University of Florida head coach Andy Jackson has fashioned a stretch in the history of the Gator program unprecedented by any other coach in the program’s history.
After inheriting a team that went 9-17 the year before he arrived, Jackson has taken the program to new heights. A pair of SEC Championships (2003 and 2005) and runner-up showings (2004 and 2006) as well as two SEC Tournament crowns (2005 and 2011) are indicative of the success. In addition, the Gators have advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 in nine of 10 seasons as the program holds a 19-1 mark in NCAA first and second round play in the Jackson era.
Under Jackson’s guidance, eight players at UF have earned a total of 19 All-American honors, including Alexandre Lacroix (singles and doubles) and Sekou Bangoura (doubles) in 2011. Jackson has seen 13 players earn 29 All-SEC honors while at Florida, including 18 first-team honors. In addition, Jackson’s players have won the 2008 SEC Player of the Year (Jesse Levine) and 2004 SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year (Hamid Mirzadeh), while four Gators have been named SEC Freshman of the Year under Jackson’s watch. Demonstrating a focus on success off the court as well, Jackson has placed 24 different players at UF on the SEC Academic Honor Roll a total of 46 times.
On Jan. 31, 2006, the Gators were elevated to the No. 1 position in the ITA Poll for the first time in school history.
In 2005, the Gators matched the deepest run ever by a UF squad in the NCAA Tournament as a shutout of rival Florida State in the quarterfinal round propelled Florida into the semifinals of the event for the second time ever.
Since arriving at UF, Jackson has taken control of the Gators and capped a dramatic transition which has resulted in an overall 193-73 (.726) mark, two SEC Championships and three SEC Eastern Division titles. Additionally, he is the only coach in school history to take a team to the NCAA tournament in each of his first 10 years and the only individual to ever win an SEC title at two different member institutions. Twice he has been recognized by his peers as the SEC Coach of the Year in 2002 and the SEC Co-Coach of the Year in 2005.
With a head coaching vacancy at the University of Florida in the summer of 2001, Athletics Director Jeremy Foley was searching for just the right combination of elite coaching experience and strong work ethic to fit the university’s philosophy and expectations of excellence. The two recognized their mutual visions for the Gator men’s tennis program and on June 19, 2001, an enthusiastic Jackson was named Florida’s head coach.
“There are so many things that attracted me to Florida,” Jackson said. “It is in the Southeastern Conference, which is where I grew up as a fan, where I played at Kentucky and have coached my entire career. I’ve always wanted to be in the SEC. It’s the best conference in the country and that’s very exciting. Florida clearly has the best weather within the SEC, which for tennis is crucial. Florida is one of the best academic schools in the SEC, which for tennis is also crucial. Florida has one of the finest facilities in the country and the support staff is exceptional. There’s a good tradition here but a tradition that in my view can be built upon. These things are extremely exciting and on top of that, the Athletic Association clearly wants to do the sort of things that I want to be associated with. I’m excited because everyone in the administration is on the same page as the coaches here in terms of what needs to get done.”
In 10 years, Andy Jackson has built one of the nation’s top program’s in Gainesville. Since inheriting a team that finished 9-17 the year before his arrival, Jackson’s list of accomplishments has grown:
- Jackson is the only head coach in Florida history to have his first nine teams finish fourth or higher in the league.
- No. 2 finish in the final edition of the 2003 ITA polls was the best in school history
- Guided the Gators to their first-ever national title match at the 2003 National Team Indoors
- Won 2003 and 2005 SEC Championships, as well as 2004 and 2006 SEC Runner-up finishes, making him the quickest coach in school history to bring a pair of conference titles to Gainesville
- 2005 and 2011 SEC Tournament Champions
- 2003, 2004 and 2005 SEC Eastern Division Champions
- First in SEC history to win an SEC title at two different member institutions
- Florida is 117-14 (.893) at home under Jackson and has lost only eight conference tilts in Gainesville; In addition, UF is 15-1 in NCAA matches on its home courts under Jackson
- 40-3 in 10 seasons against in-state opponents
- Jackson is the only coach in UF history to take a squad to the NCAA tournament in each of his first 10 seasons at the helm
- 2002 SEC Coach of the Year and 2005 SEC Co-Coach of the Year
- 2005 Wilson/ITA Southeast Region Co-Coach of the Year
Prior to joining the Gators in the summer of 2001, Jackson coached the Mississippi State men’s tennis team from 1989-2001 after serving as MSU’s women’s tennis head coach from 1984-89. In his 13 years as the MSU men’s coach, Jackson compiled a 220-106 record (.675) with a 100-59 SEC record (.629).
Jackson’s MSU teams advanced to the NCAA Semifinals in 1994 and 1998 and made five quarterfinal appearances. MSU received 11-consecutive NCAA bids, one of seven teams in the nation to do so. The Bulldogs finished each of Jackson’s 13 years ranked in the final top 25 and finished in the top 10 for seven consecutive seasons from 1992-98.
Mississippi State also captured SEC regular season championships in 1992 and 1993 under Jackson, the 1991 SEC Coach of the Year. MSU won the SEC Tournament Championship in 1996 and has made three other appearances in the SEC Tournament final. MSU appeared three times in the semifinals of the National Team Indoors under Jackson, most recently in 1998.
Jackson coached Laurent Miquelard and Joc Simmons to the 1994 NCAA Doubles Championship. He also coached an NCAA Doubles Championship-winning women’s tandem in 1989 when Jackie Holden and Claire Pollard captured the title. He is the only coach in the history of collegiate tennis to coach both NCAA men’s and women’s doubles champions at the same school.
Jackson coached a total of nine collegiate grand slam event champions while at MSU. Under Jackson’s tutelage, four different MSU singles players and three doubles teams have held the No. 1 spot in the ITA national rankings, including Marco Baron who finished the 2001 season on top of the collegiate tennis world in singles.
In 2001, Baron became the second Bulldog to earn SEC Player of the Year honors under Jackson, joining Thomas Dupré who in 1997 was honored as both the SEC and the national Men’s Player of the Year. Dupré earned the national citation by capturing the first two legs of the collegiate grand slam (National Clay Court Championship and All-American) and finishing the year ranked No. 1 in the nation by the ITA. Dupré was also one of three Bulldog men’s tennis players to be named an Academic All-American twice under Jackson.
A high school basketball and tennis star for Franklin County (Ky.) High School, Jackson soon found that at the University of Kentucky he would have better success playing the latter as opposed to the former. After all, his high school teams did post a 79-1 record in men’s tennis during his time there. Jackson lettered at UK twice in tennis, playing at No. 2 in both singles and doubles while serving as a team captain for the Wildcats’ 1984 NIT Championship squad. That spring Jackson collected UK’s Outstanding Christian Athlete of the Year Award. On July 26, 2008, Jackson was inducted into the UK Tennis Hall of fame.
Jackson started his coaching career at Mississippi State as the head women’s tennis coach in 1984. Jackson maintained an ATP Tour World Ranking in 1986-88 while coaching the MSU women’s tennis team.
A Frankfort, Ky., native, Jackson was born David Andrew Jackson in Oneida, Ky., on August 14, 1961. He is a descendent of former United States President and War of 1812 hero Andrew Jackson along with Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
THE ANDY JACKSON FILE
Birthdate: August 14, 1961
Hometown: Oneida, Ky.
High School: Franklin County (Ky.) High School, 1979
Education: University of Kentucky
Overall Head Coaching Record: 480-224 (27 seasons)
Men's Tennis Head Coaching Record: 413-179 (22 seasons)
Record at Florida: 193-73 (10 seasons)
Lettered at the University of Kentucky in 1983 and 1984…Played No. 2 singles and doubles for UK…Served as team captain in 1984, helping team to NIT Championship…UK's 1984 Outstanding Christian Athlete of the Year…On July 26, 2008, Jackson was inducted into the UK Tennis Hall of fame...Maintained a World Class ranking on the ATP Tour from June 1986 to July 1988.
Women's Tennis Head Coach, Mississippi State University, 1984-89
Men's Tennis Head Coach, Mississippi State University, 1989-2001
Men's Tennis Head Coach, University of Florida, 2001-present
- 1994, '98. '05 NCAA Semifinalists
- 1994, '95, '96, '97, '98, '03, '05 NCAA Quarterfinalists
- Twenty-two straight NCAA team appearances, dating back to 1991 at MSU
- Advanced to NCAA final site in 19 of the last 21 years (10 at MSU and nine at UF)
- 1993, '03, '05 SEC Champions
- 1996, '05, ’11 SEC Tournament Champions
- 1992, '93 SEC Regular Season Champions
- 1991, '93, '94, '03, '08, '10 SEC Tournament Runner-up
- 1991, '02, '05 SEC Coach of the Year
- Twenty-three consecutive Top 25 finishes; has never missed the final top 25 as a men's coach (13 at MSU, 10 at UF)
- Thirteen Top 10 finishes
- Seven 20-plus win seasons
- Four National Team Indoor semifinal berths
- Has coached NCAA Doubles Champions in both 1989 (Jackie Holden/Claire Pollard) and 1994 (Laurent Miquelard/Joc Simmons) and is the only coach in NCAA history to coach men's and women's NCAA doubles champions at the same school
- Has coached a total of nine collegiate grand slam event champions
- Has coached four different singles players and three different doubles teams to the No. 1 spot in the ITA rankings
- Thomas Dupré named 1997 National Player of the Year
- Has coached three SEC Players of the Year (Marco Baron - 2001, Thomas Dupré - 1997, Greg Ouellette - 2008)
- Has coached two ITA National Rookies of the Year (Janne Holmia, 2003; Jesse Levine, 2007)
- Has coached four SEC Rookies of the Year (Janne Holmia, 2003; Greg Ouellette, 2005; Jesse Levine, 2007; Carlos Cueto, 2009)
- Has coached 39 NCAA Singles qualifiers and 24 NCAA Doubles qualifiers
- Has coached 15 of the 16 All-Americans in MSU's men's tennis history
- Has coached five two-time Academic All-Americans
- Has coached 70 men's Academic All-SEC selections.
|Year||School||M /W||Wins||Losses||Pct.||Wins||Losses||Pct.||Fin.||NCAA Tourn.||Final Rank|
|1991||Miss. State||M||17||12||0.586||5||7||0.417||6th||Round of 16||20th|
|1992||Miss. State||M||19||6||0.760||9||3||0.750||4th||Round of 16||9th|
|1993||Miss. State||M||19||7||0.731||12||2||0.857||t1st||Round of 16||7th|
|1999||Miss. State||M||13||12||0.520||5||7||0.417||9th||Round of 16||15th|
|2000||Miss. State||M||12||8||0.600||6||5||0.546||6th||Second Round||22nd|
|2001||Miss. State||M||14||11||0.560||5||6||0.455||t5th||Round of 16||14th|
|2002||Florida||M||18||7||0.720||7||4||0.636||t3rd||Round of 16||11th|
|2003||Florida||M||25||5||0.833||11||0||1.000||1st||Round of 8||2nd|
|2004||Florida||M||18||8||0.692||8||3||0.727||2nd||Round of 16||8th|
|2006||Florida||M||17||8||0.680||8||3||0.727||t2nd||Round of 16||15th|
|2007||Florida||M||15||8||0.652||7||4||0.636||t3rd||Round of 16||16th|
|2008||Florida||M||17||8||0.680||8||3||0.727||4th||Round of 16||10th|
|2010||Florida||M||21||5||0.808||9||1||0.900||2nd||Round of 16||8th|
|2011||Florida||M||20||9||0.690||7||4||0.630||5th||Round of 16||9th|