- Dave Balogh
Associate Head Coach – 15th year as a coach at UF
- 2002 & 2010 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year
- 2002, 2006, 2010 & 2012 ITA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year
Dave Balogh (pronounced BAY-log), who in 2014-15 enters his 15th year on the Gator sidelines, is one of the most highly respected coaches on the collegiate circuit.
For his efforts and contributions toward the University of Florida women’s tennis program, UF athletics director Jeremy Foley promoted Balogh to the position of Associate Head Coach in September 2003. He had worked with the Gators as an assistant coach for three years prior to this elevation.
Balogh has been recognized as the Intercollegiate National Assistant Coach of the Year twice (2002 & 2010) and the ITA South Region Assistant Coach of the Year four times (2002, 2006, 2010 & 2012).
“Dave is really an extension of me. He has the same philosophy in how to coach the team, how to recruit and how to create the atmosphere we want to have in our clubhouse,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “Working with Dave makes everything fun because he’s always positive and is a great guy. He has a tremendous knowledge of the game. The University of Florida and I are very fortunate to have him on our team. Dave is invaluable to me and this program.”
During his 14-year tenure coaching at his alma mater, Balogh has helped Florida to a number of team and individual accomplishments. Working the last 13 of those years with Thornqvist, some of the more significant highlights include three NCAA Team Championships (2003, 2011 & 2012), as well as 10 Southeastern Conference regular-season titles (2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) and nine SEC Tournament crowns (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013).
The 2013-14 team reached the NCAA Semifinals for the second consecutive year, ending the season ranked No. 5 in the final national poll, marking the program’s fifth consecutive year with a top-5 ranking, as well as the 28th time in program history since the rankings began in 1980. The Gators fell to eventual NCAA Champion UCLA, 4-0. UF concluded the season 23-6. They tied for second in the Southeastern Conference regular season standings, and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament.
The 2012-13 Gators finished the season ranked No. 2 in the final national poll after compiling a 26-3 overall record and advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships, bowing out to eventual champion Stanford, 4-3. The Gators won a share of the the Southeastern Conference regular season title and captured the SEC Tournament championship during the year.
Sofie Oyen and Lauren Embree both sat atop the ITA National Singles Rankings during the 2012-13, becoming the 10th and 11th Gators since the 1998 season to earn the No. 1 singles ranking. Oyen and Embree are the sixth and seventh different players, respectively, under Thornqvist to earn the nation’s top ranking.
Embree also became the first player in SEC history to be voted the league’s Player of the Year three times, doing so in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The talented Gator also became the 20th different Gator to capture a collegiate Grand Slam title when she won the 2012 Riviera/ITA All-American Singles Championship.
The 2011-12 Gators capped their 27-1 record winning the 2012 NCAA Championship, earning the program’s sixth national championship and the first time the team has won back-to-back titles - only the second team in NCAA Women’s Tennis history to do so. Florida earned the No. 2 overall seed in the 64-team event for the second consecutive year after winning the SEC Tournament for the third straight season and netting an 11-0 record en route to claiming the league’s regular-season crown.
The 2011-12 team was able to produce the program’s 22nd undefeated home record (12-0) and extend its overall home winning streak to 107 – the longest run by an NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport.
Allie Will, who earned the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships reached the semifinals of the singles event, captured the 2011 Riviera/ITA All-American Singles Championship during the fall in addition to a runner-up finish with then-sophomore Sofie Oyen in the doubles draw of the national tournament. Joanna Mather, the lone senior on the 2011-12 roster, reached the finals of the 2011 USTA-ITA National Indoor Championships, while junior Lauren Embree and Mather won the consolation draw of the 2011 Riviera/ITA All-American Doubles Championships.
The 2010-11 season culminated with the program’s fifth NCAA championship, as the squad defeated top-seeded Stanford, 4-3, as sophomore Lauren Embree provided the remarkable 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (6) clinching singles win, rallying from down 4-0 in the third set. Embree’s heroics were made possible after freshmen Olivia Janowicz and Alex Cercone won their respective singles matches in three sets and the Gators captured the doubles point to being the match.
Florida ended the 2010-11 season with a 31-1 record, marking the program’s seventh 30-win campaign, and on a 21-match winning streak - a run tied for the 10th longest in school history. Florida earned the No. 2 overall seed in the 64-team event after winning the SEC Tournament and netting an 11-0 record en route to claiming the league’s regular-season crown.
Fairly typical accomplishments for one of the nation’s best programs, however, the 2010-11 bunch did this without a senior on its roster. Joanna Mather was the only healthy junior in a lineup that also included three sophomores and three freshmen.
Balogh and Thornqvist welcomed the No. 1-ranked recruiting class to the court for the 2009-10 season, which proved to be another exciting one in Gainesville.
Then-rookies Lauren Embree and Allie Will controlled the top two positions in the singles and doubles dual match lineup and helped Florida compile a 29-3 overall record, including a perfect 11-0 mark in Southeastern Conference action, as the Gators won the regular season and tournament titles.
UF marched into the 2010 NCAA Championships final match, where Marrit Boonstra, one of two seniors on the team, dropped a heartbreaking three-setter – 7-5 in the third – of the clinching match that Stanford took to win the title, 4-3.
Under Balogh’s and Thornqvist’s guidance Embree became the first freshman every voted the SEC Player of the Year, as Embree also garnered the ITA National Rookie Player of the Year honors. Will earned recognition as the SEC Freshman of the Year, while Balogh was honored by his peers for the third time as the ITA’s Southeast Region Coach of the Year.
For guiding such a young team that featured six underclassmen to the enormous success it did in 2009-10, Balogh earned the ITA National Coach of the Year accolade – the second time in his career he was honored as such.
Balogh, who oversees the doubles teams, coached the Gators to a combined 65-8 dual match doubles record, as Florida won the doubles point 26 of 27 times during the 2007-08 season, en route to helping the team post a perfect 11-0 record in Southeastern Conference dual matches and a 24-3 overall mark.
The 2006-07 Gators were faced with some difficult personal, off-the-court adversity from a number of players. Several players became unable to compete during a large portion of the dual match season, which significantly altered the singles’ and doubles’ lineups. While Thornqvist and Balogh were able to patch together six semi-healthy players for singles, the doubles’ pairings were blown apart. Balogh did an amazing job during a very trying stretch of finding the right chemistry to re-build the doubles lineups. One of those newly-formed teams - freshman Csilla Borsanyi and junior Diana Srebrovic - immediately went on a six-match win streak that included moving up to the No. 1 position and defeating four top-18-ranked opponents with the highest-ranked win coming against Kentucky’s 11th-ranked Kim Coventry and Joelle Schwenk, 8-3, that clinched the doubles point and sparked a 4-3 dual match victory. Two days prior to win over the Wildcat pair was an 8-1 victory over Vanderbilt’s 18th-ranked Amanda Taylor and Amanda Fish, helping UF earn the 4-3 team triumph and defeat the Commodores in Nashville for the first time since April 1, 2000. Those were just two of the matches the Gators won 4-3 during the season thanks in part to the team being able to win the doubles point.
In 2005-06, Balogh was recognized as the ITA South Region Assistant Coach of the Year, marking his second such honor at UF.
During his tenure at UF, Balogh has helped the Gators capture the 2003 NCAA championship, five Southeastern Conference regular-season titles and five SEC Tournament crowns, while compiling a 173-16 dual match record.
At the end of the 2001-02 season, the rest of the country acknowledged what the Gators already knew, as Balogh was recognized by his peers as the 2002 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year, becoming the first Gator coach to receive such an honor.
A four-year letterwinner of the University of Florida men’s tennis program, Balogh joined the Gator women’s tennis team as an assistant coach on July 1, 2000 under former head coach Andy Brandi.
Balogh, who is a life-long native of Gainesville, played tennis for former men’s coach Ian Duvenhage from 1993 to 1996, when the team ranked among the top 15 nationally all four years. The Gators captured the 1994 SEC championship during Balogh’s tenure on the team.
Balogh was an assistant coach with the Florida State University women’s tennis team for the dual match portion of the 2000 season. Prior to his four-month stint in Tallahassee, Balogh was an assistant at Vanderbilt, where the Commodores ended the 1999 season ranked 13th in the country.
From 1996 to 1998, he was the assistant head professional at DB Racquet Club in Gainesville, where he coached former Gator great Mark Merklein and worked with UF standout Jill Craybas. Balogh received an offer to work with tennis-great Jana Novotna, but was unable due to an elbow injury.
Balogh earned a bachelor’s of science degree in recreation in 1996. As a student-athlete, Balogh received the 1996 Presidential Recognition Award in honor of his outstanding achievement and contributions to the University of Florida by then-President John Lombardi. That same year, he also received the Office of Student Life Achievement Award, given for his outstanding achievement in academics, athletics and community service.
Each August, Balogh organizes the Merrill Lynch Tennis Pro-Am held in Gainesville. The event benefits Big Brothers/Big Sisters and draws former Gator stars from various sports back to the Gainesville courts to participate.
Balogh has two sons, Cade and Colby.
Balogh’s Year-by-Year Coaching Record at UF
|Record||SEC||SEC Finish||SEC Tourn.||NCAA Finish||Final ITA Rank|
|2009||16-10||7-4||4th||Semifinals||Round of 16||14|
|14 yrs||349-43||146-12||10 titles||9 titles||3 title|
Record in NCAA Championship action: 58-11