Manuel Diaz recently completed his 25th season as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
June 27, 2013
Wanted to check in with you all now that the 2012-13 season has come to an end and we've had some time to reflect. Our team accomplished so much this season - and while I don't want to sound like a tired cliche, they really showed a lot of people what can happen when you believe in yourself, work hard, and have teammates and friends around you whom you trust, love, and will go to battle for.
With our very young team - one that got thinner and thinner as the year went on due to injury and another "unique" situation that unfolded - we were able to win our program's 35th and 36th SEC championships and advance to our sixth "Final Four" in the last eight years. We did that without a senior in the lineup regularly, and with three freshmen, a sophomore, and two juniors playing singles for us. It was truly an amazing journey and I am so proud of them, and excited for what the future holds!
Our semifinal match vs. Virginia - who ended up winning it all - was a close match and came down to a couple shots here and there. We had a chance against the nation's most talented team because we believed that when we stepped on the court that day that we could win, and we gave ourselves the opportunity to do that. I think we proved a lot that day.
The 2012-13 season was my 25th year as the head coach here at Georgia and it is a season that I'll always remember. We won 20 matches for the 10th straight season, put together an impressive 17-match winning streak that was the longest since our '07 champions went undefeated, and we watched our doubles team of Ben & Hernus become All-Americans. They have so much to be proud of.
Of course now, even as we are holding our camps here at UGA, I can't help but look ahead. Our 2013-14 team will return all six regular starters between singles and doubles. Our freshmen won a combined 79 singles matches this season and clinched a remarkable 15 out of our 25 wins. And they're only going to get better.
Maybe the best part of all is that the NCAA Championships come home next year! We are thrilled to be able to host the tournament for the 31st time overall. Some great things have happened in May on those courts throughout the years, and it makes it all the more exciting and motivating to get our group ready for those moments. Half our lineup hasn't played NCAAs at home, and we know they're looking forward to making the most of it.
Finally, thank you to all our great fans and supporters for being with us this season. We have two exciting weekend activities scheduled for our Lettermen and Friends of Georgia Tennis. The weekend of October 10 & 11 (Missouri Football Game) and the weekend of November 22 & 23 (Kentucky Football Game), will be opportunities to get together and celebrate with Georgia Tennis friends. There have been plans made and details will follow, but save these two dates to get an early start on your support of the 2013-2014 Georgia Men’s Tennis Program.
We will see you soon! And as always, GO DAWGS!