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Geoff Macdonald
Head Coach

Assistant Coach David Thornton
Volunteer Assistant Coach Russell Buchi

Over the past seven years, the Vanderbilt women's tennis program has gone from a .500 program to competing for a national championship. There is no coincidence that the turnaround occurred over the seven-year period since Geoff Macdonald took over the program. One of the top coaches in the country, Macdonald has transformed the program into one known for players' rapid improvement, commitment to coaching and an unrivaled academic excellence.

This type of success is not new to Macdonald. He has built similar programs at academic institutions like Duke and Louisiana State. Yet it has been at Vanderbilt where he has had some of his finest moments as a coach, including leading last year's squad to the NCAA finals.

Before Macdonald, Vanderbilt had never been ranked higher than No. 28 in the nation. Under his guidance, the Commodores have finished no lower than No. 15 in each of the past five years including a school record No. 4 ranking at the end of the 2001 season. Vanderbilt has ranked in the top three of the prestigious Southeastern Conference four of the past five years with several nationally ranked players and doubles teams.

Last year, Macdonald led the Commodores to one of the most successful seasons in the history of any Vanderbilt athletic squad. When the Commodores took to the courts against Stanford last May, it was the first time any Vanderbilt team played for a national championship. The squad ended the season with a 26-5 record and a No. 4 national ranking while three singles players and two doubles teams to the NCAA championships. In Macdonald's first year at Vanderbilt, the Commodores proved that they had quickly developed into an elite team. They finished the year 16-8, including an 8-3 mark in the SEC, and advanced to the NCAA Championships Team Tournament for the first time in school history. Once Vanderbilt began its rise to the top, the achievements kept coming. In 1996, the Commodores posted a 24-7 record, finished second in the SEC, advanced to the SEC Tournament Championship match for the first time ever and once again, earned a berth in the NCAA Championships, advancing to the Round of 16. The team's 24 wins were the third most in the nation that year, following only Duke and 1996 national champion Florida.

In 2000, Macdonald led his Commodores through the third best season in Vanderbilt history. The team finished No. 11 in the rankings with four singles and one doubles team ranked as well. Vanderbilt advanced to the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six years and three Commodores competed in the Singles and Doubles Champion-ships. Following the season, Macdonald earned his third conference Coach of the Year honors, following one at LSU and another at Duke.

"If a student-athlete wants the best of everything, then they should come to Vanderbilt," he said. "They receive plenty of individual attention here on the court, while Vanderbilt can also offer the best academics, facilities, conference and put forth an unparalleled package."

Macdonald's coaching philosophy is a simple one-its foundation is hard work with each player receiving hours of individual attention each week. Macdonald's method have paid tremendous dividends; in his 12 years as a head coach, he has developed ten All-American players, including an individual and doubles team last season.

In Macdonald's 13 years of collegiate coaching, he has earned an outstanding 257-90 match record and is one of the top coaches in winning percentage.

Macdonald began his collegiate coaching career in 1988 at Louisiana State. He spent three years with the Tigers, during which he managed to reverse the program's fortunes. He inherited a team which had finished last in the SEC prior to his arrival, and he took them to the NCAA Championships as the No. 13 seed in just three years. Following the Tigers' 1991 season, he was named the SEC Coach of the Year. The NCAA berth was the first in school history for LSU.

As a player at the University of Virginia, Macdonald capped off a successful collegiate career by winning the ACC singles title in 1981. He advanced to the NCAA Championships, where he defeated David Pate in the first round.

Macdonald was named the ACC's Most Valuable Player and also won the league's Sportsmanship Award. He finished second to basketball great Ralph Sampson in the Athlete of the Year voting at UVA in 1981.

After his career at UVA came to an end, Macdonald played professionally for three years. He achieved ATP rankings of No. 200 in the world in singles and No. 130 in the world in doubles while winning tournaments on four continents. During his playing career, Macdonald scored wins over David Pate, Wally Masur, Jacob Hlasek and Juan Aguilera. He also gained Grand Slam experience, playing in the United States Open. Among his victories was the Florida State Closed Men's Singles Championship.

Following his pro playing career, Macdonald became a private instructor, a position he held until being offered the LSU job in 1988. Macdonald believes the climate at Vanderbilt is ripe to produce national championship caliber teams.

"All the elements are here for a player to have the greatest experience of her life. She can get a world-class education, become a great tennis player and develop into the best possible person."

Macdonald is married to the former Kate Daniels, an Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt, who has also taught at Wake Forest, LSU, Virginia, UMass and Bennington College. They have three children - Sam, age 16, Gus, 11, and Jane, eight.

Vanderbilt Coaching Statistics
-Led Vanderbilt to the Finals of the NCAA Championships in 2001
-Of his 13 scholarship recruits so far, ten have earned an ITA ranking.
-Took Commodores to first NCAA Championship in school history in 1995.
-Since 1995, has taken Vanderbilt to seven consecutive NCAA tournaments.
-VU's 26 wins in 2001 is a school record
-In his first five years at Vanderbilt, Macdonald's teams won more matches than the previous 11 teams did prior to his arrival.
-Named 2000 SEC Coach of the Year

Other Statistics
Duke University (1991-1994)

-Led Duke to first NCAA Final Four appearance
-Led Duke to 1992, 1993 and 1994 ACC titles
-Named 1992 ACC Coach of the Year

Louisiana State University (1988-1991)
-Named SEC Coach of the Year oLed LSU to its first ever NCAA team berth
-Took over team that was last in SEC and earned a No. 13 seed in NCAA Championships three years later

As a Player (1978-1984)
-1981 NCAA Tournament selection
-1981 ACC Singles Champion at Univeristy of Virginia
-1981 ACC Most Valuable Player
-Winner of the ACC Sportmanship Award
-Competed on ATP Tour (1981-1984), World Top 200 ranking
-Competed at 1982 U.S. Open

 








 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
                   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)