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UGA Men’s Tennis: The Southern Tennis Foundation announces the induction of three into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame: Manny Diaz, Jane Preyer and Keith Richardson.
- Has compiled a 767-192 (.800) record in 36 years as the head men’s tennis coach at the University of Georgia.
- The all-time winningest coach in SEC history, just ahead of Bulldog legend Dan Magill.
- Led Georgia to six national championships and a remarkable 29 SEC titles.
- Named the ITA National Coach of the Year three times and the SEC Coach of the Year on seven occasions.
- Diaz’s teams have made 11 trips to the NCAA finals and 18 appearances in the NCAA semifinals round. His squads have also finished with an unblemished conference mark seven times.
Manuel Diaz – the SEC’s all-time winningest coach with 767 career victories – has guided Georgia to 29 SEC championships, four NCAA national titles (1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008) and two ITA indoor national championships in 36 years.
Most recently, the Bulldogs captured the SEC crown with a perfect 12-0 conference record on their way to the NCAA quarterfinals. Under Diaz’s guidance, redshirt-freshman Ethan Quinn became just the fourth rookie since 1977 to win the NCAA singles championship and the third Georgia player to accomplish the feat, joining the elite company of Mikael Pernfors and Matias Boeker.
Overall, Diaz’s teams have made 11 trips to the NCAA finals and 18 appearances in the NCAA semifinals round. His squads have also finished with unblemished conference mark seven times.
From 2013-17, Georgia won five-straight SEC championships for the first time since 1971-75. The 2017 SEC Coach of the Year guided the Bulldogs to their second consecutive NCAA semifinals and 24th overall. Under his leadership, the top-ranked duo of Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb earned All-America status after advancing all the way to the 2017 NCAA Doubles Championship match.
Diaz won the 600th match of his career against Alabama in April 2014, becoming just the 10th NCAA Division-I coach to reach that milestone.
Diaz led the Bulldogs to their second consecutive NCAA Championship in 2008. The sixth NCAA team championship title in school history, Diaz has accounted for four of them as the head coach (1999, 2001, 2007, 2008), and he was also an assistant coach under Magill on both of the other winning squads (1985, ‘87).
From April 23, 2005, to March 19, 2010, Diaz coached the Dawgs to 71 straight wins at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, the second-longest home winning streak in program history. Diaz led Georgia to 11 consecutive national top-five finishes from 1989 to 1999, a feat no other school in the country can match.
Diaz’s Bulldogs won the program’s first-ever triple crown of tennis in 2001, as the team won its second national title in three years, while Matias Boeker won the NCAA singles crown and teamed with Travis Parrott for the doubles championship. It was only the third time since 1977 that such a feat had been accomplished.
Diaz was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1989, 1995, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2017 and 2023. Under Diaz, Georgia has seen 39 players earn 77 All-America honors. Five Bulldogs have been four-year All-Americans: Mike Sell (1992-95), Jamie Laschinger (1993-96), Steven Baldas (1995-98), Bo Hodge (2001-04) and most recently John Isner (2004-07).
Diaz has a proven track record at developing players for their careers in college and beyond. After he was a four-time All-American at UGA, Isner has gone on to achieve a top-10 ATP world ranking. Diaz was involved in the development of 1984 and 1985 NCAA singles champion Mikael Pernfors, who also went on to reach an ATP top-10 ranking along with being a finalist in the 1986 French Open.
Diaz also coached Grand Slam champions Murphy Jensen (French Open doubles) and T.J. Middleton (Wimbledon mixed doubles) in addition to numerous players who were in or around the ATP top-100 in the world.
Diaz is a respected and honored leader in collegiate tennis including being selected as the Wilson/ITA National Coach-of-the Year in 1995, 2001 and 2007. In 2000, he was inducted into the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame of Georgia Hall of Fame. For his outstanding contribution to tennis in his home country of Puerto Rico, Diaz was inducted into the Puerto Rican Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2017, Diaz was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
Diaz played at Georgia from 1972-75 and was a two-time All-American. He was named assistant coach in 1982, promoted to associate head coach in 1985 and head coach during the 1988-89 season.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Diaz is married to the former Suzanne Rondeau of Toronto, Canada. They have three sons: Manuel III, Eric and Alex.
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