Steve Wilkinson recently completed his 34th season as the head coach of the men’s tennis team. The Sioux City, Iowa native has built a dynasty in St Peter, as the Gusties have won 31 of the past 34 MIAC tennis titles (including 16 straight) and have compiled an astonishing conference dual match record of 301-1 (.996).
This past season Wilkinson guided Gustavus to a 28-7 record, a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships and a second place finish at the ITA Division III Indoor Championships. The Gusties have made 11 consecutive appearances at the NCAA Championships. In 2003 Wilkinson's squad placed third at the NCAA Championships as well as a first place finish at the ITA Indoor Championships. He also coached the national singles and doubles champions. He was named the National Coach of the Year by the ITA.
Wilkinson’s career record is an impressive 806-242 (.767). He is the winningest active coach in Division III and is the fourth coach in the history of collegiate tennis to post 800 wins. Since Wilkinson took over the Gustavus tennis program, his teams have won two NCAA Division III titles (1980 and 1982), six national championships in doubles, and four national titles in singles.
He has been named the NAIA National Coach of the Year twice (1974 and 1984) and the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year three times (1983, 2001, 2003). Wilkinson has been very involved in several national tennis organizations having served on the executive committees of the United States Professional Tennis Association, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and the United States Tennis Association.
Wilkinson played collegiate tennis at the University of Iowa where he lettered for three seasons and finished second in #1 doubles at the Big Ten Championships his senior season. He was inducted into the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame in 1974, the Northern Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Missouri Valley Hall of Fame in 1999.
Still very active playing tennis, Wilkinson has been top ranked in the United States in the 60 and over division. He has represented the United States in the Dubler Cup, Perry Cup and Austria Cup competition winning the world championship in Montevideo, Uraguay in 1989 and finishing second in Berlin, Germany in 1992.
In the summer, Wilkinson and his wife Barbara run the Tennis and Life Camps on the Gustavus campus.