Head coach Ty Tucker, the 2009 ITA National Coach of the Year and the recipient of six-consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year honors (2006-11), has lifted the Ohio State men's tennis team to elite status. He has proved to the nation his squads are capable of defeating many of the country's top teams since taking over control of the program in 1999.
Since his inaugural season in 1999-00, Tucker has guided Ohio State to six regular-season Big Ten Conference titles and six league tournament championships, including six-consecutive from 2006-11. Tucker's teams have never finished below fourth in the regular-season conference standings. In fact, after tying for fourth in 2000, Tucker and the Buckeyes finished second from 2001-2005 before winning the conference the last six seasons. Since that 2000 campaign, the Scarlet and Gray has won at least 20 matches each season and at least 30 the past four seasons. Prior to the start of the 2011-12 season, Ohio State has won 128-consecutive matches at home.
In NCAA action, Tucker and the Buckeyes have compiled a 29-12 record, advancing to the program's first NCAA championship final in 2009 in College Station, Texas. Tucker led Ohio State as far as the semifinals in 2011 and the quarterfinals in 2004, `06, '07, '08 and `10. Tucker also has coached 10 different singles players and nine doubles tandems in 11 NCAA championships. Owning a 326-53 overall record and a 137-16 ledger vs. the Big Ten, Tucker captured his 300th career win after a 7-0 victory over LSU Feb. 12, 2011, in Columbus.
A seven-time Big Ten and four-time ITA Region IV Coach of the Year, Tucker has coached 10 All-Americans, most recently Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola in 2011. Tucker has also mentored 2008 All-American Justin Kronauge, Jeremy Wurtzman (2004), who was the ITA/Farnsworth National Senior co-Player of the Year in 2004, Ross Wilson (2005, '06), Scott Green (2005, '06), Drew Eberly (2008), Bryan Koniecko (2009) and Steven Moneke (2009). Tucker witnessed three of his players reach the top of the ITA singles national rankings in Wurtzman (2004), Moneke (2007) and Koniecko (2009). Koniecko and Moneke are also the only Buckeyes in program history to have four All-America honors. Green and Wilson ended their careers as one of only three doubles teams in the nation to win three ITA national titles after also capturing the ITA All-American Championships in 2004.
In 2003, Vincent Ng, who later went on to become the Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year, was Tucker's first Big Ten singles champion, followed by Joey Atas, the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Buckeyes garnered back-to-back conference freshman of the year accolades when Koniecko won in 2006 and Kronauge in `07. Rola also was recognized as conference freshman of the year in 2011, while Kronauge also won ITA Midwest Freshman of the Year in 2007. Rola also was the ITA National Player to Watch in 2011. In 2008 and 2009, Tucker guided Koniecko to back-to-back Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors, before leading Buchanan to the same back-to-back honor in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, Buchanan became the first sophomore in Ohio State history to earn the distinction. During Tucker's tenure, a Buckeye has been named All-Big Ten 28 times.
2011 saw Ohio State finish 34-3 while advancing to the NCAA semifinals for the second time and sixth-consecutive time the team made it as far as the NCAA quarterfinals. Under Tucker, the Scarlet and Gray went 13-0 in Big Ten play for the sixth season in a row. The Buckeyes finished third in the final ITA standings, marking the 11th-consecutive season being ranked in the Top 25 in the final poll.
In 2010, the Buckeyes came within a win of tying the school record for most wins, which was set in 2009 (36). They finished with a 35-2 record and achieved the second highest winning percentage in school history (.946). Ohio State finished the season ranked fifth nationally in the ITA rankings. In dual competition, the Buckeyes outscored their opponents, 125-12, in Columbus, Ohio, while extending their home win streak to 110-consecutive matches.
Also in 2010, graduating senior and now-assistant coach, Justin Kronauge became the all-time program leader in singles wins (147), doubles wins (133) and overall career wins (280).
The 2009 season marked the best results the men's tennis program has ever witnessed, including the program's best winning percentage of .948 with an overall record of 36-2. The Buckeyes also advanced to the NCAA final championship.
During the fall season of the 2008-09 campaign, Koniecko won both singles titles at the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championship and the ITA National Indoor Championship. Koniecko defeated teammate Kronauge in both finals. The all-Buckeye national indoor championship marked only the second time in the history of the tournament two teammates faced each other in the singles final.
In 2008, Kronauge first put his name in the Ohio State record books after compiling a single-season singles record of 41-8, which now is tied for fifth all-time. Tucker coached Kronauge and Moneke to the quarterfinals of the NCAA singles championships that season and the team advanced to the quarterfinals for the third-straight year. Tucker captured his 200th career win after a 6-1 victory over Minnesota March 9, 2008, in Minneapolis.
The All-American duo of Koniecko and Moneke was instrumental in Tucker and the Buckeyes' successful 2007 campaign. The Buckeyes finished the season with a 30-2 record and a second-consecutive regular-season Big Ten crown. Ohio State went 10-0 during regular-season conference play and finished third nationally in the ITA rankings.
The 2006 season was the beginning of the Buckeyes' dominance in the league. Recording a 28-2 ledger, Ohio State relinquished its second-place league standing from the past five seasons to win the regular-season and tournament titles. The squad also received its seventh-consecutive bid to the NCAA team championship and hosted the first two rounds for the first time in program history.
It was also during this season, Green and Wilson cemented their place among the all-time collegiate tennis greats, as they became the first tandem in the 27 years of the ITA National Indoor Championships to win consecutive titles and the first doubles team in Ohio State history to win a national tournament.
Green and Wilson ended their careers as one of only three doubles teams in the nation to win three ITA national titles after also capturing the ITA All-American Championships in 2004.
Before taking over the Ohio State head coaching job, Tucker served as the Buckeyes' assistant coach for two seasons. He was responsible for U.S. recruiting and on-court development. Tucker was the main force behind the recruitment of both Phil Metz and Ng.
Tucker is accustomed to success in tennis. He left Ohio State in 1992 after his junior year to play on the professional circuit. He achieved a world ranking of No. 273 and in 1994 was ranked as high as No. 35 in the U.S. He earned significant wins over Tim Henman, Hendrik Dreekman and Sargis Sargisian and defeated Jimmy Arias to win the Novi Auto Mall Professional Tennis Challenge in Michigan. Tucker also played in more than 40 foreign tournaments between 1992 and 1995. In 2004, Tucker was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Tucker, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, earned three letters from 1989 to 1991 during his collegiate career. Tucker is a two-time All-American. He captured the No. 1 singles position his freshman year and held it for three seasons. He secured his place in the Ohio State history book with his dominating play, finishing with 64 career singles wins. Tucker's success in tennis began at an early age. As a player on the junior circuit, he established himself by accumulating nine United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Junior titles and was a tournament finalist 11 times. Tucker notched victories over Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Jim Courier.
When not on the courts, Tucker enjoys cooking and spending time and playing tennis with his daughter, Lakyn, a freshman at New Albany High School, Lakyn enjoys playing lacrosse and volleyball, swimming and cheerleading.
Born May 1970, Tucker graduated from Ohio State in 1998 with a degree in anthropology.
Ty Tucker Awards/Honors
2009 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year
2004, '06, '08, '10ITA Region IV Coach of the Year
2001, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11 Big Ten Coach of the Year