Head coach Billy Martin, who is in his 21st year as head coach of the UCLA Bruins, takes an overall record of 456-92 (.832) into the 2014 season. This year marks Martin's 31st on staff, as he served as an assistant coach for 10 years prior to taking over for Glenn Bassett in 1994. He is only the fourth head coach in UCLA tennis history, following legends Bill Ackerman (1921-50), J.D. Morgan (1951-66) and Bassett (1967-93). Only three active coaches at UCLA have served longer at their current positions, as Martin follows Cyndi Gallagher (women's swimming - 25 years) and Valorie Kondos Field (women's gymnastics - 24 years ). Perhaps the most amazing accomplishment in Martin's career is his ability to get the best out of his players each and every year, as in 20 seasons as head coach, only once has he had a team finish out of the top 5 at the season-ending NCAA Championships.
Martin's finest season at UCLA came in 2005 when he led the squad to its first NCAA title since 1984. UCLA's 4-3 come-from-behind victory over top-seeded and undefeated Baylor that year marked the Bruins' 16th NCAA Championship in men's tennis and the school's 97th NCAA title overall. The win snapped Baylor's 57-match winning streak, the second longest in NCAA history. It also avenged the team's 4-0 loss to the Bears in the 2004 NCAA Final.
In addition to the team's dramatic run to the title in 2005, Martin has had several near misses at the NCAA Championships, including last year when the top-seeded Bruins were narrowly edged by No. 2 Virginia, 4-3 in the championship match in Champaign, Ill. UCLA has reached the NCAA Final on three other occasions (1996, 1999, 2004). After reaching the final in just his third year as head coach, Martin was named the 1996 ITA National Coach of the Year, as the Bruins finished with a 27-1 overall record.
Another significant highlight in Martin's career is his outstanding success in the highly-competitive Pac-12 Conference, where he owns a 125-24 (.839) record heading into the 2014 season. UCLA is the defending Pac-12 Champions, winning both the regular-season and tournament titles in 2013. Following UCLA's perfect 7-0 mark in conference play last season, Martin was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, his third such honor after also winning it in 1996 and 2012 (co). Under Martin's direction, UCLA has captured 11 conference titles, including four in a row from 2004-07. UCLA has never finished out of the top 3 in the Pac-12 standings during Martin's tenure.
In addition to his numerous team accomplishments, Martin takes great pride in helping his players achieve their individual goals as well. In 2006, he helped Benjamin Kohlloeffel become the 10th player in school history to capture the NCAA Singles Championship. Kohlloeffel notched a straight-set win over Virginia's Somdev Devvarman in the title match that year, becoming the first Bruin player since Martin in 1975 to win the title. Kohlloeffel's victory put his coach in an elite category, as Martin joined Georgia's Manny Diaz as the only other active head coach to earn the career "triple crown" by leading their schools to three different titles at the NCAA Championships (team, singles and doubles). Martin's doubles title came when he coached Justin Gimelstob and Srdjan Muskatirovic to the championship in 1995. In all, a total of 19 players have achieved All-America status under Martin's direction.
Inducted into the ITA Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996, Martin's playing career is full of highlights. To this very day he is still regarded as one of the best junior players in the history of the sport. He captured the 1973 and '74 singles titles at Junior Wimbledon, the Junior U.S. Open and Junior Orange Bowl tournaments. Inside Tennis Magazine recently ran an article that named him "Junior Player of the Century." Due to his tremendous success as a junior player while growing up in Illinois, Martin was inducted into the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in December of 2010. He was also inducted into the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in August of 2011.
Although Martin played just one season at UCLA before turning pro, the 1975 season was a special one, as he guided the team to a perfect 19-0 dual-match record en route to an NCAA team championship during his freshman year.
After capturing the 1975 NCAA singles championship, Martin turned professional and enjoyed a fine career. He reached the Wimbledon singles quarterfinals in 1977 and was selected Rookie of the Year in his first professional season.
Martin defeated top pros such as Ken Rosewall (twice), Stan Smith, John Newcombe, Roscoe Tanner and Harold Soloman. In 1975 he won the Arkansas International singles title. He also won doubles championships in 1977, '79 and '81 in Laguna Niguel, CA, Brussels, Belgium and Bristol, England, respectively.
Martin attended UCLA for three years, working on his undergraduate studies before completing his bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Redlands in 1989. He earned his MBA from USC in 1991.
During the summer, Martin runs the Bassett-Martin Tennis Camp, one of the country's most successful camps for youngsters. Martin also directs the UCLA Summer Tennis Camps held on the UCLA campus.
Martin and his wife, Justine, have two children, William and Travis. Both of his sons play college tennis, with William currently at St. Mary's and Travis a freshman on the UCLA team.