Set to begin his 11th season as head coach of the University of Arkansas women's tennis program, Michael Hegarty has returned the Razorbacks to national prominence with two Southeastern Conference Western Division championships and six trips to the NCAA Tournament, including five of the past six seasons.
Under Hegarty, Arkansas improved from an 8-13 finish his first year in 2004 to 11-11 in 2005 to a spot in the NCAA Tournament in 2006. The school's first ever SEC Western Division titles followed in 2008 and 2009. The '08 club advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament while the '09 team reached the Round of 16.
In the 2012-13 season, Hegarty overtook Kevin Platt for the most wins in program history. With 13 wins during the season, Hegarty owns the all-time record with a 134-114. Hegarty earned his 125th career victory over Washington State on Jan 26, 2013 to pass Platt. The 2012-13 season saw Hegarty guide a team that was filled with mostly underclassmen to a strong season, despite not making the postseason.
In 2011-12, the team continued its run of postseason appearances, making the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight season and the sixth time in the past seven years. The Razorbacks had wins over seven ranked opponents, including No. 12 Tennessee, No. 31 Oklahoma, and No. 37 LSU.
In 2010, despite replacing three players in his singles lineup from the 2009 team, he finished 18-10, ranked No. 22 in the nation and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks had wins over No. 22 Ole Miss, No. 23 Washington, No. 27 TCU, No. 32 Tulsa and No. 35 Oklahoma. Hegarty was named the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
In 2009, the Razorbacks were 15-8 and won the SEC West at 8-4. Arkansas beat Oral Roberts and No. 28 TCU in the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 3 Duke, 4-2. During the regular season, Hegarty's team posted wins over No. 13 Kentucky, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 16 Florida and No. 22 LSU.
Hegarty was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2008 after going 18-10, winning the SEC West at 9-2 and guiding the Razorbacks to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Also the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year, Arkansas beat No. 46 Wake Forest, No. 14 North Carolina and No. 2 Georgia in the post-season before losing to No. 7 UCLA. During the regular season, Arkansas posted wins over No. 6 Georgia, No. 15 Kentucky and No. 20 Tennessee.
Under Hegarty's tutelage, the Razorbacks have accumulated individual honors. Aurelija Miseviciute won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Championship title in 2007. Consistently ranked in the top three in the country, Miseviciute repeated as ITA National Indoor Champion in 2008.
Arkansas' most decorated women's tennis player, Miseviciute, with the help of Hegarty, won an astounding 126 singles matches in her career, earned two All-America and three All-SEC honors, and was a finalist for the Honda Award in 2008 and 2009.
In 2013, freshman Yang Pang received numerous accolades during her breakout debut. Pang was named ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year, as well as being named to the All-SEC First Team and All-Freshman Team.
Anouk Tigu was voted the ITA Central Region Player to Watch in spring 2010, and she validated the attention by winning the ITA Central Region championship in fall 2010. Also in 2010, Kelsey Sundaram was named the ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year. Tigu, who was ranked No. 29 in the nation was first-team All-SEC while Sundaram made the all-freshman team.
Another honoree is Ela Kaluder, who was named the 2007 ITA Player to Watch, an honor that proved prophetic in 2009 when Kaluder was named the ITA Central Region Senior Player of the Year. She also earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2007 and 2008.
Not content for his players to succeed only on the court, Hegarty has instilled a strong academic work ethic into his players, believing tennis should go hand-in-hand with a college education. Leading the way in the classroom was Miseviciute, who was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in both 2008 and 2009.
Since 2004, Hegarty's Razorbacks have been named to the SEC Honor Roll a total of 35 times.
After a successful college and professional career, Hegarty began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Auburn University, in 1994. After two seasons with the Tigers, Hegarty took his first job at Arkansas, assistant coach of the men's tennis team under current men's head coach Robert Cox for a year before taking an assistant coaching position with the Kentucky Wildcats men and women's programs.
Hegarty took his first head coaching job at Fresno State in 1997 where he took the west coast by storm. The Bulldogs spent three seasons in the Top 25 with Hegarty and were crowned Western Athletic Conference champions in 1999. For this, Hegarty was named WAC and Region VII Coach of the Year.
Before returning to Arkansas, Hegarty served as an assistant coach for the University of Florida men's tennis team from 2001-2003, helping transform Florida men's tennis into a national powerhouse. For his work with the Gators, Hegarty was named the ITA Southeast Regional Assistant Coach of the Year.
While playing at Auburn, Hegarty broke the Top 20 in singles in both 1992 and 1993. He was named a two-time academic All-SEC honoree and graduated with a degree in journalism. After graduating and entering the pro circuit, Hegarty was ranked as high as 284th in the world and competed in several world-renowned tournaments including the 1994 US Open, the Australian Open and the NASDAQ Open.
Hegarty and his wife, Mary McDonald, currently reside in Fayetteville with their two children.