Peter Smith, who guided the Trojans to four straight NCAA Championships from 2009-2012, now enters his 12th season as head coach of the USC men's tennis program. Smith has compiled a 508-202 (.715) career coaching record and is 238-67 (.780) at USC, which leads the nation with 20 national men's tennis team titles. His Trojans have made seven straight NCAA appearances entering 2014, with four titles, three quarterfinal appearances and seven top-10 final rankings during that stretch.
In 2013, USC came up short of a fifth consecutive NCAA title with a run that ended in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Trojans went 26-5 overall last season. Smith was named the 2012 ITA National Coach of the Year as USC went 33-1 overall in its run to the NCAA title followed by senior Steve Johnson ending his illustrious collegiate career on a 72-match singles win string en route to his second straight NCAA Singles Championship in 2012.
The previous season, Smith was named 2011 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Trojans to their first undefeated conference season since 1987. Also the 2011 USPTA National College Coach of the Year, Smith and his Trojans built up their collection of NCAA trophies in claiming their third consecutive national championship in 2011. Following a perfect 6-0 mark in Pac-10 play, the Trojans went on a 20-match win streak to close out the year on top again. USC was a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and beat top seed Virginia 4-3 in the final. Smith would then see his top gun, Steve Johnson, keep rolling and win the 2011 NCAA Singles Championship a week later.
The previous year, Smith and the Trojans had managed a repeat, this time standing as the No. 5 seed and upsetting the top-seeded Cavaliers before taking down No. 2 Tennessee 4-2 in the title match. Also holding a share of the Pac-10 championship, USC finished 25-3 overall in 2010 on the way to claiming back-to-back national championships for the first time since 1993-94.
the 2010 ITA National Coach of the Year to go along with Pac-10 and ITA West Regional Coach of the Year honors.
In 2009, Smith guided the Trojans through a historic run. USC finished second in the Pac-10, but gained momentum for its fourth straight NCAA appearance as the No. 8 seed. The Trojans upset top-seeded Virginia in the quarterfinals and went on to upset No. 3 seed Ohio State to win the NCAA Championship -- Smith's first as a head coach and USC's 17th team tennis title -- to finish 25-5 overall.
In 2008, Smith's Trojans reached the NCAA Quarterfinals and went 22-5 overall. His doubles team of Robert Farah and Kaes Van't Hof won USC's 21st NCAA doubles title in 2008, in addition to the Pac-10 Doubles Championship.
Smith was named head coach of the USC men in June of 2002, becoming only the fifth head coach in Trojan tennis history. His 26-year career includes coaching at Pepperdine, Fresno State and Long Beach State. Once at Troy, Smith extended his streak of sending teams to the NCAA Tournament to 12 consecutive seasons, as the Trojans reached the NCAA Second Round in his first season, the semifinals in 2004, and the second round again in 2005.
In 2006, USC missed the postseason with an 8-14 record. In 2007, USC reemerged on the NCAA scene, racking up its best program start since 1987 with an 11-0 record on the way to a second-place finish in the Pac-10 (6-1) and a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals to finish 23-3 overall. It was the biggest turnaround in USC history, and the mark stands out as the fewest losses sustained since USC went 22-3 in 1994, when the Trojans won their 15th NCAA title. Smith was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and ITA West Region Coach of the Year in 2007.
Smith is the only men's tennis coach ever to lead four different men's programs to national top-25 rankings and is one of only two coaches to guide three different schools to the NCAA quarterfinals and top-5 national rankings (USC, Pepperdine and Fresno State).
In 2002, Smith left Pepperdine following a 25-6 season in which he led the Waves to the NCAA quarterfinals and a final No. 5 national ranking. He had earned his fifth straight West Coast Conference Coach of the Year honor and was tabbed the ITA West Region Coach of the Year for the second time in three years (also won in 2000). In five years at Pepperdine (1998-2002), Smith compiled a 118-31 (.792) dual match record and finished in the Top 20 every year. The Waves won the WCC title and advanced to at least the NCAA Second Round each season. Smith also coached Kelly Gullett and Robert Lindstedt to the 1998 NCAA doubles final and Al Garland to a No. 1 national singles ranking during the 2002 season.
Smith spent six seasons (1992-97) as men's head coach at Fresno State, transforming the Bulldogs into a top-20 program. His record there was 102-57 (.642) as he led the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA tourney in 1994 and coached the program's first-ever All-American (Fredrik Bergh) in 1995. In all, he guided the Bulldogs into the NCAAs in his last four seasons. Smith enjoyed his greatest success at Fresno State in 1996 when the team won its first Western Athletic Conference title, posted a 23-5 dual match record (the best in school history) and earned its third straight NCAA berth with a No. 6 national ranking. That season, he was named ITA Region VII and WAC Coach of the Year.
Smith, who has been named conference coach of the year 10 times during his career, was the only men's coach to take two different schools to the NCAA quarterfinals in the 1990s -- doing so at Fresno State in 1996 and Pepperdine in 1998. Additionally, Smith was the only men's coach whose teams did not lose a match in NCAA regional play (under the previous format).
Smith, 48, earned a bachelor's in liberal studies (while coaching the men's tennis team) from Long Beach State in 1987 and was a four-year letter winner for the 49ers. After playing professionally for 15 months and competing at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, Smith returned to Long Beach State and became the youngest Division I men's tennis head coach at age 23. He served as the 49ers' head coach for four years (1988-91), compiling an overall record of 50-47 (.515).
Smith and his wife, Tammie, have three sons, Tanner, Riley and Colter.