Dean Orford is in his eighth season as the head women's tennis coach at The University of Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane has posted a 151-42 (.782) overall record in his first seven seasons, and Orford became the school's all-time winningest coach on Jan. 21, 2011 when he picked up his 105th-career victory.
Tulsa has been stunningly dominant at home during Orford's first six years, boasting an 96-11 mark (.897) at Michael D. Case Tennis Center since 2006.
The 2011 campaign was a banner year for Tulsa under Orford's guidance. The Golden Hurricane captured its fourth Conference USA Championship in five years, set the school record for wins in a single season (26-3) and advanced to the NCAA Second Round for the second-straight year.
Tulsa also reached its highest ITA ranking in school history when it was tabbed at No. 19 on April 5, 2011. TU finished with an unblemished 14-0 home record and boasted a 12-3 mark against ranked opponents. The team finished the year ranked No. 21, and Orford was named the C-USA Coach of the Year for the fourth time in five years and the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Orford led the Golden Hurricane to its third conference championship under his tenure in 2010, as TU finished with a 22-6 mark (9-6 against ranked opponents) and defeated Marshall 4-1 in the C-USA Championship match. Tulsa advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished the year ranked No. 32 in the nation. Orford was named the C-USA Coach of the Year for the third time in four years.
Tulsa finished with a 23-6 record in 2009, setting a new school record for most wins in a season. The Hurricane also made its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and completed the season ranked No. 36 in the nation by the ITA. Orford was named the 2009 ITA Central Region Head Coach of the Year for his efforts.
The Golden Hurricane finished with a 22-6 record in 2008, setting the school record for most wins in a season. Tulsa also captured its second-consecutive Conference USA Championship and made its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The team finished the season ranked No. 34 in the country, and Orford earned C-USA Coach of the Year honors for the second-straight season.
In 2007, Tulsa posted a record of 21-5, tying the previous school record for most wins in a season. The team also reached the NCAA Tournament for only the third time in school history. Orford also led the Tulsa women to the program's first-ever conference championship, defeating Marshall to win the 2007 Conference USA Championship. Orford earned his first-career C-USA Coach of the Year award.
During the 2005-06 season, Orford led the Tulsa women to a 14-12 mark and advanced to the semifinals of the Conference USA Championships. He was instrumental in coaching Santie Delport to first-team all-conference honors and Daniela Muscolino to third-team all-C-USA accolades.
Orford, who lettered at Tulsa from 1987-91 while occupying the No. 1 position in both singles and doubles, returned to coach at his alma mater in 1993 as an assistant men's coach. Since his return, Orford helped build the Hurricane men's program into a conference and regional power, as well as a national contender. He was honored as the Region V Assistant Coach of the Year five times in 12 seasons and was the national runner-up for Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002.
Orford played a key role in helping the Tulsa men reach seven NCAA Tournaments, win two Missouri Valley Conference titles (1995, 1996) and helped lead Tulsa to a Western Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up finish in 2002. On an individual scale, Orford coached five Tulsa athletes who reached All-America status, while TU also produced six Region V champions since 1997.
In 2005, the Hurricane posted a 15-11 mark and an Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking of No. 48, having reached as high as No. 37 during the season. The Golden Hurricane knocked off seven ranked opponents in those 15 wins, but missed the NCAA Tournament. Orford played a key role in the recruiting of the ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year, Will Gray.
During the 2004 season, Orford helped coach the Hurricane to a 12-14 record and a No. 57 ITA ranking against a schedule featuring 14 top-30 teams. He coached All-American Dustin Taylor (2001-2004) to a final ranking of No. 51, as well as a trip to the Round of 32 at the NCAA tournament. Orford was also instrumental in Taylor and doubles partner Alejandro Tejerina (2001-2004) advancing to the Round of 32 at the NCAA tournament.
In 2003, Orford aided Tulsa to a 12-13 record and a No. 49 final ITA ranking. He also helped three individuals qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship, as well as playing a key role in helping All-Americans Ryan Livesay (2001-03) and Taylor reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
In 2002, Orford helped TU compile a 16-12 mark, the most wins for Tulsa in six years, and the Hurricane finished as the WAC runner-up, which was the best showing for TU since joining the conference in 1996. Individually, a total of three TU players were selected to the 2002 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship.
During the 1999-2000 season, Tulsa made its sixth straight NCAA tournament appearance and posted a 12-12 overall record. For TU's accomplishments, Orford received the Region V Assistant Coach of the Year award for the fourth straight year. The year before, he played an instrumental role in coaching Gareth Williams (1996-99) and Nenad Toroman (1996-2000) to a runner-up finish at the 1999 NCAA Doubles Championships.
In 1997-98, he helped guide Tulsa to a No. 39 national ranking and a 15-12 record, including TU's first-ever NCAA tournament victory over No. 48 Colorado. Orford also played an instrumental role in helping Tulsa's doubles combination of Louie Pranic (1995-98) and Williams become TU's first tennis All-Americans that year.
Before joining the Tulsa staff, Orford taught top-ranked junior tennis players in the state of Oklahoma. He was also the Tennis Pro at the South Hampton Bath and Tennis Club in New York, where he was the director for junior development.
A native of South Africa, Orford received his bachelor's degree in graphic design from Tulsa in 1992.
Orford and his wife, Sally Ann, have two sons, Josey Eli and Ethan.