In his 24th season as the Georgia men's tennis coach and one of only two coaches in program history, former Bulldog Manuel Diaz guided the team to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the eighth straight season. Following the 2011-12 season, Diaz owns a career record of 559-117 (.827).
In 2012 Diaz's Bulldogs won the program's 34th overall SEC title and eighth tournament crown, defeating Kentucky in the finals in Starkville, Miss. The 2012 season was also special for Diaz as he captured his 550th career win in a mid-season dual match vs. Vanderbilt, and was named the ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career. It was his 30th season overall coaching in Athens as he completed six seasons as an assistant. With a final ranking of No. 5 in both 2011 and 2012, Diaz's teams have finished in the top-five of the ITA rankings five of the last seven years.
The 2011 season saw Diaz and the Bulldogs secure the program's 26th regular-season and 33rd overall Southeastern Conference title before reaching the semifinals of the NCAA Championships for the fifth time in six seasons.In 2010, Diaz became just the sixth head coach in Georgia history to notch 500 career wins as the accolades continue to pile up for one of the nation's top coaches.
Manuel Diaz led the Bulldogs to their second consecutive NCAA Championship in 2008. The sixth NCAA team championship title in school history, Diaz has accounted for four of them as the head coach (1999, 2001, 2007, 2008). He was also an assistant coach under Dan Magill on both of the other winning squads (1985, '87). Diaz is currently one of only two active head coaches to win multiple NCAA championships (USC's Peter Smith).
Diaz coached the Dogs to their third consecutive SEC Championship in 2008, earning what was then the 25th regular-season championship in school history, far and away the most of any conference school. His teams have also claimed a conference-leading seven SEC Tournament championships. Combined, Georgia has claimed 34 SEC championship titles and has doubled up to win both championships in the same year six times.
In addition to his four NCAA Championships, Diaz's teams have reached the NCAA finals seven other times: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2006. Since 2006, Diaz has coached his team to a remarkable 185-25 record that includes an undefeated 32-0 National Championship season in 2007. Georgia was also 30-1 in 2006, with its lone loss coming in the NCAA Finals. From April 23, 2005 to March 19, 2010, Diaz coached the Dogs to 71 straight wins at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, the second-longest home winning streak in program history.
Diaz led Georgia to 11 consecutive national top-five finishes from 1989 to '99, a feat no other school in the country can match.
Diaz's Bulldogs won the program's first-ever triple crown of tennis in 2001, as the team won its second national title in three years, while Matias Boeker won the NCAA singles crown and teamed with Travis Parrott for the doubles championship. It was only the third time since 1977 that such a feat had been accomplished.
Diaz has led Georgia to 13 regular season SEC titles in his 21 seasons to go along with eight SEC Tournament titles. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1989, 1995, 2001, 2006 and 2007.
Under Diaz, Georgia has seen 31 different players earn 66 All-America honors. This total ranks tied for second behind Stanford for most All-Americans nationally in that time period. Diaz has also coached six of Georgia's seven four-time All-Americans, including: Al Parker (1988-91), Mike Sell (1992-95), Jamie Laschinger (1993-96), Steven Baldas (1995-98), Bo Hodge (2001-04) and most recently John Isner (2004-07).
Under Diaz, Georgia has been among the most nationally-televised collegiate programs. Georgia made history in 2007, when its national championship win in Athens at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex became the first collegiate tennis match ever to be televised live. The production was carried on ESPNU.
The Bulldogs have had a player in the NCAA singles finals in 1991, 1992, 1993, 2002 and 2007, and appeared in the team final in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008, all of which have been televised by ESPN. In 2005, Isner and Ruiz's doubles win was televised by The Tennis Channel. Georgia had a player in the team, singles and doubles finals in 2001, but those matches were not televised.
Diaz is a respected and honored leader in collegiate tennis including being selected as the Wilson/ITA National Coach-of-the Year in 1995, 2001 and 2007. He was inducted into the State of Georgia Hall of Fame in the fall of 2000. For his outstanding contribution to tennis in his home country of Puerto Rico, Diaz was inducted into the Puerto Rican Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998.
Diaz is married to the former Suzanne Rondeau of Toronto, Canada. They have three sons: Manuel III, Eric and Alex. Eric is a redshirt sophomore on the men's tennis team.