When then-men's tennis associate head coach Cedric Kauffmann began the work week on Monday, July 23, 2012 he knew the week ahead could be special. He was right. Later on that day, Kauffmann and his wife, Caroline, welcomed their fourth child to the family while two days later on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, he accepted his dream job and was named the 12th head coach in men's tennis program history.
Kauffmann, who served as an assistant coach for the men's tennis team since 2005, including being promoted to associate head coach in the fall of 2009, received countless credit from 30-year head coach Dennis Emery, who retired in mid-July, and UK administration for the team's historic success over the last four seasons.
"This is an opportunity that I have dreamed about since I was a student-athlete here at Kentucky," Kauffmann said. "Anyone who spends even a short amount of time with me knows how I feel about the University of Kentucky and I am committed to work tirelessly to keep our program as one of the best in college tennis. I want to thank Mitch Barnhart and (senior associate athletics director) Russ Pear for giving me this opportunity and especially want to thank Dennis Emery for making me a Wildcat back in 1995 and teaching me so much about the game."
Kauffmann, who was named the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, has helped lead Kentucky to the best four-year stint in school history, posting 100 wins. During his seven years as a coach at Kentucky, the Wildcats held a 141-76 record, including six NCAA Tournament appearances with three Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight showing. In 2011, Kauffmann helped guide a talented team to a school-record 29 wins, while the 2012 squad went undefeated in Southeastern Conference action to claim the school's second SEC Championship.
UK has been ranked in the final 15 of the national team standings under Kauffmann's guidance in each of the past four seasons, including a No. 6 final ranking last season. During his seven-year stint as an assistant coach, Kauffmann led five players to a total of 10 All-America honors, including Eric Quigley, who ended his career as a five-time All-American. Kauffmann has also helped UK players earn 15 All-SEC honors.
"We are very excited to announce Cedric Kauffmann as our new men's tennis head coach," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "For the last seven years, Cedric has helped Coach Emery take our men's tennis program to new heights and he was an obvious choice for this position. His knowledge of the game of tennis is endless and his infectious personality helps sell our program and our university to recruits and the Big Blue Nation. We are lucky to have him here and I look forward to the success we are going to have with him at the helm."
The native of Montsoult, France, has strong ties to the university after graduating from UK with a degree in finance in the late 1990s. During his four-year stint as a student-athlete at Kentucky, Kauffmann was a three-time singles All-American and three-time All-SEC performer. Kauffmann also advanced deep into some of the best tournaments in the nation in college as a 1997 Clay Court Singles Championship finalist and a 1996 National Indoor Singles Championship semifinalist. Kauffmann's career-best ranking was second and he finished his career at Kentucky as the fourth-winningest player in school history. He currently ranks sixth all-time with a career record of 121-61.
After his college career ended, Kauffmann began a professional career, playing in two Grand Slam events in the 2000 United States Open and the 2001 French Open. During his 2001 French Open appearance, Kauffmann battled legendary tennis star Pete Sampras in a first-round five-set thriller. Kauffmann reached No. 170 in the ATP before leaving the professional ranks.
Before joining Emery's staff in 2005, Kauffmann served as the head tennis professional at the Five Seasons County Club in Cincinnati for two years. While there, he helped conduct tennis clinics and tennis lessons to members.
Kauffmann and his wife, Caroline, who is a native of the Bluegrass State, have four children.