A respected leader in the coaching community, Mike Patrick has established a reputation for his ability to elevate collegiate tennis programs and players to the highest level of performance. For the 14th consecutive season, his efforts will continue to be bolstered by his wife and co-head coach, Sonia Hahn-Patrick. The union has proven to be very beneficial in all aspects of Tennessee women's tennis.
Last year, Patrick continued to add to his impressive résumé, leading the Orange and White on its deepest postseason run in eight years. UT advanced all the way to the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships before falling to No. 5 Notre Dame. Tennessee finished the season ranked 13th in the Campbell's/ITA poll and had four players named to the All-SEC team. Additionally, Patrick helped push the doubles team of Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota all the way to the individual doubles finals of the NCAA Championships. For this, he and Coach Hahn-Patrick were named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Co-Head Coaches of the Year.
The winningest coach in Tennessee women's tennis history, Patrick has a career record of 449-260 (.633). Before compiling a 393-232 (.629) mark with Tennessee, Patrick put up a record of 47-12 (.797) as Kentucky's head coach, as well a 9-16 (.360) mark as the men's coach at Arkansas in 1986-87.
Since taking over at UT, Patrick has seen 21 squads reach top-25 national finishes in the rankings. The highest came in 2000-01 when the Orange and White finished sixth in the country and second in the SEC, the highest conference placement in program history. He has also guided multiple players to All-America status, places on All-SEC teams and spots as high as No. 1 in the national rankings.
The latest players to earn such recognitions were Whoriskey (No. 10 singles/All-SEC First Team), Maria Sorbello (No. 53 singles/All-SEC second team), Alda (All-SEC second team) and Zubor (All-SEC second team). In the 2009-10 season, Whoriskey and Pluskota finished the season atop the Campbell/ITA doubles rankings, becoming the first players in school history to end the season ranked No. 1 nationally. They were named to the ITA All-Star team and also earned All-America distinction. Prior to that, in 2008-09 season, Whoriskey and Pluskota finished the season No. 8 in doubles, claiming All-America honors. Just a season earlier, Patrick helped Whoriskey and Zubor to an ITA ranking of No. 2, the highest of any UT doubles team. Prior to that season, only three other duos had been ranked in the top 10 for doubles, all under Patrick's leadership. Margie Lepsi and Manisha Malhotra claimed the program's first top-10 finish, coming in at No. 5 in the 1996-97 season, then followed up with a spot at the seventh position at the conclusion of the 1997-98 campaign. Vilmarie Castellvi and Melissa Schaub came in at No. 6 after the 2002-03 season.
In 2006-07, senior Blakeley Griffith earned All-SEC First Team honors and was ranked 29th in the country in the season's final poll. UT's most dramatic triumph that season came in the SEC quarterfinals against No. 23 South Carolina where Griffith, with the team score tied at 3-3, emerged with a three-set victory over Gira Schofield to close out the win and allow the Lady Vols to advance to the tournament's semifinal round for the second straight season. It was in that same year that Patrick steered his squad to a dozen victories over ranked squads and a 14-11 overall record. Also found in those rankings was the UT doubles team of Whoriskey and Zubor, which paired up toward the end of the season to post an 8-4 record and claim the No. 29 spot on the doubles chart. Griffith's success carried off the court as well, where she was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team.
Two seasons previous, Griffith was joined by Sabita Maharaj on the All-SEC Second Team, while Victoria Jones found a home on the first team. Additionally, Maharaj was awarded a bid to the 2005 NCAA Singles Championship.
In 2002-03, Patrick coached Castellvi to more than just All-SEC and All-America honors. He steered his player to the Orange and White's first-ever SEC Player of the Year award. She later earned All-America status for the second-straight season in singles and picked up the recognition in doubles for the first time. During the 2003 NCAA Singles Championship, Castellvi went on to become the first Lady Vol to reach the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament and ended the year with a final ranking of No. 1. In June, Castellvi was given the prestigious Honda Sports Award for tennis, which honors the nation's most outstanding woman athlete. She is the only Lady Vol netter to win the prize. Additionally, she earned edSouth Lady Vol Athlete of the Year accolades for the second campaign in a row.
While Patrick has assisted in leading Tennessee to 20 showings at the NCAA Tournament, the deepest run came in 2002. The Lady Vols, who had previously never advanced past the NCAA Sweet 16, reached the Final Four before falling to SEC-rival Florida.
During this run to the Final Four, Patrick also captured his 300th-career victory as a head coach at the collegiate level with a 7-0 win over Illinois on Jan. 27, 2002. Almost exactly six years later, Patrick would defeat Illinois again, 6-1, this time for career win No. 400. At the 2004 NCAA Tournament, Patrick's Lady Vols defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels to give him his 200th victory as a Tennessee head coach. In 1993, Patrick earned his 100th win at Tennessee when the Lady Vols defeated Kentucky in their final regular-season dual match.
Patrick's success hasn't gone unnoticed by those in the tennis coaching community, as he was named SEC Co-Coach of the Year in 2009, and received the same honor for the first time in 2001. Also in 2001, the ITA dubbed the Mike and Sonia as National Co-Coaches of the Year. He has received the ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year award in 1992, 1999, and 2001. In 1986, while coaching at Kentucky, he took home the SEC Coach of the Year award.
Now in his 24th season as mentor of the Lady Vols, Patrick has made the Orange and White a fixture in the national spotlight and helped coach several individuals to national prominence.
The winningest coach in Lady Vol tennis history, Patrick revived the program from an SEC cellar dweller into a national contender. He inherited a Lady Vol team which finished eighth in the conference and has transformed it into a perennial force in the SEC. His first Tennessee squad finished the season ranked 22nd in the country. Since then, the Lady Vols have enjoyed 20 trips to the NCAA Championships, nine berths in the ITA National Indoors and seven 20-win campaigns. He has a 440-244 (.643 pct.) overall record in 24 years as a women's head coach and a 449-260 (.633 pct.) mark over 25 years as an intercollegiate tennis coach, which includes one season at Arkansas as the men's coach.
Patrick began his coaching career at the University of Kentucky in 1984. He earned his reputation as a coach with the "Midas Touch" at UK. His first Lady Kat team held the school record for most wins in a season with 25 until the 2005 Kentucky squad went 26-6.
Kentucky enjoyed two 20-win seasons during Patrick's two-and-a-half year stint in Lexington. The Lady Kats were ranked as high as sixth in the country under Patrick, and his 1985-86 team finished second in the SEC, a feat that earned him SEC Coach of the Year honors.
He left Kentucky to become the head men's tennis coach at the University of Arkansas. In what he calls one of his greatest accomplishments as a head coach, Patrick guided a Razorback team plagued by turmoil to a 9-16 record and a fifth-place finish in the Southwest Conference.
Patrick's duties and success extend far beyond the UT campus. He is highly active in coaching on the national and international scenes as well as with the area's top junior talent. He has also served on various ITA committees.
Some of his previous tours of duty have included coaching U.S. Soisbaut Cup teams and serving as a coach for the USTA National Team. In 1987, he served as head coach of the U.S. tennis team at the World University Games and coached the U.S. World Youth Cup and Continental Cup teams. He was also the coach of the U.S. Junior Federation Cup team in 1986 and 1987 and the U.S. National Team from 1988-92.
Patrick regularly holds tennis clinics for area juniors and hosted a tennis camp for some of the Southeast Region's best juniors for nine consecutive summers. Additionally, Patrick served as an associate director at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from 1979-84. While there, he helped write the book, Tennis Your Way. He has also been the touring coach for numerous professional players.
Patrick played collegiate tennis at Middle Tennessee State and was on two Ohio Valley Conference championship teams. He graduated from MTSU in 1979 with a B.A. in international relations and attended the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law at Memphis State.