F.D. Robbins enters his 27th season as the head coach of the Utah men's tennis team. Robbins has tallied a 323-312 record since taking over in 1987 and has led the Utes to four conference championships.
Year after year, Robbins' program has produced quality players who have gone on to post-collegiate success. Most recently, he coached Philip Eilers to ITA Mountain Region Senior Player of the Year and Mountain West Conference co-Player of the Year honors. After graduation, Eilers went on to win the USTA Intermountian Sectional Qualifying Tournament last summer to advance to the US Open National Playoffs. Additionally, former Ute Miron Mann earned his first ATP Ranking Points last year at the Canada F5 Futures event. Eilers and Mann join Zach Ganger and Wes Hancock among former Utes who are currently competing on various professional circuits.
Always maintaing a strong focus on academic success, Robbins' 2009-10 team also earned the ITA All-Academic Award, while three individuals were named ITA Scholar Athletes, including four-time honoree Timmy Allin.
In 2009, Robbins recorded his fifth straight winning season with a 16-9 record. The previous season, he coached Utah to its first league championship as a member of the Mountain West Conference, accumulating a 5-1 MWC record and a 13-11 overall mark. For those accomplishments, he was honored with Utah's Don Reddish Coach of the Year Award for the second time. Previously a two-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honoree, Robbins and the Utes captured WAC championships in 1987, `89 and `90.
Robbins has also coached 29 different players to 71 all-conference awards, including seven-time All-MWC honoree and 2008 Player of the Year, Zach Ganger. Under Robbins' tutelage, Christian Svensson became Utah's eighth All-American in 1997 while also earning Region VII Player of the Year honors.
Prior to becoming Utah's head coach, Robbins was an assistant under Harry James. During that time, he helped coach Greg Holmes to the 1983 NCAA Singles Championship and an All-America selection. Robbins' brother Jeff also became an AllAmerican at Utah during F.D.'s assistant coaching tenure as an assistant.
Robbins has guided Utah to six NCAA tournament appearances, advancing to the championships site three times (1987, `88 and `90). Utah also competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships three times (1987, `90 and `91).
As a collegiate player at Utah, Robbins compiled an impressive resume. He played the No. 1 singles position all four years and reached the NCAA tournament quarterfinals in 1970. He also won the National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships and achieved All-America status twice. Robbins graduated from the University of Utah in 1972 with a degree in finance.
After completing his collegiate career, Robbins played on the pro circuit and ranked as high as 20th in the nation in singles and 10th in doubles. He competed in the U.S. Open three times, reaching the third round once. Robbins also holds the record for the longest U.S. Open match ever played, needing 100 games to defeat Dick Dell in 1970, a record which can never be broken due to rule changes. He holds career victories over Roscoe Tanner, Dick Stockton, Eric Van Dillen, Bob McKinley, Tom Gorman and Sandy Mayer. He also was a member of the United States Davis Cup reserve team.
While at Olympus High School, Robbins was the Utah high school singles champion. He was also the No. 2-ranked player in the nation in the under-18 singles and doubles divisions. Robbins was one of two players to represent the United States at the International Junior Sunshine Cup and was also a competitor for the National Junior Davis Cup team from 1966-71. In the under-16 singles, Robbins was ranked fourth nationally. He and his partner won the National Junior Doubles title and were ranked No. 2 nationally. Robbins won the U.S. National Junior Grasscourts, U.S. National Junior Hardcourts and the U.S. National Junior Westerns.
Robbins is a member of the Utah Tennis Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame with the class of 2002. He was the head tennis professional at the Salt Lake Sports Mall for 14 years and currently holds the same position at the University of Utah Eccles Tennis Center.
Robbins and his wife, Shelley, have four children: Tiffany, Courtney, Brett and Chad. They also have nine grandchildren.