After spending 14 seasons transforming his alma mater into a Division II national power, Eric Steidlmayer enters his fourth season at the helm of the UC Davis men's program in 2015-16.
Hired to the position in July of 2012, Steidlmayer is no stranger to UC Davis, having served as an assistant coach with the Aggies for two seasons from 1997-98. Upon returning to UC San Diego in 1999, he reshaped the Tritons into a perennial national contender. Steidlmayer guided UC San Diego to 12 consecutive NCAA postseason appearances from 2000-2011, including a national semifinals appearance in 2007.
UC Davis has undergone a major turnaround since Steidlmayer's arrival, taking over a program that won just six matches in 2012 and winning eight contests in his first season before posting a 14-win campaign in 2014. In 2015, Steidlmayer was named the Big West Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Aggies to a Division I best 16 wins and a share of their first-ever Big West regular season title.
The 16 wins were the most for the program since UC Davis won the same number en route to the 1992 NCAA Division II National Championship and gave the Aggies back-to-back seasons with double-digit victories since they had three consecutive such years from 2000-02.
Under his direction, Alec Adamson and James Wade became the first UC Davis men's tennis players to earn All-Big West First Team honors in singles since Toki Sherbakov in 2011-12, while helping five players earn a total of eight all-conference awards in singles and six different doubles teams earn a total of seven All-Big West awards.
In 2015, the Aggies made a return to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's national poll, entering the rankings at No. 72 on Feb. 3 -- only the second time in the program's Division I history that UC Davis had been listed in the ITA's poll. Ranked as high as No. 53 in the country, the Aggies finished the year at No. 58 in the nation, earning the program's first-ever invitation to the ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the 2015-16 season.
Before his arrival in Davis, Steidlmayer amassed a .628 winning percentage during his career at UCSD, posting a record of 182-108 over 14 years. He left UC San Diego as the winningest men's tennis coach in Tritons' history.
The 2011 season certainly helped lift Steidlmayer's win percentage as he led UCSD to a perfect 20-0 record in regular season dual matches. For the 12th straight year, the Tritons advanced to NCAA postseason play as it was the West Region's top seed and received a free pass to the round of 16. UC San Diego finished ranked 10th in the final national poll and senior Erik Elliott picked up ITA All-America honors.
In 2007, UCSD had its best-ever national finish, completing a season in which it finished third nationally with an 18-7 overall record. UCSD defeated Northwest Missouri State in the round of 16 by a 5-0 score before disposing of 8th-ranked Barry University in the national quarterfinals by a 5-2 margin. The team's season came to an end in the national semifinals, but not before a fight, as the Tritons played No. 5 Valdosta State very competitively before falling, 5-1.
The 18 wins during the 2007 campaign included four against NCAA D-I opponents and another two against UC Santa Cruz (the NCAA D-III National Champion) and Azusa Pacific (the NAIA Division I National Runners-Up).
Steidlmayer graduated from UC San Diego in 1996 after playing three years on the Triton tennis team. While attending UCSD, he was named the Tritons' Most Valuable Player after helping them earn a berth in the 1996 D-III National Championships.
Steidlmayer earned a Master's Degree in economics from UC Davis in the fall of 1998. STEIDLMAYER BY THE NUMBERS