Highly decorated class includes San Diego native and a pair of local products
Aggies send eight players to compete in Santa Barbara
Three-day event begins Friday (Sept. 30) on campus, while Adamson competes at ITA All-American Championships
Adamson and Wade head to the Bay Area to compete with some of the nation's best
Reigning Big West Conference Player of the Year and NCAA qualifier opens senior season among the nation's best
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 2000-11, including a national semifinals appearance in 2007.
UC Davis has undergone a similar 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 then-Division I best 16 wins and a share of their first-ever Big West regular season title, before topping that mark with a new record of 17 victories -- including a run of 12 consecutive victories at one point -- in 2016.
The 17 wins were the most for the program in a quarter century since the 1991 squad finished 18-5 overall, and gave the Aggies back-to-back-to-back seasons with double-digit victories since they had three consecutive such years from 2000-02.
In 2016, Adamson became the first UC Davis player to be named the Big West Player of the Year and was the first Aggie at the Division I level to earn a berth into the NCAA Singles Tournament, finishing the year ranked No. 108 in the nation according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Asssociation’s final poll.
Under his tutelage, a total of six student-athletes have earned All-Big West honors in singles -- including a trio of first team honors bestowed upon Alec Adamson and two more to James Wade -- and seven doubles pairings have earned all-league laurels in doubles.
In 2015, the Aggies made a return to the national polls, 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 weekly rankings. Reaching 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 compete against some of the nation’s elite programs at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the 2015-16 season.
In 2016, UC Davis debuted in the national polls at No. 57, eventually reaching as high as No. 49 in the country, before settling in at No. 71 at the end of the year, earning a spot among the top 75 programs in the country for all but one week during the spring.
Off the court, the Aggies have also excelled in the classroom as Adamson became only the second UC Davis men’s tennis player to be named the Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013-14, and five student-athletes have have gone on to earn Big West all-academic honors.
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.