Special from Scholarship for Athletes
Roland Thornqvist is entering his 7th season as head coach for the Gators at University of Florida in Gainesville. This year will mark his 12th overall year in coaching tennis. Thornqvist has lead his Gator women to meet the highest of standards and sets a precedent for success in women's tennis that is hard to contest.
Coming to the U.S. from Stockholm, Sweden, Thornqvist was a tennis hero in his own right before embarking on his coaching career. Roland Thornqvist was one of the top players in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference during his collegiate years for the Tar Heels at UNC. In 1992 and 1993 he also obtained ownership of the ITA's Rafael Osuna National Sportsmanship Award. He remains, today, the only college player to ever win that award twice.
Thornqvist continues his tradition of success at Florida with a record of 149-13 (complete seasons), top national ITA rankings, SEC titles, nationally ranked players, and National Championships. In 2004, while the women's tennis program was experiencing its 3rd longest winning streak in program history (with 40 consecutive dual matches), Thornqvist was selected as SEC Coach of the Year. That year the Gators also received the No. 1 seed position in the NCAA Championships. Beyond all of these athletic accomplishments, Roland Thornqvist's players have also been recognized as ITA All-Academic teams. During the 2005-2006 season the Gators completed a perfect conference record (11-0), and Thornqvist was again selected as the SEC Coach of the Year. Despite some roster issues during the 2006-2007 season, the Gators earned a No. 1 national ranking and made it to the quarterfinals in the NCAA championships.
While Roland continues to raise the standard of women's collegiate tennis, he is also husband to Nan Thornqvist and father of Maclaine, born in 1999, and Whitney, born in 2001.
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