Home Boys' Lists Girls' Lists Men's Teams Women's Teams News Photos Contributors Links Help Sign-UpOnline Store
Latest News | Categories | Authors | News Archives

News & Features

Ask the Experts
Q&A with Georgia's Manny Diaz

When Manuel (Manny) Diaz took over the men's head coaching position at the University of Georgia, his task was a daunting one. He followed the legendary Dan Magill, who put Georgia tennis on the map, won two NCAA titles, and coached the Bulldogs for 34 years. Setting out to uphold the traditions and success his former coach had established, Diaz did that and more, winning four NCAA titles, reaching the championship match seven other times, while compiling a 533-114 record in dual matches.

Georgia Head Coach Manny Diaz
© ZooTennis.com
Now in his 24th season as head coach, Diaz came to Georgia from his native Puerto Rico, and was an All-American for the Bulldogs in 1974-75. After a brief stint in the professional ranks, Diaz returned to Athens in 1982 to serve as assistant coach under Magill before taking over as head coach in 1988.

Georgia finished the 2010-11 season ranked fifth in the country, after a semifinal appearance at the NCAAs in Stanford. The Bulldogs won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008, with the 2007 team, led by senior John Isner, going undefeated that year.

Diaz was in Kalamazoo on a recruiting trip earlier this month, and I had an opportunity to talk with him about many aspects of the college tennis, including the development of Isner, the USTA's support of the sport, the international players' impact and changes he would like to see to increase the game's popularity.


Questions and Answers


Colette Lewis (CL): How did you end up returning to Georgia as a coach?

Manuel Diaz (MD): When coach Magill called me up, I was teaching and coaching some good players, and at first I said no, I've got a great job. But the more I thought about it - and he kept calling me back every two weeks - the more I could envision myself being energized. I started thinking about myself in 30 years, and I don't think I'd have a whole lot of fun teaching retirees. I thought it would be a lot more of a challenge, more rewarding, to be coaching at the college level. I'd always loved Georgia, and I took a big pay cut, but I could see where this had a bright future and I would be happy doing this for the rest of my life.


CL: As an athlete who went through the recruiting process yourself, how has that changed over the years?

MD: It's a lot harder. Goalposts keep moving. And there's the technology that's come along. You used to write a letter every now and then. Compliance-wise, it's a much more involved process, with all the rules. Coaches are doing more, and there's just a whole lot more highly qualified coaches now.

Facilities are much, much better - everybody's got good facilities, everybody's got a good coach and is fully into building a great program. It's become a lot more competitive. I think the ultimate winner is the American junior. College is a viable alternative for kids that want to continue to get better. It might not be for everybody, and four years, some kids are ready before that, but it's a viable place for kids to continue the process.

This Article Is Available Only to Recruiting Advantage members
Please log in to access premium TennisRecruiting.net content.
Register Now For Free!
  • Content Updated Daily
  • Complete Rank Lists
  • Exclusive Articles
  • Recruit Interviews
It's Quick, Easy, and Free!

10/15 Rachele Rimondini chooses Columbia
10/15 Bruno Krenn chooses Utah
10/15 Joshua Lapadat chooses Kentucky
10/15 Isabella Steffen chooses Villanova
10/14 Andy Mackler chooses Denison
10/14 Alexis Lopez chooses Samford
10/12 Michelle Zell chooses UC Davis
10/12 Diego Trejo chooses Bryant
10/11 Caden Moortgat chooses Boise State
10/11 Alex Horn chooses Wofford

Full Listings: Boys' Commits & Girls' Commits

  Samantha Stosur
Head Graphene 360 Speed MP Racquets
Sale: $109.95
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video
  Serena Williams
Wilson Blade SW104 Autograph v7 Racquet
Sale: $8.97
Review, Feedback, Video
  Coco Vandeweghe
Yonex EZONE 98 (305g) Racquets (Lime Green)
Sale: $179.00
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video
  Magdalena Rybarikova
Yonex EZONE 98 (305g) Racquets (Lime Green)
Sale: $179.00
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video

Page updated on Sunday, October 06, 2019
Contact our web team with any corrections