Matthew Gordon Named ITA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Award season isn’t over for the University of Kentucky men’s tennis program.
Matthew Gordon was named the 2021 ITA Ohio Valley Regional Assistant Coach of the Year this week, joining current UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann (2009) as the only ITA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year winners in program history.
“I am extremely grateful to win this award,” said Gordon. “Cedric has been an incredible mentor to me, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by such a great team. It was a good year, but we all want more and are looking forward to next season.”
A breakthrough campaign for the Wildcats was highlighted by a wire-to-wire finish in the top 25 of the ITA Division I Men’s Team Rankings, as well as by a slew of individual accomplishments.
Kentucky sophomore Liam Draxl—who Gordon recruited to Lexington during his first season—earned the first ITA National Player of the Year honor in school history after five consecutive appearances atop the ITA singles rankings and a postseason singles run that ended in the NCAA Championship semifinals.
Kentucky was one of seven schools to put three participants in the 64-player singles field at the NCAA Championships, where two Wildcats reached the round of 16 in the same season for only the second time ever.
Draxl earned ITA All-America status in singles competition, while fellow sophomore Gabriel Diallo became the seventh player in UK history to earn ITA All-America distinction for both singles and doubles in the same year.
Including Diallo’s doubles partner César Bourgois, Kentucky produced the program’s 22nd, 23rd and 24th all-time ITA All-Americans this year. Draxl and Diallo were selected to the All-Southeastern Conference first team, while senior Millen Hurrion was chosen for the second team. Draxl was also named the SEC Newcomer of the Year.
Kentucky ended the season as one of four schools with five players placed among the final ITA singles rankings and the only Southeastern Conference institution with multiple players on the SEC All-Newcomer Team.
A native of London, Gordon was an all-conference top-100 collegiate player at Coastal Carolina after transferring from Fairleigh Dickinson. Before his first full season of collegiate coaching in 2018-19, Gordon most recently served as a tennis professional at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter and Facebook, @kentuckymenstennis on Instagram, and on the web at UKAthletics.com.
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