Matthew Gordon Named National ITA Assistant Coach of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s tennis assistant, Matthew Gordon was announced as the national Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Monday. Gordon becomes Kentucky’s first ever men’s tennis coach (head or assistant) to win an ITA National Award.
“I’m so proud of Matt for getting this award,” head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “He has put so much work into this program and the players on our team. He has helped everyone around him not only be better players, but also better people. That is what the job is about. He has been the best assistant in the country the last few years and this award affirms that.”
Under Gordon’s tutelage, the Wildcats produced an outstanding season on the courts in 2023. Kentucky played to a 27-5 record while reaching the semifinals at ITA Indoors, winning the program’s second ever SEC Tournament title, and making the quarterfinals at the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 overall seed. The Cats peaked at No. 2 in the ITA team rankings and finished the year at No. 5, the program’s highest end of year ranking since 1997. Liam Draxl and Alafia Ayeni were both named ITA All-Americans, while Joshua Lapadat and Taha Baadi joined Draxl and Ayeni as All-SEC honorees.
A native of London, England, Gordon joins Jesse Witten (2002 Rookie Player of the Year), Eric Quigley (2012 Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship) and Draxl (2021 ITA National Player of the Year) as Kentucky Wildcats to win national awards from the ITA.
During Gordon’s five seasons in Lexington, Kentucky has gone 100-41 (.709) and reached the NCAA Tournament each year, including a program-best runner up finish in 2022.
Last week, Gordon was named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the third-straight season. He is the only Kentucky men’s tennis assistant to win the award multiple times.