Men's Tennis
Coach Kauffman Wins Coach of the Year, All-SEC Awards Announced

Coach Kauffman Wins Coach of the Year, All-SEC Awards Announced

by Cadee Pierce

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference announced men’s tennis postseason awards following the SEC Tournament on Thursday afternoon. Coach Cedric Kauffmann steals the spotlight as he was named SEC Coach of the Year for the first time in his coaching career. Following this accomplishment are Taha Baadi, Joshua Lapadat, JJ Mercer, Charlelie Cosnet, Jaden Weekes, Jack Loutit and Eli Stephenson, who have received All-SEC honors for their performances during the 2024 season.

Kentucky’s head coach, Kauffmann was named SEC Coach of the Year based on his success this season.

Kauffmann has led Kentucky to a current overall record of 24-2, ending the conference season 12-0. For just the second time in program history, the team won both the SEC title and the SEC Tournament title in the same season, the last coming in 1992. Kauffmann is in his 12th season as the head coach of the Wildcats and becomes the third coach in UK history to win Coach of the Year. This accolade follows UK coach Graddy Johnson winning the award in 1974 as well as Dennis Emery who was awarded Coach of the Year in 1992, 1999, and 2012.

Kentucky’s veteran trio of fifth-year senior Baadi, senior Lapadat, and redshirt senior Mercer all received First Team honors, while the sophomore duo Cosnet and Weekes were picked to Second Team. Finally, freshmen Loutit and Stephenson are a part of the 2024 All-Freshman team.

This is the second year in a row the Wildcats were awarded three First-Team selections, the most in the conference.

Baadi moves onto the First Team after being tabbed Second Team All-SEC a season ago. For Lapadat, 2023-24 marks his second-straight season on the league’s First Team, and his third time receiving all-conference honors overall. Weekes rises onto the Second Team after his All-Freshman nod last season, while Mercer, Cosnet, Loutit and Stephenson all collected All-SEC accolades for the first time.

Baadi has served as a powerful player for the Wildcats playing at the top two positions all season in singles and doubles. He has an overall singles record of 13-9 on the season, including 11-8 at first singles. His record against nationally ranked opponents in singles is 8-7. Impressively, eight wins against ranked opponents is the most on the team. These wins helped him achieve a season-high ITA singles ranking of No. 21 in the country. He also went 13-5 overall in doubles and 6-1 in the conference in doubles.

Lapadat leads the team with a 15-5 doubles record alongside Mercer, playing all matches on the top doubles court. With this outstanding record, Lapadat and Mercer reached a career-high ITA doubles ranking of No. 4 in the country. Lapadat also has a powerful presence in singles going 10-9 on the season with two singles wins over nationally ranked opponents. He reached an ITA singles ranking of No. 97 nationally this season.

Mercer, also awarded to First Team, leads the team in doubles alongside Lapadat. He was named to the SEC All-Tournament team following Kentucky’s SEC Tournament title this past weekend. He has seven doubles victories over nationally ranked opponents and achieved an impressive 8-3 record in the SEC this season.

Sophomore Cosnet was named to Second Team with a team-best 19-2 in singles record overall including an 8-2 mark in conference play. His consistency helps leads the Cats as he began the year 9-0 in singles before suffering his first loss. The Frenchman was most recently awarded MVP of the SEC Tournament after going 3-0 in singles during Kentucky’s championship run in Baton Rouge.

Weekes, also named to Second Team, is 13-6 in singles overall playing primarily at the No. 3 position. He boasts a 2-1 record against nationally ranked opponents, helping him break into the ITA singles rankings at No. 124 this year. He is also 8-7 in doubles when playing with Stephenson.

The freshman from New Zealand, Loutit, has been an instrumental tool for the team this season, posting an 18-5 record overall. Loutit went 9-2 in SEC singles matches and 13-5 in doubles on the year, including 10-2 with Baadi. He has won one SEC Freshman of the Week honor in his first collegiate season.

Lastly, the Kentucky native Stephenson is 15-1 in singles overall after starting the season 13-0. 13 of his 15 victories have come in straight sets. Stephenson leads the team with six clinches, one of them being the crucial clinch for the SEC Tournament title. He is also 8-7 in doubles alongside Weekes.

Kentucky expects to be a top seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament when the selection show is held April 29 at 6 p.m. The show can be seen on

For the latest on UK Men’s Tennis, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKMensTennis.

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