- title Assistant Coach
Matthew Gordon enters his fourth season as men’s tennis assistant coach at the University of Kentucky in 2021-22.
Gordon was named the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Ohio Valley Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, joining current UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann (2009) as the only ITA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year winners in program history.
A breakthrough 2020-21 campaign for the Wildcats was highlighted by a wire-to-wire finish in the top 25 of the ITA rankings, as well as by a slew of individual accomplishments. Kentucky hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Championship and finished with a 16-1 record at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
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 SEC institution with multiple players on the SEC All-Newcomer Team.
Kentucky was awarded the UTR ITA Team of the Month in April for producing the largest increase in Universal Tennis Rating Power 6 Rating over the course of the month.
When the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky had a 12-5 (3-1 SEC) record. The Wildcats were in the midst of a three-match winning streak, beginning with two wins over ranked opponents and ending with two victories on the road. Kentucky’s best win came in a 4-3 thriller at No. 17 Alabama on March 6.
Gordon was a key component in securing the nation’s No. 10 recruiting class according to Tennis Recruiting Network in the spring of 2019.
In Gordon’s first season in 2018-19, Kentucky earned a 4-1 first-round NCAA Tournament win over VCU. Senior Ryo Matsumura garnered a first-team All-SEC honor, while fellow senior Enzo Wallart earned a second-team selection.
Gordon joined the collegiate coaching ranks from the Saddlebrook International Sports Academy in Florida, where he spent six years and coached multiple top-ranked USTA and ITF junior players. At Saddlebrook, Gordon spent time on court with some of the best players in the world, including John Isner and Jack Sock.
Gordon also worked as a Touring Program Coach on the Association of Tennis Professionals. He was the private coach of Alex Kuznetsov, who reached No. 120. Other players he has worked with include Denis Kudla, who reached No. 80 under Gordon, and Roberto Cid, who reached a career high of No. 226.
Prior to working with the Saddlebrook Touring Pro Program, he ran the Saddlebrook ITF Junior Boys group.
A top amateur in Great Britain before college, Gordon spent two years at Fairleigh Dickinson and two years at Costal Carolina. Gordon won the Northeast Rookie of the Year in 2007-08 and also won the conference whilst earning first-team honors. At Coastal Carolina, he reached a ranking of No. 82 in the nation and was a member of the All-Big South first team. After graduating from Coastal Carolina, Gordon spent sixth months as a volunteer assistant for his alma mater.