Head Men's Tennis Coach
After turning in one of the most successful four-year stints in program history that included Mississippi State men’s tennis’ first SEC Tournament title since 1996 and first NCAA quarterfinal appearance since 1998 last season, head coach Matt Roberts enters his fifth season at the helm of the Mississippi State men's tennis team in 2019.
In his first four seasons with the squad, Roberts earned four-straight NCAA berths while earning the program's 13th NCAA Championship Round of 16 appearance after notching First and Second Round victories in the 2018 NCAA Championship hosted by the Bulldogs. On the conference side, Roberts also became the first MSU coach to earn four-straight SEC Tournament semifinal appearances in his first four seasons, including back-to-back trips to the final round in 2017 and 2018. In just his fourth year, he became the fastest MSU skipper to lead the Maroon and White to the league tourney crown, taking a dramatic 4-3 victory against No. 5 Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa on April 29. In league play, State finished a program-best 11-1.
The 2018 Bulldogs also reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Team Championship for the first time since 1998. Under Roberts’ tutelage, Nuno Borges became the first Bulldog to reach the NCAA Singles semifinals, doing so in back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018. Borges and doubles partner Strahinja Rakic also made MSU history in 2018 by becoming the first duo to end a season ranked No. 1 nationally, climbing from unranked in March to the top spot just prior to the NCAA Championships, where they advanced to the quarterfinals.
After guiding State to its most successful campaign since 1979, Roberts became the fifth MSU coach to earn SEC Coach of the Year laurels in 2018.
The Roberts-led Bulldogs have won 18 or more matches in all four seasons under his watch, while earning numerous All-SEC awards, including the program's first SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year recipient, Rishab Agarwal in 2016, and its second—Nuno Borges in 2018. Agarwal also won the NCAA's Elite 90 Academic Award later in 2016, which was a first for any student-athlete in MSU athletics' history. Under Roberts’ tutelage, Nuno Borges became the youngest Bulldog to take SEC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore in 2017 and became the first Bulldog to repeat the feat in 2018. Borges was also just the third player in SEC history to earn Player of the Year laurels twice, joining Georgia legend John Isner and Tennessee standout John-Patrick Smith. He also is the only player in league history to earn both the Player and Scholar-Athlete honors in a career. In May, Borges also became the second MSU player to receive the ITA’s prestigious Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
Roberts stepped into the head coaching role after two seasons as MSU’s assistant under Per Nilsson, who accepted the head women’s tennis coaching position at Pepperdine recently. During those two years, Roberts was highly instrumental in the continued resurgence of MSU men’s tennis into the national spotlight, helping to guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances, including the NCAA Round of 16 in 2013.
Roberts joined the MSU program in the summer of 2012. From day one, he hit the ground running, bringing to Starkville a wealth of coaching experience.
Roberts has indeed been key in the Bulldogs continuing their return to the top of the national collegiate tennis scene and 2014 was a perfect example. Roberts assisted Nilsson in coaching the 2014 squad to 19 total victories (t7th at MSU all-time) and its fourth-straight and 23rd overall appearance in the NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs finished the season ranked 19th (fourth straight top 20 finish), making it 54-straight weeks that the Bulldogs have now been ranked in the ITA top 25. Individually, Roberts helped recruit and coach rookie Florian Lakat to SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC Second Team honors, along with NCAA Individual Championships bids for Lakat and the nationally-ranked doubles squad of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp. Roberts was named 2014 ITA Southern Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Mississippi State Assistant Coach (2013-14)
In the summer of 2012, Mississippi State head coach Per Nilsson named Matt Roberts as his new asisstant coach after the departure of Matt Hill, who was named head coach at South Florida. From day one, Roberts hit the ground running, bringing to Starkville a wealth of coaching and Southeastern Conference experience.
"I feel really good about Matt joining our program," Nilsson said. "He understands the excitement we have created here and he will be a big part of taking the next step for our program."
Roberts has indeed been key in the Bulldogs continuing their return to the top of the national collegiate tennis scene and in 2014 he continued to help MSU on that journey. Roberts assisted Nilsson in coaching the 2014 squad to 19 total victories (tied seventh in MSU all-time wins) and its fourth-straight and 23rd overall appearance in the NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs finished the season ranked 19th, making it 54-straight weeks that the Bulldogs had been ranked in the ITA top 25. Roberts' leadership was also key in MSU advancing to the ITA National Team Indoors for a second-straight year, while also defeating No. 4 Georgia for the first time since 2005 at the National Indoors. Individually, Roberts helped coach freshman Florian Lakat to SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC Second Team honors, along with NCAA Individual Championships bids for Lakat and the nationally-ranked doubles squad of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp. All of the 2014 success combined to land Roberts the honor of being named ITA Southern Region Assistant of the Year.
In his first season as assistant for the Maroon and White, Roberts helped coach Nilsson lead the Bulldogs back to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time since 2001. MSU compiled an 18-10 record, while going 6-6 in the rigorous SEC, allowing MSU to host the NCAA First/Second Rounds for the second-consecutive season before advancing to Champaign, Ill., for the NCAA Championship. With Nilsson and Roberts at the helm, MSU finished ranked 11th in the nation, the third-straight season finishing ranked in the ITA top 20. Along with the advancement to the postseason, Roberts also helped guide State to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the first time in 13 seasons.
Prior to his first go-around with the Bulldogs in dual match play, Roberts also helped coach MSU to an impressive fall showing. Most notable was the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championship captured by the doubles tandem of junior Malte Stropp and freshman Jordan Angus. The coaching of Nilsson and Roberts helped the quick development of MSU's four new freshmen, including Belgium native Romain Bogaerts, who advanced to the finals of singles play in the Southern Regionals, earning impressive victories against No. 5 Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss and Auburn's 11th-ranked Andreas Mies.
Michigan State Assistant Coach (2010-12)
Prior to joining the Mississippi State staff, Roberts was an assistant for three years at Michigan State under legendary coach Gene Orlando. Went 49-34 in his three years assisting Orlando, helping improve the Spartans from 13-14 in his first season to 18-9 and 18-11 in his next two seasons.
Arkansas-Little Rock Volunteer Assistant Coach (2008)
Helped lead to the Trojans to one of the most successful seasons in school history. The UALR team finished the 2008 campaign ranked No. 8 in the ITA Central Region.
Roberts is no stranger to the SEC. A three-time captain and four-year letterwinner (2003-06) at the University of Arkansas, Roberts knows what it's like to play in the rigors of the league. During his time in Fayetteville, Roberts amassed a career record of 84-50 in singles play, helping lead his team to a top 25 ranking in each of his four seasons. Roberts' upperclassman years are where he shined the most, registering a 54-19 record and two All-SEC honors as a junior and senior.
Before attending Arkansas, Roberts was one of the top-ranked juniors in the United States.
From 2000-02, he was ranked as the No. 1 Southern junior and climbed to be as high as number seven in the national junior rankings. Roberts was an instrumental part in Pulaski Academy winning the 2002 Arkansas High School State Championship, where he also captured the individual championship.
While playing professionally on the ATP circuit, Roberts achieved career high rankings of No. 517 (singles) and No. 522 (doubles).
A native of Little Rock, Ark., Roberts graduated from Arkansas in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in coaching and teaching.
Head Women's Tennis Coach
Since Daryl Greenan took over the helm of the MSU women's tennis program in the fall of 2009, he has pushed the Lady Bulldog tennis squad to improve and constantly strive for greatness. During his tenure, State has gradually shown improvement each season on the team, individual and academic levels. And with the team’s 16 wins in 2018, Greenan now holds the most victories as a head coach in program history.
In 2018, Greenan guided the Bulldogs to a program-record, fourth-consecutive NCAA Team Championship appearance, finishing 16-11 overall. Along the way, State notched the highest-ranked victory in MSU Tennis history—downing No. 2-ranked and eventual NCAA finalist/SEC Champion Vanderbilt on March 15. State followed that up with an impressive 4-0 win over 14th-ranked Kentucky two days later. Both of those triumphs were part of a program-record streak of five-straight SEC victories.
Individually in 2018, State had two players named All-SEC, as Madison Harrison and Anastasia Rentouli garnered Second Team laurels. Rentouli was also named the ITA Southern Region’s winner of both ITA women’s sportsmanship awards – the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award as well as the Cissy Leary Sportsmanship Award.
In 2017, State achieved its highest ITA national ranking ever (16th) in April. The Bulldogs also tied the school record for best final national ranking at No. 20. State went 15-9 in 2017, earning a third-consecutive NCAA bid, while also notching a second-straight seven-win season in the always-powerful Southeastern Conference (tying a school record).
On the individual level, Jasmine Lee and Lisa Marie Rioux became the first players to be named All-America since 1989. Lee achieved the school's highest singles ranking ever at No. 7 in May 2017. Lee was named All-SEC First Team for the third consecutive campaign, while Rioux earned All-Freshman laurels from the league. State also continued its academic prowess, with the majority of the team earning ITA Academic and Academic All-SEC honors.
The 2016 season was unquestionably State’s best under Greenan’s leadership, as the Bulldogs’ campaign ranks as one of the best in MSU women’s tennis history. MSU went 18-9 for the year, its second-most single-season triumphs ever. State also finished 7-6 in the powerful Southeastern Conference (the seven wins were a program best), including a school-record four in a row to end the regular season, and reached the NCAA Second Round and SEC quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
State finished 2016 23rd nationally, the second-highest final ITA ranking in program history. Of the Bulldogs' 18 wins, 13 came against ranked opponents and all nine of State's setbacks were to teams in the final top 20.
Individually in 2016, State saw its first singles ITA All-American named as junior Jasmine Lee earned a 9-16 seed in the 2016 NCAA Singles Championship. Georgiana Patrasc also represented State in NCAA Singles competition, while the Bulldog duo of Madison Harrison and Kristina Vozniak competed for MSU in the NCAA doubles draw. Lee advanced to the quarterfinals of singles, becoming the first State women's player ever to do so while Patrasc ended her incredible senior year and career (she finished as State's all-time leader in singles wins, third in overall wins) in the second round. Harrison and Vozniak became the second MSU pair to ever advance to the NCAA Round of 16 in doubles, joining 1989 NCAA Doubles champions Jackie Holden and Claire Pollard.
MSU had two 2016 All-SEC honorees. Lee landed on the All-SEC First Team for the second straight year, while Patrasc earned All-SEC Second Team laurels, her third career All-SEC selection. Lee and Patrasc picked up regional awards as well, being named the ITA Southern Region's Player to Watch and Most Improved Senior, respectively.
State ended 2015-16 with a school-record five players in the final ITA national individual rankings. Lee led the group in singles at No. 11, 12 spots higher than any State player has ever finished a season.
The 2015 MSU squad’s success was a big building block for the ’16 team’s accoloades. That season, MSU returned to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2005 and to the second round for the first time since 2001. The Bulldogs tallied four victories over SEC opponents, the most since ’05, including the highest-ranked win in school history – an exciting 4-3 home victory over No. 6 Alabama. The team finished 16-12 and 32nd in the ITA rankings, making it the most successful season under Greenan’s guidance to that point.
In 2014, MSU finished 9-15 giving Greenan back-to-back seasons with nine wins and a top 45 win over SEC foe Tennessee. Individually, Patrasc finished in the ITA’s final poll at No. 60, the first ranked player for State in seven years. Individually, State had one singles player and one doubles team finish in the final ITA rankings, and Patrasc earned first-team, All-SEC honors.
Progress was evident in 2013 as well. MSU women's tennis matched its most wins in a season under Greenan's leadership and notched the most single-season SEC wins since 2005, when MSU claimed a share of the SEC Western Division crown. The Lady Bulldogs made considerable strides that year, as Greenan’s program earned its first national ranking in over a year with three top 60 wins. The Lady Bulldogs also snapped an eight-match skid in the SEC Championship, defeating Missouri in opening-round action.
In the 2012 spring season, Greenan led the Lady Bulldogs to seven wins and a 6-3 non-conference slate. MSU posted an impressive 4-3 SEC victory against No. 29 ranked Arkansas on the road, a feat that had not been accomplished since 2006.
Greenan made a splash in his first season at State in 2010, winning eight of his first nine matches as head coach, moving the team into the top 50 nationally midway through the season.
Academically, MSU women’s tennis has continued its strong representation on all levels under Greenan. The Bulldogs have been named an ITA Academic Team (team GPA of 3.2 or better) in seven consecutive seasons. MSU players have also been named ITA Scholar Athletes (individual GPA of 3.5 or better) 30 times in that span.
In addition, Naomi Tran was named CoSIDA Academic All-American (Third Team) in 2015 and Bulldogs have been named Academic All-SEC 38 times in his seven years as head coach.
Iowa Head Coach (2005-09)
Prior to coming to MSU, Greenan established himself as a head coach at the University of Iowa. The 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Greenan completed his fifth season as head coach of the Iowa women's tennis squad in 2008-09. In his five seasons at Iowa, Greenan and the Hawkeyes compiled a 64-51 overall record and a 28-23 mark in Big Ten play. Iowa posted winning seasons in four of his five seasons, also finishing in the top four of the conference three times, qualifying for the NCAA Championship twice and crowning 17 Academic all-Big Ten honorees.
During the 2009 season, Iowa was ranked in the top 50 nationally at one point in the season. Greenan coached his top player to all-Big Ten status and that same player was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and ITA Midwest Regional Rookie of the Year. The Hawkeyes placed four players on the ITA Scholar-Athlete team and the entire team was named ITA All-Academic.
In 2006-07, the team finished fourth in the Big Ten and advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament for the third straight season. Despite a slower start to the season, the team picked up the pace in the spring and ended the year ranked sixth in the region and 51st in the nation. One of Greenan's players was an all-Big Ten selection.
The 2005-06 Iowa edition was a major success, as the squad went 9-1 in the Big Ten and posted a school-record second place finish in the conference. The team's overall record of 18-6 gave the Hawkeyes their best winning percentage (.750) in school history and Iowa qualified for the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive year - the sixth time overall. Those excellent results led to a No. 33 final national ranking.
Several individuals recorded career-best seasons. Three Hawkeyes finished 9-1 in Big Ten play, the first time ever that three Hawkeyes earned Big Ten leading records for their respective positions in a single season. For his team's success that season, Greenan was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Two of his players ended the year ranked in the top 100 nationally, including Meg Racette who was awarded all-Big Ten honors and finished the year ranked 35th. She became only the second Hawkeye ever to qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship and the first to win a match in the draw.
University of Alabama Assistant Coach (2002-04)
Prior to becoming a Hawkeye, Greenan was assistant women's tennis coach at the University of Alabama for three years (2002-04). Working under head coach Jenny Mainz, Greenan was involved in all aspects of the Tide's women's tennis coaching responsibilities. While at Alabama, Greenan was named the 2004 ITA South Region Assistant Coach of the Year. He helped guide the Crimson Tide to two top 30 national rankings, one top 40 finish and three consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship.
Mississippi University for Women Head Coach (1998-2001)
Greenan also has ties to the north Mississippi area, having served as the head coach at Mississippi University for Women from 1998-2001. At MUW, he compiled a 41-25 record with the Blues. He was also an assistant men's and women's coach at Valdosta [GA] State for two years (1997-98) prior to that stint.
As a player, Greenan was a member of the men's tennis team at Valdosta State. He was the No. 1 singles player for two seasons, and was part of the No. 1 doubles team for three campaigns. Greenan was ranked in the top 20 in singles and achieved his highest doubles ranking in 1995, when he finished second in the nation. He was honored as part of the 1995 all-America team and earned all-Gulf South Conference honors three seasons. Greenan was inducted into the Valdosta State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Born in Ontario, Canada, Greenan and his wife, Shannon (a native of West Point, Miss.), have a daughter, Willa. He earned his B.S. degree in health and fitness from Valdosta State in 1997.