DENTON, Texas (5/19/09) North Texas head tennis coach Sujay Lama was honored by the Greater Denton Sports Commission as the University of North Texas Coach of the Year at their eighth annual awards banquet on Monday night.
“This award is a reflection of all the hard work from the players, coaches, and support staff," said Lama. "I am honored to accept this award on behalf of our team and very excited about the direction our program is headed.”
Lama has transformed the Mean Green tennis program in his three seasons at North Texas. The Mean Green had won just six matches the year before Lama's arrival, but reached its highest win total (17) since 1984-85 and earned the second best all-time winning percentage for a season (.739) in 2009.
The team rode a 10-match win streak into the conference semifinals before falling to No.1 seeded Denver in a 4 hour 45 minute match that came down to the final point.
Lama was also named a finalist for the prestigious Giant Steps Award by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. The honor is given to those who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to their schools and communities.
Under Lama, the Mean Green has picked up victories against Air Force, Marquette, Central Florida, UTEP, New Mexico State, and Rice. In 2009, every loss was to a ranked opponent or an opponent who was ranked at one point during the season.
The future of NT tennis looks even brighter as seven of the nine players on the roster were either freshmen or sophomores.