Wednesday, March 23, 2011
South Carolina State men's and women's tennis coach reached a milestone in Bulldog history Saturday, March 19 when the SC State women downed N.C. A&T (7-0). Judge, already the winningest tennis coach in SC State history earned his 300th career win with the triumph.
“When I started coaching I never thought I would reach such a milestone so early on in my career, said Judge.” “It's a great feeling and I am really happy for our program and where we are headed.”
Judge has built a tennis dynasty at SC State and in the MEAC since taking over the program in 2001. The three-time Mid-Eastern Athletic (MEAC) Coach of the Year and United State Tennis Association (USTA) Coach of the Year has definitely left his mark over the past nine years with an impressive career coaching record of 301-99 overall, 117-10 in the MEAC.
His unique coaching skills and global recruiting style at SC State are not the only reason why his teams are feared by MEAC foes and Division I schools across the country. It's the level of talent he's been able to bring to Orangeburg over the years to build his program into a championship-caliber powerhouse.
The SC State tennis icon has led his team to 12 Mid-Eastern Athletic titles including sixth straight for the woman and six of seven championships on the men's side. Judge earned last year's MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Coach for the sixth time in his coaching career.
Among the outstanding players he coached are former All-MEAC performer Ivan Milovajenic, who was one of several Bulldog tennis players nationally ranked during his career. On the women's side, current All-MEAC performer and Player of the Year candidate senior Daria Sekerina, who is currently ranked #83 in the country in the College Tennis Association.
Judge stated, “It's a great feeling to be able to recruit kids with a great amount of talent that we have over the years.”
“Everyone here from the administration down to the students and staff have been really supportive of the tennis program, said Judge.” It's a great feeling when you coach kids and they graduate and move on to the next phase in their life.”
SC State has earned the respect from colleges and universities around the league and country, having beaten top-ranked teams in the past like Marquette, Ball State, College Charleston, East Carolina, Southern Illinois and West Virginia the women took #15 ranked South Carolina to the wire before dropping a tough 5-2 decision to the SEC powerhouse this season.
“ I'm proud of our players and how hard they have worked to get us to this point, but our goal every year is to win the MEAC and compete for a national title,” said Judge.
With all the success SC State tennis program has had over the years, you can certainly expect both teams to make a run for their seventh conference crown and be in the hunt for the school's first national championship, as well as national ranking.
The Lady Bulldogs are currently 13-2 overall, 3-0 in the MEAC, while the men are 10-3 overall, 2-0 in the league.