CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Department of Athletics has signed Director of Tennis Steve Moore to a new four-year contract, Director of Athletics Scott Lazenby announced today. The deal will keep Moore at the helm of the Islanders tennis programs through the spring of 2017.
"No matter who you talk to – his players, his fellow coaches, his peers in the tennis community – everyone believes that Steve Moore is one of the best coaches in the country, not just in tennis, but in any sport," Lazenby said. "His teams compete harder and smarter than just about anybody out there, and they are true professionals both on and off the court. We couldn't have a better emissary for our university and our athletics department in this community.
"In my conversations with [University President] Dr. Killebrew and [University VP for Institutional Advancement] Dr. Hill, they were steadfast in their commitment to going the extra mile to keep a coach of Coach Moore's caliber at the Island University. I'm very grateful for their support, both when it comes to Coach Moore and our department of athletics as a whole."
Moore has led his men's program to five straight Southland Conference titles and has earned Southland Coach of the Year honors in six consecutive seasons. Under his direction, the women's program has improved each year, culminating with its first Southland Tournament victory in 2012.
Earlier this year, both the men's and women's programs were simultaneously in the Division I national rankings, making the Islanders one of 34 programs in the country to appear in the national top 75. Among those, A&M – Corpus Christi was the only program to have both teams under the leadership of one coach.
"I am honored and humbled with this extension," Moore said. "I'd like to thank Dr. Killebrew, Dr. Trent Hill and Scott Lazenby for having the faith in me to lead this program over the next several years. They have shown a dedication to the pursuit of athletic excellence, and under their leadership, I'm confident that we are on the cusp of a golden era for Islanders Athletics.
"My love for the city of Corpus Christi and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi is something that I can't express in words and to be able to give back in the best way I know how is a responsibility that I don't take lightly. I firmly believe that Corpus Christi is the finest tennis community in the nation, and the level of support our tennis program has received is nothing short of amazing. It is truly a blessing to coach in this community."
Moore is currently in his seventh year since returning to the program for the 2007 season. In that time, he has had the men's team ranked in the top 65 of the ITA rankings each season, including a high of No. 32 in 2007 and No. 35 in 2009. This season has marked another first for the program, with the men's team winning the 47th Annual HEB Tournament of Champions, the first time the squad has ever won one of the most prestigious team tournaments in the nation.
He led the Islanders men's team to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2011, and has his team primed for another run at the Southland Conference crown and a postseason appearance in the NCAAs. Over the last five years of Southland play, the Islanders men have lost just twice, with an overall record of 25-2.
In addition to his work with the men's team, he has also served as the head coach for the women's program since 2007, helping raise the level of play each season at the helm and turning them into a nationally-ranked program during the 2013 season. The women's team made its debut in the ITA Top 75 at No. 60 earlier in the spring, marking the first time in school history the team had reached the national rankings for women's tennis.
The women have improved each year, culminating with a third-place finish and first ever Southland Conference Tournament win in 2012. The team has improved on the previous season, winning its first nine matches and currently holding an 11-2 mark in 2013.
Moore has also coached at national powers SMU, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, leading each team to the national rankings. The Mustangs and Aggies both ascended into the national top 10 during Moore's tenure. The native of Corpus Christi also played his collegiate tennis at both North Texas and Abilene Christian, earning a national ranking and serving as team captain.