Michael Sell, assistant coach of the United States men’s and women’s squad at the 2012 Olympic Games and former coach of the top American player in the world John Isner, enters his first year as the co-head coach of the LSU women's tennis team and fourth with the program.
Michael Sell, who has served on the women’s tennis staff as a volunteer assistant coach the last three seasons, will join his wife full-time to continue the program’s impressive upward momentum since Julia Sell was hired in 2012. The team is coming off one of the top seasons in the history of the program.
The Lady Tigers compiled a 20-11 record in dual match play during the 2014-15 season and reached the 20-win mark for just the third time in school history. The team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in school history and the semifinal of the SEC Tournament for the third time in school history.
LSU roster has continued to develop under the leadership of the Sell’s. Junior Joana Vale Costa and senior Skylar Kuykendall became the 14th and 15th players in school history to reach the 30-win mark in a single-season last year. Vale Costa defeated the highest-ranked opponent for a Lady Tiger in singles since 2009 when she knocked off seventh-ranked Sydney Campbell last season. She also teamed with Noel Scott to beat the No. 7-ranked tandem of Pleun Burgman and Emily Flickinger for LSU’s biggest doubles victory since 2002.
Michael Sell served as the lead national coach for the U.S. Tennis Association Player Development coaching staff from January of 2003 until August of 2012. During that stretch, he coached a number of America's top young juniors, including 2015 Junior French Open Champion Tommy Paul and 2015 Junior Wimbledon Champion, Reilly Opelka while assisting professionals, including Serena Williams, Mardy Fish, and Donald Young.
Prior to his service at USTA, he served for two years as Monica Seles' personal coach. Seles won five titles and reached three other finals under his tutelage.
Michael Sell played professionally on the ATP World Pro Tour for five years and reached career highs of No. 136 in singles and No. 83 in doubles. He won three singles and eleven doubles Challengers Events on the USTA Pro Circuit for 14 total titles and recorded wins over a number of Top 50 players. Michael Sell was also named as a practice partner for the 1998 U.S. Davis Cup team.
Michael Sell was a four-year All-America in singles at the University of Georgia from 1992-95. He was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation at one point during his career. In 1994, he received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.