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Tony Minnis
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Alma Mater: USL
Graduating Year: 1988
Experience: 20 Years
Phone: (225) 578-1279
Email: tminni2@lsu.edu
Tony Minnis Bio
Courtesy: LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
Release: 05/16/2012

21 seasons at LSU: 285-234 (.549)

LSU's all-time winningest women's tennis coach
2009 Southwest Regional Coach of the Year
2007 Southwest Regional Coach of the Year
2004 Southwest Regional Coach of the Year
1999 Southwest Regional Coach of the Year
1999 Louisiana Coach of the Year
1997 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year
1997 Louisiana Coach of the Year
1995 Southwest Regional Coach of the Year
1995 Louisiana Coach of the Year

Tony Minnis finishes the 2012 spring season as the most decorated coach in LSU's 37-year program history. After 21 seasons as LSU head coach, Minnis collected a host of accolades that place him squarely among the most respected coaches in the nation.

With LSU's 2012 season-opening 7-0 victory over Colorado, Minnis earned his 275th-career win. He finished the season with 285-career wins, the most of any coach in LSU women's tennis history.

The Lady Tigers qualified for 15 NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 18 years under Minnis, more than any SEC West school during that period.

Minnis captured his 250th-career victory in 2009, and he was also named the Southwest Regional Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his time at LSU.
 
After his team finished the 2009 season ranked No. 24 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls with a 14-11 overall record and reached as high as No. 16, Minnis was selected as the head coach of the Southern Girls 18s National Team at the USTA National Teams Championships.  The Baton Rouge native led the team to the USTA National Championship as it claimed the title for the first time since 1997.

In the 2008-09 season, Minnis led his Lady Tiger team to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in his tenure as he was named the \

Southwestern Regional Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career. Minnis also received the award in 1995, 1999, 2004 and 2007. The Lady Tigers advanced to the second round of the tournament for the second consecutive season.

The team reached numerous milestones under Minnis' direction in 2009 as the Lady Tigers defeated the Florida Gators for the first time in program history. Outside of the SEC, the Lady Tigers knocked off Texas A&M, 4-3, in College Station, Texas, for the first time since 1997. In the fall, Megan Falcon and Mykala Hedberg advanced to the finals of the ITA Southwest Regional Doubles Championships, and there the duo claimed the first championship win during the Minnis era.

After a season in 2005-06 in which LSU did not make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years, Minnis guided a youthful, inexperienced Lady Tiger team to the NCAA Tournament in 2006-07 as the Southeastern Conference Western Division co-champions.

The 2006-07 season marked the second time LSU finished atop the SEC West standings since the conference switched to Eastern and Western divisions in 2002. More than that, Minnis led the team to the top of the SEC West standings even though three, four or sometimes five newcomers started during the season. The team also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in Minnis's career as LSU's head coach.

Minnis was instrumental in bringing in three-time singles All-American Falcon, who finished her sophomore season in 2007 at 38-3 and raced all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Individual Championships. Falcon's semifinal finish was the furthest any LSU player has reached at the NCAA Individual Championships, surpassing two other Minnis recruits - Bruna Colosio in 2000 and 2001 and Suzana Rodrigues in 1994 - who both made it to the quarterfinals. Falcon was also named the SEC Player of the Year in 2007, the second player under Minnis to receive the honor after Colosio was selected as the league's top player in 2001. With the conclusion of her senior campaign in 2009, Falcon was listed No. 8 on LSU's all-time winningest players list, and she became the only Lady Tiger in the program to earn three singles All-America honors.

Besides great play on the tennis court, Minnis has also stressed hard work in the classroom, and the results have shown as the team was named an ITA All-Academic Team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.385 in the 2007-08 year. Not only was the team as a whole honored for its performance off the courts, but a school-record seven Lady Tigers were named ITA Scholar-Athletes for maintaining a grade point average of at least a 3.50. In 2009, five Lady Tigers earned ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades, and fifth-year senior Staten Spencer became the first women's tennis player at LSU to earn an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

Minnis returned to his hometown in 1992 to take over the LSU women's tennis team. By earning his 80th career victory at LSU in 1997, he passed Phillip Campbell (1984-88) as the winningest women's tennis coach in Tigers history.

Minnis came to LSU knowing what it takes to excel in the sport. He was a tennis star at Southwestern Louisiana from 1984-88. He served as team captain his freshman and senior seasons and is USL's all-time winningest singles player with an impressive 94-40 career mark.

He followed his playing career with a job as an assistant tennis coach at USL as well as working as the club professional at several tennis clubs in the Lafayette, La., area. But, Minnis said, his LSU experience has taught him the most about the game.

"I've learned a lot over my career, especially about how very, very important it is to communicate with your players," he said. "I know the roller coasters that come with coaching and I've learned to take them in stride. I have been so fortunate to be in this tremendous environment at LSU because you get to learn from every single coach here. There are some great coaches and that's the beauty of having an athletic department as good as this one."

With those years of experience and lessons has come a pile of awards and achievements for Minnis and his Lady Tigers.

In 2004, Minnis guided the team to a final ITA ranking of No. 20 in a season that included an NCAA Tournament berth, an SEC Western Division Championship and an appearance in the SEC Tournament semifinals. The Lady Tigers lost to eventual SEC Champion Florida.

During the 2001 campaign, Minnis and the Lady Tigers put together a solid campaign and finished the season with a 14-10 overall record. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a No. 27 national ranking.

Bruna Colosio, who graduated after a record-breaking senior season in 2002, was one of the top five players in the nation and the 2001 SEC Player of the Year. She excelled under Minnis' constant tutelage and received All-America status in both 2000 and 2001.

During an unexpected run at the NCAA Championships in 2000, Minnis led LSU to its second Sweet 16 appearance in school history. The Lady Tigers upset sixth-ranked Pepperdine, 5-4, in the second round of the tournament. The upset is considered the most impressive victory in team history. LSU fell in the Sweet 16 to USC.

In 1999, Minnis was named the Southwest Regional Coach of the Year after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season. The season was supposed to be a rebuilding one, but Minnis led his squad to upset victories over both 10th-ranked Tennessee and 15th-ranked Arkansas on its way to a final ranking of No. 28 in the nation.

In 1997, Minnis was named the SEC Coach of the Year when he led LSU to the regional finals. The Lady Tigers advanced to the championship match of the Southwest regional by beating Texas A&M, 5-0. Minnis was recognized as the Louisiana Coach of the Year for the third time in four years. Senior Suzana Rodrigues finished her career ranked fifth in all-time singles wins at 108-42 overall. She and teammate Laura Olave won the 1996 National Clay Court Doubles title. The tandem earned All-America honors after placing 10th in the final doubles rankings.

LSU posted its highest national ranking ever under Minnis in April of 1995 when the Lady Tigers leapt from No. 30 to No. 15 after upsetting 11th-ranked Tennessee, 5-3, in the opening round of the NCAA Championships. The Lady Tigers fell to eventual NCAA runner-up Florida, 5-0, in round two. Minnis was named the Southwest Region and Louisiana Coach of the Year after guiding the Lady Tigers to their first-ever win at the NCAAs and their first postseason appearance since 1991.

As a player, Minnis competed in the 1988 NCAA Team Championships and was a semifinalist at the NIT in 1986. He had a 37-6 three-set record in his first three seasons at USL. During his four years there, the Ragin' Cajuns posted a 78-39 overall record and finished each year ranked in the Top 25. In his senior season, USL was ranked 15th in the final polls and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships.

Minnis comes from a family loaded with tennis experience. His father, Howard, was the head tennis coach at Southern University for several years and was a professor there before he passed away. His sister, Patricia, was a four-year letter winner at LSU from 1988-91. His brother, Patrick, was USL's No. 1 singles player after Minnis' departure.

Minnis played high school tennis at Redemptorist in Baton Rouge. He graduated from USL in 1988 with a degree in finance and earned an MBA in 1996.

Minnis' Coaching Record at LSU

Year

Record

Final Ranking

1992

14-9

No. 21

1993

10-11

Unranked

1994

9-13

No. 50(t)

1995

19-8

No. 18

1996

14-11

No. 36

1997

18-9

No. 20

1998

15-10

No. 26

1999

13-11

No. 28

2000

16-11

No. 21

2001

14-10

No. 27

2002

12-13

No. 51

2003

12-13

No. 52

2004

18-9

No. 20

2005

12-12

No. 44

2006

12-12

No. 57

2007

16-10

No. 36

2008

15-10

No. 27

2009

14-11

No. 24

2010

10-15

No. 70

2011

11-13

No. 68

2012

11-13

 

Total:

21 seasons

285-234 (.549)

 

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