Steinberg Steps Down as Men's Tennis Coach
June 14, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – After 12 years, 10 WCC Tournament championships, 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and a national title in 2006, Pepperdine men’s tennis head coach Adam Steinberg has announced he will be stepping down. He and his family will begin a new chapter as Steinberg has accepted the men’s tennis head coaching position at the University of Michigan.
“First and foremost I will miss Pepperdine more than words can express,” said Steinberg. “I love this University and have been so privileged to work for (Pepperdine athletic directors) John Watson and Steve Potts. I want to thank them and thank everyone I’ve worked with. It’s been a hard decision, but I am excited for the new challenges to come.
“I want to especially thank all of my players and assistant coaches. I am a better coach and a better person because of them and I will forever be grateful,” Steinberg closed.
“Adam Steinberg is one of the best coaches with whom I have ever been associated. His unique ability to build a strong team culture in a mostly individual sport is truly remarkable,” said Director of Athletics Steve Potts. “On behalf of Pepperdine athletics, I want to sincerely thank Adam for his dedication and commitment to our men’s tennis program for the past 12 years. While it is disappointing to have him leave Pepperdine, we wish Adam, his wife Casey and daughter Mia much happiness and success at the University of Michigan. We will miss him.”
Upon his hiring as head coach prior to the 2002-03 season, Steinberg told then-Director of Athletics Dr. John Watson that he could turn the men's tennis team into national champions. In just four seasons, Steinberg stayed true to his word and led the 2006 Waves to the program’s first national title.
The Waves avenged their only two losses during the regular season in the final two matches of the tournament. Pepperdine beat Texas in the semifinals and in the championship match, Andre Begemann's win at the fourth singles position clinched the Waves' 4-2 upset victory over previously undefeated Georgia. The Bulldogs had beaten the Waves 4-0 during the ITA National Indoor Championships.
With a record of 36-2, it marked an NCAA record for most wins in a season by a championship team.
Because of Pepperdine's success, Steinberg was named the ITA National Coach of the Year after earning the ITA West Region Coach of the Year just weeks earlier. In 2011, the squad was enshrined into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame.
Between the 2003 and 2014 dual seasons, Steinberg recruited and developed 12 ITA All-American singles players and six All-American doubles pairs. Pepperdine has largely dominated play in the West Coast Conference and under Steinberg the program was awarded with 11 WCC Player of the Year selections, 45 All-WCC singles picks and 24 All-WCC doubles duos.
Steinberg was honored as the WCC Coach of the Year seven times.
Steinberg ended his final year in Malibu on a high note, sending his first player to the finals of the NCAA Singles Championship. Two-time All-American Alex Sarkissian, unseeded and ranked #28 during the tournament, made a magical run to the title match before settling for runner-up. Sarkissian is just the third player in program history to reach the finals of the singles tournament, and first since 1988.
In addition to Pepperdine, he has made coaching stops at St. John’s, Northwestern and Alabama.