Men's Tennis History
Pepperdine’s distinguished tennis history began in the 1940s, and the Waves found early success in 1952 when the program won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championships.
After the program was elevated to NCAA Division I in 1966, Pepperdine’s national prominence began. Under the tutelage of Allen Fox, the Waves became a household name in collegiate tennis in the 1980s. In 1982, Fox led Pepperdine to its first NCAA championship match. Four years later, Fox again led Pepperdine to the title match.
The Waves have made 34 appearances at the NCAA Championships since 1974, and have a current streak of 12 seasons (20 seasons including regionals, which were held in the 1990s).
Also impressive is Pepperdine’s success in the West Coast Conference. Since 1958 the Waves have won 40 league titles, including 19 in a row.
Pepperdine reached the pinnacle in 2006, as Adam Steinberg led the Waves to its first-ever national championship in men’s tennis.
Over the years, the school has produced many remarkably talented players who have moved on to professional careers as players and coaches.
Brad Gilbert and Glenn Michibata are two of the most well-known players who came about in the 1980s. A 1982 All-American, Gilbert won 20 major tournaments as a professional and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world in 1990. He won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in singles play. As a coach, Gilbert is known as one of the best, guiding both Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick to Grand Slam titles. A three-time All-American, Michibata spent 10 years playing as a professional and climbed as high as No. 48 in 1986. He is currently in his ninth year as Princeton’s head men’s tennis coach.
Robbie Weiss, Pepperdine’s lone NCAA singles champion in 1988, turned pro and was a top 100 player. Kelly Jones was part of both of Pepperdine’s NCAA doubles titles, and as a professional, Jones achieved the No. 1 ranking with Rick Leach in 1992 and was a finalist in three Grand Slam doubles events, including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.
More recently, four-time All-American Simon Aspelin of Sweden (1994-97) has won 10 career titles in doubles, including the 2007 U.S. Open. He captured a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.
In addition to Gilbert and Aspelin, other Pepperdine tennis Olympians include Carlos DiLaura (Peru/1984), Martin Laurendeau (Canada/1988), Kelly Jones (USA/1984), Glenn Michibata (Canada/1988), Augustine Moreno (Mexico/1988) and Andrew Sznajder (Canada/1992).
2006 NCAA CHAMPIONS
The Pepperdine men’s tennis program reached the pinnacle of its sport in 2006, as the Waves captured the national championship at Stanford’s Taube Tennis Center.
Early in the tournament, the Waves swept aside Montana State (first round), TCU (second round), Florida (Sweet 16) and UCLA (quarterfinals).
The Waves had lost their only two matches of the regular season to Texas and Georgia. In the semifinals, the Waves beat the Longhorns, 4-1, and in the championship, Pepperdine upset the top-ranked and previously unbeaten Bulldogs, 4-2.
Head coach Adam Steinberg’s squad led the Waves to an incredible 36-2 season, which marks the most wins ever accumulated by a national championship team.
Pedro Rico, Ivor Lovrak, Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann were named to the All-Tournament Team in singles, while all three of Pepperdine’s doubles teams earned the honor. Lovrak was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer.