Smith and Masi Earn Regional Coaching Accolades

May 15, 2007

For their powerful roles in the USC men's tennis team's successful 2007 season, three Trojans have earned honors from the ITA West Region. Peter Smith has been named the West Region's Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, Brett Masi is the West Region's ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, and junior Kaes Van't Hof was awarded the West Region's ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. All three are consequently in the running for the national awards for their respective honors, which will be announced on May 22 in Athens, Ga., at the NCAA Championships.

For Peter Smith, the regional Coach of the Year honor is the fourth of his career. He won the West Regional award twice as a coach at Pepperdine (2000 and 2002), and earned the ITA Region VII honor in 1996 while coaching at Fresno State. His 2007 honor for his efforts with USC have also been accompanied by accolades as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Brett Masi's honor as the West Region's ITA Assistant Coach of the Year is the first of his career. At the helm of the Trojan program alongside Smith, the pair has guided the USC team to the best season start since 1987 as the Trojans opened the year 11-0 before falling to top-ranked Georgia. USC went on to place second in the Pac-10 with a 6-1 record and earned the No. 12 seed into the NCAA Team Championships, where the Trojans are set to enter the Round of 16 on Thursday in Athens, Ga. USC is currently 22-2 overall.

Having blasted his previous best singles win mark out of the water with 30 wins already this season, junior Kaes Van't Hof also is enjoying his first regional honor. As the 2007 ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship honoree out of the West Region, Van't Hof has been recognized for his dedication to the Trojan team, helping lead USC to its biggest turnaround performance in history with its current 22-2 record while also standing out as a respected and respectful sportsman. The Arthur Ashe Award honors athletes who exemplify sportsmanship on and off of the tennis courts, for which Van't Hof has proven himself a worthy candidate.

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