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Kris Kwinta To Lead Cal Men’s Tennis Program

Oct 29, 2021

BERKELEY – Kris Kwinta, a longtime Pac-12 assistant considered one of the most respected coaches in the game, has been chosen to lead the Cal men's tennis program as the Peter Wright Director of Men's Tennis.
 
Kwinta earned All-American honors as a player at UCLA before embarking on his coaching career, first at his alma mater, and then for the last nine seasons at USC where he served as associate head coach since 2014.
 
"We are excited to welcome Kris as the next leader of our men's tennis program," Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. "Kris has a reputation as an elite recruiter who has had notable success in developing exceptional student-athletes on and off the court. We believe that his competitive spirit, his commitment to academic success and his 18 years of championship experience in the Pac-12 will be invaluable as we strive for championships here at Cal. Kris is a person of high character who is a great representative of the sport of intercollegiate tennis. He will be a superb leader and role model for our student-athletes."
 
Kwinta, 41, will preside over a storied Cal program that has made 37 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, produced 36 All-Americans, captured nine NCAA doubles championships and won two NCAA singles titles. The Bears also won the national collegiate title in 1925 as well as ITA National Indoor Championships in 1980 and 1989.
 
"As Herb Brooks stated, 'Great moments are born from great opportunity,'" Kwinta said. "This is that moment for me, and I couldn't be more excited for this opportunity in my career! Over the years, I've battled against many great Cal teams, and to be able to continue the legacy of this program as a head coach is an utmost privilege and responsibility for which I am grateful. Cal is a special place of excellence. I will work hard to contribute to Cal's community, and continue to develop individuals that excel both on and off the court. I will represent our program with respect, pride and competitiveness. I can't wait to get started!"
 
The 2014 ITA Southwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year, Kwinta served as the associate head coach of the Trojans from 2014-15 until departing for Berkeley. Last season, Kwinta helped USC compile a 23-7 dual-match record and reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Kwinta began his USC tenure in 2012-13 under former head coach Peter Smith, served as the interim head coach of the program when Smith retired in July 2019, and remained on staff when Masi was hired as head coach in August 2019.
 
Previously, Kwinta served as an assistant for four seasons at UCLA under his college coach, Billy Martin. Kwinta was a graduate assistant for the Bruins in 2008 and was named the 2010 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year for the Southwest Region.
 
After one season at Tennessee, Kwinta transferred to UCLA where he played two seasons, most notably winning the clinching match in the Bruins' 4-3 upset of Baylor to claim the 2005 NCAA team championship. He would go on to earn NCAA all-tournament honors for his efforts in that championship run. In his 2004 and 2005 seasons at UCLA, Kwinta posted a career singles record of 59-22 and a career doubles mark of 62-24. He earned ITA All-America honors in doubles in 2004 after he and partner Alberto Francis finished the year ranked No. 7 in the country. The duo went 33-15 that season, earning Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year honors.
 
Kwinta also finished the season ranked No. 94 in singles in the final ITA Rankings. In 2005, he posted a 26-9 overall singles record, including a 29-9 mark in doubles play. He earned 2004 All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention, finishing the season ranked No. 65 in singles and No. 20 in doubles with Francis in the final ITA Rankings.
 
A former member of the Polish National Team, Kwinta was ranked as high as No. 2 in singles and No. 1 in doubles in the Polish Junior Rankings. He has represented Poland at the Davis Cup in doubles, teaming with former Bruin Marcin Matkowski. Kwinta is a native of Poznan, Poland, and began playing tennis at the age of 13. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA in 2008.
 
Kwinta replaces Peter Wright, who retired as Director of Men's Tennis earlier this year.
 
Cal next competes in the 2022 Hawaii Invitational from Jan. 7-9 in Honolulu.
 
What They're Saying
"I am so excited for Kris, Cal and the Pac-12. As sad as I am to lose him here at SC, knowing he will be staying in the conference and keeping Cal in the upper tier of college tennis is awesome. Kris is one of the best development coaches in the country and will do an incredible job leading the Bears for the years to come. For nine years Kris has put his heart and soul into SC, and we couldn't be more thankful for his commitment to the Trojan Family. Cal is getting one of the best there is!"
- USC men's tennis head coach Brett Masi
 
"I'm very happy to see Kris named as Cal's new head coach. It is one of the top programs in the country, and I can't think of anyone more prepared to take over a program as a new head coach. He has won NCAA team championships as a player, assistant coach and I'm sure he will put Cal in position to win an NCAA championship as a head coach. I'm very proud of him and wish him the best of luck at his new home in Berkeley!"
- UCLA men's tennis head coach Billy Martin