Matt Anger Retires As Head Men’s Tennis Coach
SEATTLE – Synonymous with Washington Men's Tennis, Matt Anger has announced his decision to step down as Head Coach of the Huskies with the conclusion of this, his twenty-eighth year on Montlake.
Earlier today, Washington played in the NCAA Championships for the 22nd time in Anger's 28 years, the season ending in round one to Pepperdine.
Far and away the winningest coach in University of Washington history, Anger's legacy will be much more than wins and losses. His will be a legacy of representing Washington with the utmost class and character, graduating nearly three decades of high-achieving students, building lifelong connections with hundreds of players, and earning the highest respect for his program throughout the Pac-12 and the NCAA.
"I cannot begin to describe how honored I have been to be in this position the last 28 years," said Anger. "I had a lot of reasons why I wanted to go into coaching. However, when I started out, I failed to appreciate the value of the relationships and connections that I would have with our players and that they would build with each other over the years. This has actually become the most rewarding aspect of my coaching career and I hope those relationships will continue for many years to come."
"It is challenging to sum up in words the profound impact Matt has had on Husky men's tennis," said Washington Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen. "I have had the privilege of witnessing first-hand his dedication and commitment to the development of the young men in his program on and off the court the last 28 years. Matt's teams have always placed great priority on being exceptional in the classroom, on the court and in the community. He is deeply respected because of his integrity and passion for the game, his drive for excellence in all he does and his humble spirit. We are so grateful for all he has given us on Montlake and wish him and his family all the best in this next chapter of life."
Truly The Greatest ??
— Washington Men's Tennis (@UW_MTennis) May 6, 2022
Anger will stay on to coach Clement Chidekh in the NCAA individual championships in May, where Chidekh is one of the top-16 seeded players.
While closing one chapter, Anger plans to embark on a new challenge alongside Chidekh. When Chidekh moves on to a professional career, Anger will be his personal coach.
"The time is right for me now to retire and continue coaching Clement when he transitions to playing full-time on tour," said Anger. "He is an incredible worker and wants to make our Husky Family proud.
"For the players that I planned to guide and inspire, ultimately it was the other way around. Coaching the Huskies has been the honor of a lifetime."
Washington was Anger's first head coaching job, not long after he concluded an outstanding eight-year pro career that saw him rank as high as No. 23 in the world. His first team, in 1995, qualified for the NCAA regional first round, kicking off a remarkable run of nineteen-straight postseason tournament appearances.
The program firsts kept coming, followed quickly by seconds and thirds. In 1998, UW earned its first year-end top-20 ranking, finishing at No. 17. The next year Anger coached his first two All-Americans, Eric Drew and Robert Kendrick, and the team was ranked in the top-10 for the first time.
Anger had ten teams ranked in the top-15 during the season. Eight times his teams ended the year ranked in the top-25, and four more finished in the top-30.
The Huskies advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in 2001, and would get back to that round four more times in the next five seasons. Washington's first Pac-10 title came in 2005 as Anger was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
He has coached seven ITA All-Americans, with Chidekh assured of earning the honor at the end of this season, by virtue of his NCAA tournament seed. Chidekh achieved another first for Anger just this season, when he ascended to the No. 1 collegiate singles ranking.
Anger also coached Alex Vlaski to the 2003 ITA All-America Championship title, the first national singles title taken by a Husky since 1924. Vlaski, Eric Drew, and Alex Slovic all reached the NCAA Singles Semifinal under Anger.
Anger has been the winningest coach in Husky history for the vast majority of his tenure, as he took over the top spot with his 174th career win back in 2005. His 428 career wins represent 42-percent of the total wins in the 109-year history of Husky Men's Tennis. Nine of the ten winningest Husky players of all-time played under Anger.
Academically, nearly fifty Huskies earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors during Anger's time at Washington. That success was exemplified by the most recent winter quarter, when UW was in the heart of its season, as the Dawgs earned a 3.72 team GPA, highest in the department for a men's team.
A search will soon be undertaken to identify the next coach for the Huskies.