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Mr. Justin McGrath
Home Phone: 337-981-1661
Head Tennis Coach at UL since 2002.
UL tennis coach McGrath headed for California
August 12, 2006 –
He didn’t know it at the time, but Justin McGrath’s last season as the University of Louisiana’s men’s tennis coach was a memorable one.
“They gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” McGrath said Friday. “It was pretty much a financial decision. It wasn’t something I was necessarily pursuing, it just happened.”
McGrath wrapped up his fourth year as UL’s tennis coach in May, leading the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 16-7 record and the Sun Belt title, UL’s first conference crown since 1992. The Cajuns also finished the season ranked 35th nationally and earned its second straight berth in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” McGrath said. “It was really a decision that took a long time to figure out and weigh the pros and cons.”
UL interim athletic director David Walker said Friday that he had sent notification of McGrath’s resignation to president Ray Authement, and he had started the paperwork process to fill the position.
McGrath’s resignation is effective Sept. 15, meaning that he will have four weeks from the start of classes for UL’s fall term to help with the transition to a new coach. Cal Poly, a member of the Big West Conference, is on the quarter system and doesn’t begin its fall semester until late September.
“We’ve got a new recruiting class here,” McGrath said, “so I’m going to get everybody situated and try to make it as smooth as possible so the program doesn’t suffer. We’ve got time to do everything.”
McGrath replaces Trevor Kronemann in the Cal Poly post, after Kronemann left to take over at his UC Irvine alma mater. The Mustangs went 14-9 and were eliminated in the Big West league semifinals.
“It’s a good academic school,” McGrath said, “and their administration has made a commitment that they want to get their program into the national rankings. It’s one of the most beautiful places to live in the whole country, and they want to get their program to the next level. Their facilities are nice, and it’s a beautiful campus right on the Pacific Coast Highway.”
McGrath took over a UL program that went 6-17 prior to his arrival in 2002 and took it to 10-12, 12-10 and 12-8 records before this year’s best record since 1994. The Cajuns reached the finals of the Sun Belt meet in both 2004 and 2005 before winning this spring.
Before coming to UL, McGrath was assistant men’s coach at his alma mater Arkansas from 1999-2002. The Razorbacks earned two top-25 rankings and two NCAA Tournament bids in his final two years there.
“I want to thank everyone in the administration and the community for believing in me here,” McGrath said. “My family and I have really loved our stay here and met many friends and people in the community that we’re attached to, and I can’t thank them enough for their support. Here, it’s like once you’re a Ragin’ Cajun you’re always a Ragin’ Cajun.”
Originally published August 12, 2006
McGrath Named Coach of the Year
April 25, 2006 – UL Lafayette’s McGrath, FIU’s Bernstein Named Sun Belt Tennis Coaches of the Year
NEW ORLEANS ï¿½ After claiming the Sun Belt Conference tennis titles on Sunday, Louisiana-Lafayette’s Justin McGrath and Florida International’s Ronni Bernstein now have additional hardware to add to their trophy case.
The two have respectively been named men’s and women’s Tennis Coaches of the year, as voted on by conference head coaches and announced by the league on Tuesday.
McGrath guided the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 16-6 season and the school’s third Sun Belt tennis title. UL Lafayette is currently ranked 43rd by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Bernstein, meanwhile, guided the Golden Panthers to a 20-5 season and their second consecutive Sun Belt tennis title. FIU, currently ranked 42nd, will head to the NCAA tournament a year after successfully knocking off Florida State 4-2 in the first round.
The field for the NCAA tournament will be announced Wednesday, May 3.
Provided by Daryl Cetnar, Sports Information