Highlights from the past week in Ohio State Athletics
Highlights from the past week in Ohio State Athletics
Ohio State will serve has hosts of 2013 edition
Buckeyes host 2013 Midwest Regional Championships Oct. 17-21
Buckeyes face No. 1 seed UCLA in semifinals at 2 p.m. ET Monday
Guiding the Scarlet and Gray to seven consecutive Big Ten regular-season titles (2006-2012) and six consecutive conference tournament crowns from 2006-2011, Tucker has coached the men's program to 12 consecutive 20-win seasons. During the past six campaigns, Ohio State has won 30 or more matches as well. For his career, Tucker has amassed a 360-58 (.861) record, including a 120-11 (.916) mark in the Big Ten. In addition to the Buckeyes' astounding record of 148 consecutive wins in Columbus, which is the longest home win streak in Division I sports history, Tucker and Ohio State have been ranked in the Top 20 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll for 200 consecutive matches.
The 2009 ITA National Coach of the Year, Tucker has witnessed Ohio State make deep runs at the NCAA championships. As a team, the Buckeyes advanced to the final in 2009 before dropping a hard-fought 4-1 decision to USC in College Station, Texas. Ohio State has advanced to the semifinals one other time and the quarterfinals six times as well, while making 13 consecutive trips to the national tournament in all (2000-12).
Perhaps one of Tucker's proudest moments as a head coach came when he mentored senior Chase Buchanan and sophomore Blaz Rola to the 2012 NCAA Doubles Championship title in Athens, Ga. The Buckeye duo not only owned the No. 1 doubles ranking throughout the 2012 campaign, but the pair made history when they became the only doubles team in NCAA record to win all three major collegiate championships in one season - D'Novo/ITA All-America Championships, USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships and NCAA Championships. In all, Tucker has coached 12 individuals in the NCAA singles championship and 9 doubles teams. A continuing trend at Ohio State is success in doubles play. In 2004, Scott Green and Ross Wilson, Buckeye letterwinners from 2003-06, concluded their collegiate career as one of only three doubles teams in the nation to win three ITA national titles. Green and Wilson also became the first tandem in the 27 years of the ITA National Indoor Championships to win consecutive titles and the first doubles team in Ohio State history to win a national title.
An eight-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and four-time ITA Region IV/Midwest Region Coach of the Year recipient, Tucker has led 10 All-America honorees who have garnered a total of 25 All-America honors. In addition to Buchanan and Rola's claim to No. 1 in the doubles ranking, Tucker led Jeremy Wurtzman, the 2004 ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Co-Player of the Year, Steven Moneke (2007) and Bryan Koniecko (2009) to the No. 1 position in the ITA singles rankings. Moneke, who lettered for the Buckeyes from 2006-09, played his way into the 2009 NCAA Singles Championship final before losing 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Devin Britton of Mississippi.
In the Big Ten Conference, 18 Buckeyes, including recent honorees Ille Van Engelen, Peter Kobelt, Devin McCarthy and Rola have been named All-Big Ten recipients while under Tucker's tutelage. Additionally, three student-athletes have earned Big Ten Athlete of the Year accolades - Vince Ng (2003), Koniecko (2008, '09) and Buchanan (2010, '11), while four were awarded with Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors - Joey Atas (2004), Koniecko (2006), Justin Kronauge (2007) and Rola (2011).
Arguably, the most successful campaign in program history, 2009 proved to be a season of immense achievement. Not only did the Scarlet and Gray play for the national title, but they also recorded a 36-2 record for a .947 win percentage, the best single-season win percentage in program history. Two years later, Ohio State advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament to finish the season with just three losses compared to 34 victories (.919).
The 2006 season was the beginning of the Buckeyes' dominance in the Big Ten Conference. Recording a 28-2 ledger, Ohio State relinquished its second-place league standing from the previous five seasons and won the regular-season and tournament titles. The squad also received its seventh-consecutive bid to the NCAA team championship and hosted the first two rounds for the first time in team history.
Tucker is accustomed to success in tennis. A two-time All-American at Ohio State, Tucker earned three letters from 1989 to 1991 during his collegiate career. He captured the No. 1 singles position his freshman year and held it for three seasons, while also securing his place in the Buckeye record book with his dominating play, finishing with 64 career singles wins. In 2004, Tucker was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
In 1992, Tucker decided to pursue a professional tennis career. He achieved a world ranking of No. 273 and in 1994 was ranked as high as No. 35 in the U.S. He earned significant wins over Tim Henman, Hendrik Dreekman and Sargis Sargisian and defeated Jimmy Arias to win the Novi Auto Mall Professional Tennis Challenge in Michigan. Tucker also played in more than 40 foreign tournaments between 1992 and 1995. After returning to Ohio State as an assistant coach, Tucker earned his degree in anthropology in 1998.
Tucker's success in tennis began at an early age. As a player on the junior circuit, he established himself by accumulating nine United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Junior titles and was a tournament finalist 11 times. Tucker notched victories over Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Jim Courier. As a student at Zanesville High School, Tucker became the only student-athlete to win the Ohio High School state title as a freshman in 1985. In the spring of 2012, Tucker was inducted into the Zanesville City Schools Hall of Fame.