Michael McGrath, one of the longest-tenured veterans of the Augusta University Athletics Department, is entering his 22nd season in 2019-20 as the head coach of the Jaguar women’s and men’s tennis programs.
With McGrath at the helm, Augusta Tennis has enjoyed unprecedented success and reached new heights since his first season in 1998-99. Augusta’s national recognition continues to grow with McGrath as the men’s team ascended the national rankings in 2016 with a No. 20 showing on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll.
On March 23, 2019, McGrath achieved 500 combined wins as the head coach for Augusta men’s and women’s tennis. Both squads returned to the conference tournament in 2019, while the mean remained nationally ranked.
Men’s tennis standout Patrick Oliveira was named first team Peach Belt All-Conference in 2017 and 2018 and held a No. 10 national ranking for singles play. Augusta’s men’s team was ranked No. 49 nationally in the first rankings of the 2016-17 season and the women were No. 42.
In 2015 and 2014 the Jaguar men made it back to the NCAA postseason with appearances at the NCAA Southeast Regional. The 2015 trip was the 14th NCAA trip all-time, it’s 12th in the last 15 seasons and it’s 10th in the last 11 years -- all under McGrath. The Jags reached a No. 21 national rank in 2015. Men's freshman Moritz Gehlhaus was named Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year in 2015.
The Jaguar women finished 2015 with a No. 28 national ranking by the USTFCCCA and made it to their 10th NCAA postseason appearance in the last 16 seasons.
The men had a No. 23 ranking in 2013-14 while doubles-duo Victor Cabellos and Victor Guimaraes ranked No. 6 in the nation. The men’s 2013-14 record of 19-7, matched the team’s school record for the most wins, after the team reached 19 victories during the previous season in 2012-13. Cabellos and Guimaraes were named first-team doubles for the 2014 men's tennis Peach Belt All-Conference team, while Guimaraes and teammate Gustav Anderson earned PBC All-Academic honors.
In May, 2012, the Jaguar men advanced out of the NCAA Southeast Regional to the NCAA Championships for the first time in the program’s history. After arriving in Louisville, Ky., the Jags were far from done, winning a pair of matches to reach the Final Four for the first time ever.
The Jags were ranked as high as No. 12 in 2012-13 and set a new school record for most wins in a season (19). In the 2012-13 season, the Jaguar men ended the season in the top-25 for the ITA Division II College Tennis Rankings. Senior Jan Labas and Junior Victor Guimaraes also earned Peach Belt Conference All-Academic accolades for their 2013 efforts.
Senior Bernardo Ferndandes earned All-America honors, the second player in school history to earn the national nod. He tallied a 15-8 mark – all at No. 1 singles – and went 3-3 vs. nationally-ranked opponents and was ranked as high as No. 30 in the nation in singles and No. 20 in doubles.
In 2012, the Lady Jags qualified for the NCAA Regionals for the eighth time in the last 13 seasons and enjoyed an even more successful season away from the court, posting the top average GPA (3.60) of any of Augusta’s 13 athletic teams. In fact, the Lady Jags have enjoyed numerous winning seasons - advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. They posted the winningest season in school history in 2008, going 17-8 and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament’s Mid-Atlantic Regional in Savannah, Ga.
The men’s program has enjoyed countless winning seasons, including a then-school record 17-7 mark in 2007. At the end of the 2008 season, Sergio Mullor was named an All-American, the first in the history of the Augusta Tennis program.
A native of Charleston, S.C., McGrath earned his undergraduate degree in Sports Management from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., in 1995.
While at Belmont Abbey, McGrath played in the number one and number two singles positions, as well as the number one doubles slot. McGrath was a four-year letterwinner in tennis under the direction of head coach Mike Reidy at Belmont Abbey.