The Golden Hurricane, in its ninth NCAA tournament, faces the Lady Rebels in a first round match up on May 10
Entering his 12th season as men's assistant tennis coach is former Hurricane letterwinner Dean Orford.
Orford, who lettered at Tulsa from 1987-91 while occupying the No. 1 position in both singles and doubles, returned to coach at his alma mater in 1993. Since his return, Orford has helped build the Hurricane into a conference and regional power, and national contender. He has been honored as the Region V Assistant Coach of the Year five times in 11 seasons and was the national runner-up for Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002.
Since his return, Orford has played a key role in helping Tulsa reach seven NCAA Tournaments, win two Missouri Valley Conference titles (1995, 1996) and most recently he assisted in guiding Tulsa to a Western Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up finish in 2002. On an individual scale, Orford has helped five Golden Hurricane reach All-America status, while TU has also produced six Region V champions since 1997.
Last season, Orford helped coach the Golden Hurricane to 12-14 record and a No. 57 Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking against a schedule featuring 14 top-30 teams. He coached All-American Dustin Taylor (2001-2004) to a final ranking of No. 51 as well as a trip to the round of 32 at the NCAA tournament. Orford was also instrumental in Taylor and doubles partner Alejandro Tejerina (2001-2004) advancing to the round of 32 at the NCAA tournament.
In 2003, Orford helped guide the team to a 12-13 record and a No. 49 final ITA ranking. He also helped three individuals qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship, as well as playing a key role in helping All-Americans Ryan Livesay (2001-03) and Dustin Taylor to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
In 2002, Orford helped TU compile a 16-12 mark, the most wins for Tulsa in six years, and the Hurricane finished as the WAC runner-up, which was the best showing for TU since joining the conference in 1996. Individually, a total of three TU players were selected to the 2002 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship.
In 1999-2000, Tulsa made its sixth straight NCAA tournament appearance and posted a 12-12 overall record. For TU's accomplishments, Orford received the Region V Assistant Coach of the Year award for the fourth straight year. The year before, he played an instrumental role in coaching Gareth Williams (1996-99) and Nenad Toroman (1996-2000) to a runner-up finish at the 1999 NCAA Doubles Championships.
Eight years ago (1997-98), he helped guide Tulsa to a No. 39 national ranking and a 15-12 record, including TU's first-ever NCAA tournament victory over No. 48 Colorado. Orford also played an instrumental role in helping Tulsa's doubles combination of Louie Pranic (1995-98) and Williams become TU's first tennis All-Americans that year.
Before joining the Tulsa staff, Orford taught top-ranked junior tennis players in the state of Oklahoma. He was also the Tennis Pro at the South Hampton Bath and Tennis Club in New York, where he was the director for junior development.
A native of South Africa, Orford received his bachelor's degree in graphic design from Tulsa in 1992.
Orford and his wife, Sally Ann, have two sons, Josey Eli (3) and Ethan (6 months). The couple resides in Tulsa.
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