No. 41-ranked De Klerk becomes the first TU player to reach the NCAA semifinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over No. 13-ranked Evan King of Michigan
Westbrook is named Central Region Head Coach of the Year, Marsland earns sportsmanship award and De Klerk is named the Player to Watch
The Golden Hurricane will match up against the Spartans in the first round of the NCAA Championships on Friday
Juniors Japie De Klerk and Clifford Marsland earn first-team all-conference honors in singles play, while Marsland and sophomore Alejandro Espejo snare first-team accolades in doubles
The Golden Hurricane advances to its eighth straight title match
Vince Westbrook enters his 24th season as the head men's tennis coach and 21st year as the director of the Hurricane tennis programs at The University of Tulsa.
Westbrook also serves as an associate athletic director for TU, after serving as an assistant athletic director from 2007-12.
Westbrook has compiled a career 357-241 (.597) record with the men's program, the most wins ever for a Tulsa coach. He turned over the head coaching responsibilities with the women's team in 1998 after compiling an overall 52-64 mark, the third-most wins for a Tulsa women's head coach.
Over the last 20 years, Westbrook has built one of the top tennis programs in the nation, settling for nothing but the best in establishing a winning tradition at Tulsa in both men's and women's tennis. His vision and guidance has yielded national rankings, regional honors and conference merits for both Hurricane teams and players.
One of Westbrook's greatest achievements came with the construction of the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at The University of Tulsa. With the dedication of the Case Tennis Center on December 14, 2001, Westbrook distinguished himself as one of the nation's top fundraisers for collegiate tennis as the state-of-the art facility was paid for through private donations.
Westbrook also played an integral role in landing TU the right to host the 2008 NCAA Men's and Women's Division I Tennis Championships. Westbrook was instrumental in securing Tulsa the opportunity to host the 2004 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships, the fifth-highest attended tennis tournament in NCAA history. It was also the highest attended collegiate tennis event for a site without the home school participating in the team portion of the tournament.
Westbrook was instrumental in The University of Tulsa signing two separate three-year agreements with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to host one of the nation's premier collegiate tennis events at the Case Tennis Center. The first of these ITA events, the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships, was held in October 2005. The University of Tulsa also hosted the ITA All-American Men's Tennis Championships in October 2011 and 2012.
Since the 1994-95 season, Westbrook has led the Golden Hurricane to some impressive new heights, coaching TU to 341 wins, including 41 victories over top-30 teams and 89 victories against opponents ranked in the top-50. Tulsa reached a school-best ranking of No. 8 in 2008 in addition to finishing the season as the 11th-ranked squad in the entire country. This came after reaching a previous school-best ranking of No. 16 and a No. 22 finish in 2007. The Golden Hurricane has also finished in the ITA's Top-50 16 times in the last 17 years, which was no easy feat as Tulsa has faced one of the most challenging schedules for an NCAA Division I tennis program. TU has faced 256 top-50 teams, including 155 top-30 teams during that span. In just last year alone, 21 of Tulsa's 24 matches were against ranked opponents.
Westbrook has led Tulsa to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances (1995-00, 2002, 2006-13), and has coached 12 All-Americans and six Central Region Champions. He was named the 1997 and 1999 Region V Coach of the Year, the 2008 Wilson/ITA Central Region Coach of the Year, and 2006, '08, '09 and `11 Conference USA Coach of the Year.
Under Westbrook, Tulsa claimed its first female All-America tennis player when Anousjka van Exel (1997-99) won a school single-season record 42 matches and defeated two opponents in the 1998 NCAA Singles Championship to gain All-America status. Also in 1998, Louie Pranic (1995-98) and Gareth Williams (1996-99) received All-America honors as a doubles tandem with victories over Arkansas' third-ranked doubles team and Virginia Tech's 28th-ranked doubles team at the NCAA Doubles Championship. A year later, Williams and Nenad Toroman (1996-2000) finished as the national doubles runner-up after winning four doubles matches at the 1999 NCAA Doubles Championships. In 2003, Ryan Livesay (2001-03) and Dustin Taylor (2001-04) earned All-America status as they advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship. In 2008, Andy Connelly (2004-08) and Ross Cunningham (2004-09) earned doubles All-America status after advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships, marking the fourth doubles team in school history to be named All-Americans.
Westbrook was instrumental in coaching TU's first male All-America singles player, Arnau Brugues (2005-09). Brugues recorded a 19-3 mark and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2006 NCAA Singles Championships.
In fall 2006, he was crowned the ITA national champion after winning six-straight matches in straight sets to claim the title at the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championship. Brugues posted a 31-7 singles record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship, earning his second-straight All-American honor. Brugues earned his third All-America nod in 2008 after closing his junior campaign with a 22-9 singles record and 21-6 doubles mark. In 2009, Brugues earned his fourth All-America selection after posting a school-best 44-4 singles record and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship. Brugues spent a total of 11 weeks as the No. 1-ranked singles player by the ITA during the 2009 season.
The Golden Hurricane continues to be a strong contender in the Central Region under Westbrook's guidance. Arnau Brugues won the 2008 ITA Central Region Singles Championship, becoming the first regional singles champion since Alejandro Tejerina (2001-04) won the 2002 crown. Gareth Williams claimed the Region V Singles Championship in 1997. The Hurricane has also recorded three pairs of regional doubles champions as Dane McGregor (1999-2002) and Shriranga Sudhakara (1998-2002) claimed the title in 2001, and Livesay and Taylor earned the title in 2002. Clifford Marsland and Ashley Watling added their names to the list when they won the 2010 Central Region Doubles Championship. Tulsa has also received multiple Central Region honors, including the Arthur Ashe Junior Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership (Tom Murray - 2004), Clifford Marsalnd - 2013), the John Van Nostrand Memorial Award (Shriranga Sudhakara - 2002), the Newcomer of the Year Award (Louie Pranic - 1995), the Rookie of the Year Award (Will Gray - 2005, Japie De Klerk - 2011), the ITA Player to Watch Award (Alejandro Tejerina - 2002 and 2003, Arnau Brugues - 2006, Marcelo Arevalo - 2011, Japie De Klerk - 2013) and the Farnsworth Senior Player of the Year Award (Chris Milliron - 1993, Gareth Williams - 1999, Ryan Livesay - 2003, Dustin Taylor - 2004, Arnau Brugues - 2009).
Tulsa won its sixth Conference USA title in seven years as the Hurricane tallied a 20-9 record in 2011-12. The Hurricane advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the second straight year as TU took down No. 35 Minnesota and No. 10 Oklahoma before falling to No. 7 Pepperdine.
The Golden Hurricane recorded a 21-8 record in 2010-11. TU defeated No. 20 Oklahoma (4-2) and No. 13 Texas (4-3) on back-to-back days in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, and the team fell 4-0 to No. 4 Ohio State in the NCAA Round of 16. Tulsa finished the year ranked No. 26 in the nation and boasted its seventh-straight winning season.
TU recorded a 16-11 mark in the 2009-10 campaign, falling just shy of capturing its fifth-straight Conference USA Championship. Tulsa boasted its sixth-consecutive winning season and 11th overall under Westbrook's guidance. The Hurricane finished the season with a national ranking of No. 37 and received the school's 12th bid to the NCAA Tournament.
On January 27, 2001, Westbrook became the school's all-time winningest head coach with a 5-2 win over Texas-San Antonio at home. He surpassed Don Zimmerman's record of 120 wins established between 1970-77.
As the Tulsa women's coach, the Hurricane received its first-ever national ranking as TU entered the rankings at the No. 74 position during the 1998 spring season and completed the year ranked No. 69. In 1996-97, Westbrook coached Tulsa's first female all-conference player in Morgan Briggs (1993-97), who finished her stellar career at Tulsa with 66 victories.
During the 1995 and `96 seasons, Westbrook led the TU men to back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference titles. The 1995 championship was Tulsa's first since 1970. The Hurricane finished the 1996 season 21-9 overall and a perfect 12-0 in the MVC. The TU women also completed its best MVC finish in school history as the Hurricane tied for third place.
Prior to his appointment at Tulsa, Westbrook spent five years at the Kickingbird Tennis Academy in Edmond, Okla., with head professional Dwight Nuckolls. In his tenure, Westbrook qualified 17 junior players for nationals. He tutored former TU tennis players Jason Hix (1991-95, Claremore, Okla.) and Chris Milliron (1993-95, Edmond, Okla.) to the Class 4A and 5A state high school championships, respectively. Under Westbrook's tutelage, Milliron received a No. 53 national ranking from the ITA, the highest ranking of any Missouri Valley Conference player that season.
Westbrook guided 25 other top athletes to state titles and led numerous players to district and sectional crowns during his time at Kickingbird.
After a successful career as a juniors player and prep athlete at Warner High School, Westbrook earned two letters at Connors State Junior College while playing the No. 1 position. He was a member of the regional runner-up squad as a freshman and region championship team his sophomore season. Westbrook completed his education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he graduated in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. At Southeastern, Westbrook was a member of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference championship team twice and District IX championship team once while competing at the No. 1-4 positions.
Westbrook served on the NCAA National Tennis Committee from 1995-2003 and held the title as chairman of Region V from 1995-2000. He was again appointed as the Region V chairman in 2003 and is currently serving in that position. Westbrook was named to the "First Serve" Board of Directors as the head administrator. The program, which is funded by the Southern Hills Charitable Foundation, Inc., was formed in 2002 to give free tennis instruction to inner-city and underprivileged kids in the Tulsa community.
He and his wife, Mary, have two sons: Vincent II and Patrick, and a daughter, Mary.
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