The turning point in modern Washington tennis came with the hiring of Matt Anger, now entering into his 19th season as head coach. Since his arrival, the Huskies have been a model of consistency, and consistently excellent at that. The winningest coach in Washington history, Anger's teams have never once missed the NCAA Championships and have been a fixture in the Top-25 with five runs to the NCAA round of 16 since 2001. This past season, Anger reached the 300 wins plateau at Washington with an NCAA first round victory.
Under Anger's watch, Washington has posted a winning record in all of his 18 seasons, and won its first ever Pac-10 title in 2005 as Anger was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Furthermore, several of Anger's players have seen tremendous individual success, with seven of the top eight winningest players in UW history competing during his tenure. Five different singles players have earned All-American honors under Anger, 11 different players earned year-end Top-50 rankings, and Alex Vlaski captured the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, the first national title for a Husky since 1924. In addition, Anger has coached three different Huskies to the NCAA Singles Semifinals.
In the four years prior to Anger's arrival at Washington, the men's tennis team was a combined 38-46, routinely winning the Pac-10 North Division but rarely making noise nationally. The men's team had finished in the season-ending rankings just once, at No. 48 in 1994. Yet since Anger took over in 1995, UW has never had a losing season and 12 times finished the year ranked in the Top-30.
The past two years have seen the Huskies qualify for the NCAA Championships and win their first round match before falling in the round of 32. Kyle McMorrow has established himself as one of the top players in the Pac-12, earning All-Conference First Team honors the past two seasons and breaking into the Top-10 of the national singles rankings for the first time in 2012. He is the seventh All-Pac-12 First Teamer to play for Anger and has two straight NCAA singles tourney bids to his credit. The 2012 squad had no seniors in its starting singles lineup, setting up well for the future. In 2011, senior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan graduated as the UW career doubles wins leader with NCAA singles and doubles appearances to his credit.
The 2009 NCAA tournament featured one of the most incredible wins in UW history, when the Huskies rallied from 0-3 down to beat Texas Tech, 4-3, in the NCAA first round. Nedunchezhiyan was named All-Pac-10 First Team and earned an NCAA Singles bid. Washington also had a record-setting eight Pac-10 All-Academic honorees in 2009.
2007 saw the culmination of one of the greatest careers in UW history, as Alex Slovic made a run to the NCAA semifinals, upsetting a slew of elite players and earning All-America honors. Slovic departed having won more total singles and doubles matches (184) than any Husky in the previous 99 years of Washington men's tennis. The Huskies finished tied for third in the Pac-10, the third straight year of a third-place finish or better.
In 2005 and 2006, Anger guided the Huskies to consecutive 20-win seasons and NCAA Round of 16 appearances, going 40-11 during the stretch. The back-to-back 20-win seasons marked the first time since 1985 and 1986 that the UW has surpassed 20 wins in consecutive years. Anger has firmly placed the Huskies among the upper echelon of the Pac-10 Conference, which has historically been the nation's toughest.
The 2005-2007 teams had the best conference run since the divisions merged in 1998, and the 2009 and 2011 squads tied for third, marking the fifth time in seven years that the Huskies were third or better. The Huskies beat perennial powers USC and UCLA in 2006 for the first time in the same season in UW history. The UW went 12-6 against ranked foes in 2006 and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in six years. The Huskies also boasted three first team Pac-10 All-Academic team members and had a 3.3 GPA as a team.
In 2005, the Huskies not only won a share of the Pac-10 title with UCLA, but they hosted a regional for the first time. Washington took advantage of playing in front of its home crowd picking up victories over Oral Roberts and USC to advance to its fourth NCAA Sweet 16 in five seasons. The Huskies finished the year ranked 14th, had a season-high ranking of No. 11, and recorded a 20-5 overall record, 6-1 in conference matches.
In 2003, Anger led Washington to its third-straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, its best start to a season ever with a 14-0 record and its second-highest national team ranking ever with a No. 7 billing during the year. The Huskies' NCAA Tourney run was halted by No. 1 Illinois in the Round of 16 (4-2), a squad that went on to win the NCAA crown. The Huskies finished out the year with an 18-6 overall record, marking the third-straight year UW compiled at least 18 wins. Washington also ended with a final national ranking of No. 12.
Following the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in 2001, the 2002 Huskies duplicated the feat thanks to one of the biggest upsets in school history. Playing on the home courts of perennial power Stanford, the Huskies pulled out a 4-3 victory, knocking the fifth-seeded Cardinal out in the second round. UW finished with an overall record of 19-7 that season and a No. 25 final ITA ranking.
Washington has also consistently churned out some of the top players in college tennis during Anger's time. He has mentored five of UW's seven All-Americans including Eric Drew, Robert Kendrick, Matt Hanlin, Alex Vlaski (UW's first three-time All-American), and Alex Slovic. For good measure, UW has had eight All-America honors awarded in Anger's last 13 seasons.
A talented player in his own right as a junior, collegian and professional, Anger entered the coaching ranks at Washington as an assistant during the 1993 season. He helped coach the Huskies to a 12-9 record that year, as well as to a Pac-10 Northern Division championship. He then went to Southern Cal for the 1994 season, where he served as an assistant to longtime head coach Dick Leach. That year, the Trojans posted a 22-3 record and won the NCAA team championship.
Anger played collegiate tennis at USC from 1982-84 and was a three-time All-American, while leading the team to a top-five finish three consecutive years. In 1983, he was a Pac-10 singles finalist and helped lead the Trojans to a third-place NCAA finish. The next season, Anger won the Pac-10 doubles championship, was a Pac-10 singles semifinalist, and helped USC win the conference team title.
At the conclusion of his junior season, Anger entered the pro ranks and played on the pro tour for eight years (1984-91). He earned his highest ATP singles ranking of No. 23 in the world in 1986. Anger enjoyed consistent success in the Grand Slams. Starting with the Australian Open in 1985 through Wimbledon in 1987, no American won more Grand Slam singles matches. In that span, Anger reached the round of 16 at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 1986, advanced to the third round of the Australian Open in 1985 and 1987, and also Wimbledon in 1987.
In the Round of 16 at Wimbledon in 1986, he lost to World No. 1 Ivan Lendl (6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6) after taking the first set. He also was ousted by Stefan Edberg in the 1987 Wimbledon Third Round. Anger won three Grand Prix titles in his career, highlighted by winning the 1985 Altech Open Super Series Grand Prix event, defeating Brad Gilbert in the finals and collecting the $42,000 winner's check. Anger made it to the World Championship of Tennis (WCT) finals in Dallas in 1986 and also qualified for the year-end Nabisco Grand Prix bonus poll (world's top 64) for three consecutive years (1985-87).During his career, he enjoyed professional singles or doubles victories over Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Mats Wilander.
Anger is the son of Don and Noel, who along with her mother and grandmother, graduated from the University of Washington. A native of Pleasanton, Calif., Anger was named a prep All-American at Amador Valley High under his father. He was the national 16-and-under singles champion in 1979. In 1981, Anger won the Junior Wimbledon singles title and was ranked No. 1 in the world by Tennis Magazine. He and his father competed together and were listed fifth in the 1991 national Father-Son rankings.
Anger was inducted into the Tri-Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the USTA Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
Since joining the coaching ranks, Anger has taken an active role in the administration of the sport at all levels. He previously served on the ITA Board of Directors, along with the ITA Operating Committee, and was on the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships subcommittee for the 1997 and 1998 seasons, serving as chair in 1998. He also served on the ITA Region 8 Committee from 1995 to 1998 and again in 2004, chairing that group in 1997 and 1998.
Anger has been instrumental in implementing several positive changes to the tennis community, including the first integrated Pacific-10 schedule in 1998, the renovation and expansion of the Quillian Stadium on the UW campus, and promoting Washington as host of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011.
Anger and his wife, Kristin, reside in Clyde Hill. Kristin graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1995. They are the parents of a daughter, Madison, born in September 1997, and a son, Bennett, born in February 2000.