Damon Coupe's three seasons at Washington have coincided with a swift return to form for the Huskies. After winning eight combined matches the two years prior to his arrival, Washington leaped back into the NCAA tourney in 2008 and then reached the NCAA Round of 16 in 2009 for the first time since 2004. Coupe has quickly built a reputation as one of the premiere assistants in the country, and was named the 2009 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Coupe and head coach Jill Hultquist have formed a very successful partnership that took further steps in 2010 as the team finished the year in the Top-25 for the first time since 2005, led by historic individual seasons by Venise Chan and Denise Dy. Chan started the year with a semifinal run in the ITA All-American Championships, the best showing ever by a Husky, then Dy captured UW's first ITA Northwest Singles Championship, and went on to make the ITA National Indoor semifinals.
Guided by Coupe through many of her matches, Chan was one of just five players to make at least the round of 16 at all three national tournaments in 2010. She finished the season ranked 15th while Dy wound up ranked 13th after being as high as No. 3. Both earned All-America honors, the first for UW since 2004, and both were seeded in the NCAA Singles Championships, as Washington and Florida were the only schools with two seeded singles players.
Coupe was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year after a thrilling 2009 season in which the Huskies won 18 matches and upset Pac-10 Champion USC in the second round of the NCAA Championships. It was Washington's first ever win at USC, clinched by sophomore All-Pac-10 First Team selection Venise Chan, whom Coupe has been instrumental in developing. Chan climbed to a season-high No. 18 ranking in 2009, ending the year at No. 25. She made her second-straight NCAA singles tourney appearance and beat five players that ended the year in the Top-30. Denise Dy earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention in her freshman season, and teamed with Joyce Ardies to end the year ranked No. 30 in doubles.
Coupe's first season in 2008 saw an about-face in the recent fortunes of the team as the Huskies posted their first winning record since 2005 and reached the NCAA Championships while going 12-10.
Coupe brought a history of success and high standards to Seattle when head coach Jill Hultquist hired him in September of 2007. He had major successes at all five of his coaching stops up and down the west coast while working with both men and women. Coupe came to Washington after serving as the assistant women's coach at California in 2007. In his one season in Berkeley, prior to longtime head coach Jan Brogan's retirement, Coupe helped lead the Golden Bears to the NCAA Semifinals and worked with a trio of All-Americans: Susie Babos, Zsuzsanna Fodor, and Nina Henkel.
"I am very fortunate to have found him and his knowledge and experience will definitely help our program move forward," Hultquist said about Coupe upon his hiring. "I am very excited that he has chosen to become a Husky!"
Prior to Cal, Coupe served as the women's head coach at Santa Clara (2004-06). He has also worked as the men's assistant head coach at Fresno State (2002-04) and the interim head coach at his alma mater, Sacramento State (2002). Coupe played at Sacramento State from 1993-1995.
He led Santa Clara to a record-setting 2004-05 season. Santa Clara finished the campaign with its best record in the history of the program at 16-7, and the squad also was nationally ranked for the first time.
While at Fresno State, the Bulldogs advanced to the 2004 NCAA Tournament, after reaching their highest national ranking of 30. The season before, Fresno State advanced to the round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament. Under Coupe's guidance, the No. 1 doubles team was ranked as high as No. 20 in the country and qualified to play in the NCAA Doubles Championships.
Serving as the men's interim head coach at Sacramento State, Coupe led the Hornets to the 2002 Big Sky Championship and a berth into the 2002 NCAA Tournament. He took over as head coach when the Hornets were 5-10, and the Hornets ended the season 12-11.
Coupe and his wife Michelle have a three-year-old son named Austin.