The excitement kicked off with our gymnastics team beating Florida on Friday night in a down-to-the-wire contest that ultimately required our two seniors, Diandra Milliner and Kim Jacob, each scoring 9.85 in the final event of the evening to bring home the victory.
When he assumed the role of head coach for the Crimson Tide men's tennis team in 2012, George Husack had a vision to instill a winning mentality in Tuscaloosa and bring Alabama to national prominence. After only months at the reigns, Husack had the Tide back in the NCAA Championship tournament.
"My vision for this program is to be a championship contender, not only on the conference stage but also on a national stage," says Husack. "I want to create a culture, a standard. I'm going to be instilling my own thing. I'm used to competing on the last day of the season. I want these guys to experience competing and winning on the last day of the season."
After only one season, it was evident Husack's vision was coming to life. In addition to making the NCAAs as a team for the first time in three years, Husack's development of individual players shined through. Jarryd Botha, the Tide's No. 1 player, nearly tripled his win total from the previous year, earned a national ranking and a spot in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. He, and partner David Vieyra, were awarded All-America honors in doubles, the first for any Tide doubles teams in two decades.
Despite losing three starters, and gaining only one freshman, the team collected four more wins in Husack's first year than it did in 2012, which includes a 4-3 victory in the SEC Championship tournament against sixth-ranked Ole Miss in Oxford. Botha and Becker O'Shaughnessey earned All-SEC honors, while Daniil Proskura was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and winner of the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award for the Southern region.
Husack, the 2012 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year, joined the Tide after having spent the three seasons as associate head coach for the four-time defending national champion University of Southern California. In his role with the Trojans, he was responsible for coaching, player development and recruiting. As a team, USC compiled an 85-6 overall record throughout his tenure and had four individuals earn a combined 10 All-America honors under his watch. Husack also helped train and motivate one of the most decorated players in collegiate tennis, Steve Johnson, who won back-to-back NCAA Singles Championships and amassed 72 consecutive singles victories.
Prior to his appointment at USC, Husack spent two seasons as associate head coach at Illinois after having been the head coach at Santa Clara for five years.
While at Illinois, Husack helped the Illini to two straight trips to the NCAA Round of 16 while coaching student-athletes that attained top-10 rankings nationally in both singles and doubles. As with USC, his primary responsibilities included player development and recruiting.
Husack assumed the reins of head coach at Santa Clara in 2002 after having served as an assistant since 1995. Throughout his tenure as head coach, he built a program that reached many milestones including the highest national singles and doubles rankings in school history, a program record for most team wins in a single season as the Broncos went 20-8 in 2007, 19 All-West Coast Conference singles and doubles selections and 14 All-WCC All-Academic and ITA Scholar-Athlete honorees.
Husack, also an accomplished player, spent two seasons competing professionally on the International Tennis Federation and United States Tennis Association tours.
In addition to his professional experiences in tennis, Husack spent time in the business sector serving as a plan specialist for Franklin Mutual Fund, an operations analyst for Wells Fargo and Director of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships in athletics at Santa Clara.
A native of San Mateo, Calif., Husack earned his bachelor's degree in finance from San Diego State in 1991, while later attaining an MBA in marketing from the University of San Francisco in 1995. As a member of the San Diego State men's tennis team, he served as team captain as a senior and helped the Aztecs attain the program's first top-25 national ranking.
Husack and his wife Kristina have three children: Nina (5) and twins Grant and Greta (3).