Saturday, July 06, 2002
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Billy Pate, 33, has been hired as the Tide’s new men’s tennis coach, replacing Adam Steinberg who was recently hired as men’s tennis coach at Pepperdine. Pate was recently named ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year.
“Billy is one of the up-and-coming young coaches around the nation,” said Alabama’s Director of Athletics Mal Moore, “and I can say that our men’s tennis program will be in good hands under his guidance.”
Pate, who has spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Notre Dame, is a 1992 graduate of Mississippi State.
“It is exciting for me to return to the Southeastern Conference,” Pate said. “Having played in this league, I know the level of competition and strength of the tennis programs and it is certainly an honor to coach at Alabama. Adam has done an outstanding job of elevating the program and I intend to continue that upward movement.”
Pate’s responsibilities at Notre Dame included serving as recruiting coordinator, on-the-court and individual coaching duties and administrative responsibilities.
Prior to his stint at Notre Dame, he led Georgia Perimeter to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Championships in his final three seasons at the school. In his five-year tenure at Georgia Perimeter, Pate led his teams to an 87-43 record while playing over 85 percent of his matches against top four-year programs.
He was also honored as as the NJCAA regional coach of the year times (1996-2000) and the USPTA Southern Division College Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1999.
Prior to becoming head coach at Georgia Perimeter, Pate served as the college’s sports information director and also worked with the Atlanta Thunder of the World Team Tennis League with such players as Martina Navratilova, Bjorn Borg, Chanda Rubin, Zina Garrison and Ken Flach.
While playing professionally in USTA satellite tournaments, Pate was the top-ranked player in 1995 and 1996 in the South region men’s open doubles rankings. In 1997 and 1999, he was honored as the Georgia Professional Tennis Association male player of the year.
The Starkville, Miss., native helped Mississippi State reach the SEC championship match as a senior in 1991. During his collegiate playing days, he helped the Bulldogs break into the national top-15 rankings for the first time in 20 years.