July 30, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Director of Athletics Mark Murphy announced today that Paul Torricelli, who has led the Wildcats' men's tennis program since 1983-84, has resigned.
Torricelli's 24-year run as NU's men's tennis coach ranks second behind Paul Bennett, who coached the Wildcats for 27 years (1931-58). He also owned the second-longest tenure (24 years) of any current Northwestern head mentor.
"We are grateful to Paul for all that he has done for Northwestern and our men's tennis program during his long tenure here," said Murphy. "He built the program into one of the strongest in the Big Ten and has always run a first-class program."
Torricelli, only the sixth NU men's tennis coach since the program's inception in 1921, compiled a 343-257 (.572) overall record and a 162-114 (.587) mark in Big Ten Conference play. He led the Wildcats to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, two undefeated regular conference seasons and a Big Ten championship (1990) while earning three Big Ten Coach of the Year awards. Three of his teams (1990, 1997 and 1998) were ranked as high as No. 13 nationally. Two of Torricelli's teams, 1990 and 1997, advanced to the NCAA round of 16.
In addition to the Wildcats' team success, a number of Northwestern individuals have earned numerous honors in both the collegiate and professional ranks during Torricelli's tenure. Most notable of these is former Davis Cup star Todd Martin, who turned professional in 1990 just after his sophomore year at Northwestern. Torricelli had the privilege of watching Martin become a Grand Slam finalist, as well as a Davis Cup mainstay.
A total of 28 players earned All-Big Ten recognition, with three players (Todd Martin, 1990; Alex Witt, 1997; and Marc Silva, 1998) earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Steve Herdoiza (1989), Martin (1990) and Silva (1998) earned Big Ten singles titles under Torricelli. He also coached three Big Ten Freshman of the Year honorees: Martin (1990), Silva (1997) and Tommy Hanus (2002). Fifty seven of Torricelli's players have been named to the Big Ten All-Academic Team, and his 2003 team was named the first recipient of the ITA Team Sportsmanship Award.
Six of Torricelli's former assistant coaches moved from NU into head coaching posts: Mickey Maule (Northern Illinois), Adam Steinberg (Alabama/Pepperdine), Gordie Ernst (Penn/Georgetown), Jay Udwadia (Drake/Fresno State), Greg Davis (Louisville), and Arvid Swan (DePaul). In addition, one of his former Wildcat players, Geoff Young ('94), was named head coach at Minnesota last season.