(Updated February 5, 2019)
Entering his 20th season at the helm of the Florida State men’s tennis program, Hultquist has put himself atop the Florida State record books and the Seminoles consistently in the national spotlight. The winningest coach in program history, Hultquist has led the ‘Noles to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, one of only 11 programs in the country to reach that mark of postseason longevity.
Under Hultquist’s leadership, Florida State men’s tennis has emerged as one of the top programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the country. In 19 seasons under Hultquist, FSU has had three ACC Player of the Year recipients, six All-American honors, the ITA Most Improved Player and two national ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winners.
The 2018 season was the best one yet under Hultquist. The Seminoles earned 28 wins on their way to hosting the NCAA first and second rounds. It marked the 16th straight season under Hultquist that the Seminoles had made an NCAA Tournament appearance and the fourth time that FSU had hosted a regional. During the 2018 season, the Seminoles defeated No. 8 Florida for the second year in a row at the USTA National Campus. It was the second season in a row that the match garnered the largest crowd in college tennis (1,917) and was the third largest attended college tennis match since the stat was kept back in 1995. For the second year in a row and third time in program history, three student-athletes were placed on the All-ACC team – Aziz Dougaz (first team), Guy Iradukunda (second team) and Lucas Poullain (third team). Florida State also brought home numerous ITA Regional honors as Hultquist was named Southeast Region Coach of the Year, Dougaz was named player to watch and Iradukunda was named Most Improved Senior and Senior Player of the Year. Hultquist was also named ACC Coach of the Year, becoming the first Seminole head coach to earn such honors.
Also in 2018, Hultquist earned his 300th career win when FSU defeated Furman in the finals of the FSU Spring Invitational. The Seminoles were also a part of the first ever college tennis match that was broadcasted on the Tennis channel when the Seminoles defeated the Gators as a part of the USTA’s College MatchDay. Hultquist also garnered his second win over a No. 1 ranked team in 2018 when he led the Garnet and Gold past No. 1 Wake Forest at home, 4-3.
In 2017, the Seminoles set numerous program milestones en route to an 18-win season and an NCAA Second Round appearance, the 15th-consecutive NCAA Championship appearance for the Hultquist-led Seminoles. Among the highlights was a 4-2 victory over archrival Florida at the USTA National Campus in Orlando in front of a record crowd of 1,756. The match was the most-attended college tennis match of the season and the fourth-highest since 2010. For just the second time in program history, three student-athletes were named All-ACC – Aziz Dougaz (first team), Guy Iradukunda (second team), and Lucas Poullain (third team). In the fall, Iradukunda also won the ITA Southeast Regional Championship, the second regional title under Hultquist.
In 2016, the Seminoles reached new heights with 18 regular season wins and a three-seed in the ACC Tournament. Among the highlights were the first win over the No. 1 team in school history with a 4-3 triumph over North Carolina in March. En route to a 14th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, Florida State senior Benjamin Lock was named the ITA’s Most Improved Player after rising to No. 9 in the singles rankings on the season. Lock and senior Marco Nunez also reached the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season, while Lock became the third singles All-American in FSU history, all under Hultquist’s watch. Both players were named All-ACC (Lock – First Team; Nunez – Second Team).
Also in 2016, Nunez and senior Michael Rinaldi were named ACC Postgraduate Scholarship winners, the third and fourth players in the past four seasons to be so honored. The Seminoles also were the 2015 Golden Torch winners for best GPA on campus, continuing to show that success on the court and in the classroom is not mutually exclusive.
In 2014-15, Hultquist captured his 250th victory with a win on the road at No. 33 Louisville and enters the 2016 season with 258. The year also saw him reach the second round of the team championship for the first time since 2012.
Along with Lock and Nunez, junior Rinaldi and senior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez also were ranked during the season, and true freshmen Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst finished with an 18-8 doubles mark in their first semester at Florida State. Lock’s No. 48 final singles rank was the highest for a ‘Nole in four years, while Lock and Nunez finished in the Top 30 (No. 20) for the second consecutive season.
The team’s 20-11 record was the most wins since 2009 and the most regular season wins in school history with 18.
Hultquist has finished ranked in the final poll of the season all 17 years. Lock (second team) and Rinaldi (third team) were honored with All-ACC honors.
The 2015 season was the first with an improved VIP seating area at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, a project spearheaded by Hultquist that allows boosters to sit in covered, cushioned seating areas while cheering on the ‘Noles. It was also the first season with home matches on ESPN3, another project championed by Hultquist that increased the reach of Seminole tennis nationwide and helped improve the Seminole brand.
In 2014, Hultquist oversaw a team that reached the second round of the ACC Tournament. The ‘Noles took down nine ranked teams, highlighted by victories over No. 18 Wake Forest, No. 47 Miami, and No. 60 Nebraska. Hultquist and the ‘Noles have defeated in-state rival Miami in 14 of the past 16 seasons after notching just a 5-41 record against the Hurricanes prior to his arrival. The doubles pairing of Lock and Nunez ranked as high as No. 4 in the country before a season-ending injury knocked Lock out of competition for most of the spring.
The ‘Noles also placed two members on the All-ACC teams, with Dominic Cotrone (second team) and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez(third team) garnering honors. Two players, Gonzalez Mendez and Blake Davis, were also named to the ITA All-Academic Team, while Cotrone and Gonzalez Mendez were named to the All-ACC Academic Team.
The 2012-13 year was no different from the previous winning seasons. The year saw both Hultquist and associate coach Nick Crowell sweeping the ITA Southeast Regional coaches of the year awards. Cotrone and Davis ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation in doubles and played in the NCAA Doubles Championships at the end of the year.
During the 2012 season, Hultquist coached the team to its 10th straight NCAA appearance. The team finished 19-10 and reached the semifinals of the ACC Championships. Jordan Kelly-Houston was named to the All-ACC team while Andres Bucaro, Davis and Lock were named to the All-ACC Academic team.
In 2011, Vahid Mirzadeh headlined the season as he and Connor Smith were named All-Americans in doubles play, Hultquist’s fourth and fifth athletes to earn that honor. Mirzadeh made a huge impact off the courts as he was awarded the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, showcasing his playing abilities, leadership, community service, academic achievements and sportsmanship.
The 2009-10 season had the team making the NCAA Tournament for the eighth year in a row where they reached the second round of play. Awards started coming in the fall as Clint Bowles was the Wilson/ITA Southeast Regional Singles Champion. Later in the year, Jean-Yves Aubone was named the ITA Senior Player of the Year and was named to the All-ACC team along with Mirzadeh. The Seminoles stormed the classrooms that year with seven members of the team being named to the ACC Honor Roll. Aubone capped the year by being named the ACC Men’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
For the first time in school history, the Seminoles reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons (2008 and 2009). The 2009 season also marked the first time that the Seminoles finished the season ranked inside the top 15 in consecutive seasons (No. 13). Aubone also became the first player in school history to become a two-time All-American. The ‘Noles had three All-ACC performers for the second consecutive season with Aubone, Bowles and Maciek Sykut earning those honors.
It was also in 2009 that Hultquist surpassed his predecessor David Barron as the winningest coach in school history, notching win No. 142 in the fourth match of the season against ACC-rival Duke on January 31, 2009, in the first round of the National Indoor Championships. With 21 victories in 2009, Hultquist won more than 20 in one season for the third time in his career and the second season in a row.
The 2008 season was a year of records for Florida State culminating in a trip to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles achieved their highest ranking in program history at No. 7 during the season and individually saw Aubone earn the highest singles’ ranking in the school’s history. FSU’s 21 victories marked the second time Hultquist led his squad to a 20-win season during his tenure.
Under the direction of Hultquist, Florida State players rose to new heights in 2008 with Aubone earning singles All-American honors and Sam Chang and Bowles getting All-ACC accolades. Aubone and Bowles also finished second in school history for doubles victories in a single season (28).
In 2007, Hultquist led Florida State to a 17-10 record and the Seminoles rose to No. 10 during the season. FSU also hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time in school history.
In Hultquist’s sixth year at FSU, the Seminoles reached the 2005 NCAA Elite Eight for the first time and finished with its then highest-ever national ranking at No. 13 and stamped its first 20-plus win season since 1985. Hultquist led his squad to an impressive 21-8 mark and a second-place finish in the ACC. Under Hultquist’s tutelage in 2005, Mat Cloer became the school’s first singles’ All-American and won the program’s first national honor with the ITA Arthur Ashe Award.
Hultquist hit the ground running in the fall of 2005 and led his troops to an impressive fall campaign. For the Seminoles’ efforts, Florida State not only earned the school’s first invitation to the 2006 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship but also garnered a respectable preseason ranking of No. 11 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Individual honors were bountiful in 2004 with Cloer claiming his second ACC Player of the Year honor, only the third player in league history to receive the award in consecutive seasons. Freshman Jonathas Sucupira was named to the All-ACC team, a first by an FSU rookie since 1992.
Florida State had a break-out year during Hultquist’s fourth season as the 2003 squad returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998 and ended the year with a 15-10 mark. The Seminoles produced their best finish in the ACC standings, taking second while winning the ACC Indoor Doubles Championship for the second year in a row. Individual accolades rolled in as Hultquist’s former aide, Ty Braswell, was named ITA Assistant Coach of the Year. On the court, Cloer became the first Seminole to earn ACC Player of the Year honors.
In his first year, Hultquist brought the Seminoles a winning record of 14-10. In his second year, the men’s team entered the 2001-02 season ranked No. 59 by the ITA.
Hultquist arrived at Florida State after serving eight years as an assistant coach at the University of Texas. While working under legendary coach Dave Snyder, Hultquist became known for his excellent recruiting abilities. He was also responsible for scheduling, fundraising, individualized coaching and many of the day-to-day operations of the program. While at Texas, Hultquist coached nine All-Americans, helped lead the Longhorns to six conference titles and made it to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in each of his eight years.
Hultquist began his tennis career at Penn State where he was a four-year letterman and team captain in 1986. During that same year, he was an NCAA Tournament qualifier in doubles and earned all-conference honors in both singles and doubles. After graduating from Penn State, Hultquist turned pro, playing in the United States, Israel and Asia. During his career, Hultquist was selected to play on national teams that traveled to Korea and China for competition.
Hultquist is married to the former Angela White. The couple has four daughters, Devan (a Florida State beach volleyball player), Avery, Addison, and Mackenzie and one son, Blake.