TAMPA - University of South Florida head men's tennis coach Don Barr has decided to retire, USF Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard announced on Tuesday. Barr has been a part of the USF men's tennis program for 21 seasons, including 20 as head coach, and will spend the 2012-13 season helping the program transition to a new head coach, while serving as the Director of Men's Tennis Operations. A national search for Barr's successor will begin immediately.
"Coach Barr has been an outstanding leader and representative for our men's tennis program during his tenure," Woolard said. "He consistently produced squads that were competitive both on the court and in the classroom. Although he's decided to retire, I'm very pleased that he agreed to stay on and help transition our men's tennis program as Director of Men's Tennis Operations during the 2012-13 season. Don's contribution to USF is immeasurable and we thank him for his years of service."
Barr came to USF as an assistant coach for the 1991-92 season and moved into the head coaching position one year later. He produced an impressive dual match record of 649-402 (.618) and led the Bulls to six conference championships and nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
"I've had a wonderful experience at USF as the head men's tennis coach," Barr stated. "I'll be forever grateful to my assistant coach Mike Henderson, who has been with me for the last 18 years, and my volunteer assistant Tamer El Sawy, who has provided his support for 14 seasons. We've worked tirelessly to produce a winning program and we're very proud of what we've accomplished here at USF. I'd like to thank the administration and the entire USF staff for their support over the last 21 years, and I look forward to helping the new head coach transition smoothly, so that we can continue to build the men's tennis program."
The Bulls' longest-tenured head coach, Barr earned conference titles in The Metro Conference (1995), Conference USA (1996, '98, '99, 2002), and the BIG EAST (2009). He kept the program among the highest-ranked in the nation and helped the Bulls to numerous Top 40 Intercollegiate Tennis Association final rankings that reached as high as No. 23 in 2002.
Barr was instrumental in helping two of USF's finest, George Bastl and Paco Antelo, secure two of the five spots on Conference USA's All-Decade team for the 1990s. He also directed two players to conference Player of the Year honors, including Lucas Jovita in 2011, and two players to conference Freshman of the Year honors. He received Coach of the Year honors seven times. Since the Bulls joined Conference USA in 1996, Barr tutored a total of 15 players to 28 first-team all-conference honors in either Conference USA or the BIG EAST.
Prior to arriving on campus, Barr was a director for several clubs and academies including the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, the Fontainbleu Hilton in Miami, the Davis Island Tennis Center in Tampa, and the Sweetwater Country Club in Longwood, Fla.