By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA, MAY 13, 2014 – Two Bulls have earned prestigious awards for their important contributions to the No. 24 USF men’s tennis program this season.
Sophomore Roberto Cid has been named ITA Rookie Player of the Year for the Southeast Region that includes all Division I programs from Florida and Georgia.
Brandon Wagner earned ITA Assistant Coach of the Year honors for the Southeast Region after helping the Bulls win the American Athletic Conference and make the second round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship. Both Cid and Wagner are now in the running for the ITA's top national awards.
Cid, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is 21-5 in his debut season with USF and was named American Player of the Year after the Bulls captured the program’s third conference title of the season. Ranked No. 47 in the nation, Cid still gets to chase after a national title when he competes in the NCAA Singles Championship, which begins Wednesday, May 21 in Athens, Ga.
“We have one of the toughest regions in the nation with Florida and Georgia being two of the most storied programs in the history of college tennis,” head coach Matt Hill said. “Being ITA Rookie of the Year in our region says a lot about what he’s done this year. We’re super proud of him and I’m excited to take him to Athens and see what kind of damage he can do.”
Wagner joined the program in 2012 and together with Hill they’ve made great strides in guiding the Bulls to new heights in a short period of time. A former All-American player and national champion at Georgia, Wagner has helped USF post 32 victories in the past two seasons and he's assisted Hill in recruiting some of the top talent on the world stage. USF went 19-7 this season with three all-conference selections and the Bulls earned the highest ranking in program history by coming in at No. 22 in the ITA poll after winning The American championship.
“I’m very fortunate to have one of the best assistants in the country by far,” Hill said. “There is absolutely no chance that we could have done what we did this year if we didn’t have Brandon as the assistant. There is nothing I’m doing that he’s not involved with or he’s not giving input on.”