STARKVILLE, Miss. - Former Mississippi State men's tennis standout Daniel Courcol was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in Athens, Ga., Wednesday evening during induction ceremonies surrounding the 2010 NCAA Tennis Championships.
A native of Paris, France, Courcol was a three-year letterwinner (1991-93) for the Bulldog tennis squad. He earned all-America honors four times during his career - twice in singles (1992-93) and twice in doubles (1991, '93) - and also received all-Southeastern Conference laurels multiple times.
Introduced by his coach at MSU, Andy Jackson, Courcol's acceptance speech Wednesday night included his memories of first coming to Starkville from Paris, how college tennis shaped him as a leader in life, and some of the many recollections of his stellar career while at Mississippi State.
A member of three State teams that reached the NCAA round of 16, Courcol helped led the Bulldogs to the SEC title in 1993 while manning the #1 position on the squad in both singles and doubles.
On the individual level, Courcol was simply outstanding. The only player in Mississippi State history to hold the nation's #1 ranking in both singles and doubles, he is also the only player in college tennis history to win four Collegiate Grand Slam titles in one season. In 1992-93, Courcol claimed the singles crown of both the ITA National Clay Court and All-American Hardcourt Championships. He also teamed with fellow all-American Laurent Miquelard to claim the All-American Championships' doubles title and the ITA National Indoor doubles crown the same season. He ended the 1992 season ranked ninth nationally in singles. In 1993, he finished fifth in the country in singles and fourth in doubles.
In addition to his all-American laurels, Courcol was also named the 1993 ITA National Senior Player of the Year and was the winner of the Dan Magill Award that same year, an honor named for the legendary University of Georgia tennis coach and adminstrator.
Courcol amassed career records of 86-28 in singles and 47-30 in doubles, and remains in the top 10 of almost every MSU men's tennis statistical category.
Following his collegiate career, Courcol played professionally on the ATP Tour. He reached the top 170 in the world in singles in 1996.
Holding a marketing degree from State (1993), Courcol now resides in Paris and is the Customer and Quality Service Director for Fnac.com, a European retailing company of nearly 20,000 employees comparable to Amazon.com in the United States.
He and his wife, Bella, have two children - daughter Mathilde (5) and son Thomas (5 mos.).
The ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame is housed at the University of Georgia's Henry Field stadium in Athens. Legendary Georgia men's coach and Hall of Fame member Dan Magill serves as curator and chairman of the Hall. The ITA Men's Hall of Fame, which includes over 1,800 rare photos, inducted its first class in 1983, and has inducted more than 170 players, coaches and contributors since then. Players are eligible for election to the Hall of Fame 15 years after their last collegiate match and coaches are eligible one year following retirement. The main criteria for election are college accomplishments as well as honors earned after college.
Courcol joined legendary Bulldog tennis coach R.T. "Tom" Sawyer in the ITA Hall of Fame. Sawyer, inducted in 1991, coached State's men from 1949-68, leading the Bulldogs to a 216-36 overall record, two SEC championships, four NCAA appearances and two top 3 national finishes. He was 1967 SEC Coach of the Year.
Courcol was part of a very impressive group in the class of 2010. 2010 inductees include:
Mahesh Bhupathi (Ole Miss) - ITA All-American (1995)...NCAA Doubles Champion (1995)...French Open Doubles Champion (1999-2001)...French Open Mixed Doubles Champion (1997)...Wimbledon Doubles Champion (1999)...Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion (2002-05)...US Open Doubles Champion (2002)...US Open Mixed Doubles Champion (1999-2005).
Daniel Courcol (Mississippi State) - Three-time ITA All-American (1991-93)...ITA All-American Singles and Doubles Champion (1992)...ITA National Clay Court Singles Champion (1992)...ITA National Indoors Doubles Champion (1993)...1993 ITA Senior Player of the Year.
Zan Guerry (Rice) - Three-time ITA All-American (1969-71)...winner of 20 US National Titles...five-time Southern Men's Singles Champion (first at age 15).
Rodney Harmon (Tennessee/SMU) - Three-time ITA All-American (1980, 1982-83)...NCAA Doubles Champion (1980)...NCAA Singles Semifinalist (1983)...former Director of Men's Tennis for USTA High-Performance...2009 Tennis Educational Merit Award Winner.
Leif Shiras (Princeton) - Two-time ITA All-American (1979-80)...NCAA Singles Semifinalist (1980)...Member of the US Davis Cup Team (1989-91)...Tennis Channel and Fox News tennis commentator since 2002.
Jay Lapidus (Princeton/Duke) - Three-time ITA All-American (1979-81)...Ranked No. 1 in the ITA College Tennis Rankings (1980)...National Interscholastic Singles Champion at Lawrenceville, NJ (1977)...Won 11 ACC titles as the Head Coach at Duke for 18 years (1991-2007.
Kent DeMars (South Carolina) - South Carolina's all-time winningest coach...18 NCAA Tournament appearances and 6 conference championships with USC...1989 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year...seven-time Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year...Captured seven NCAA Division II National Championships at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and coached Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, who went on to win doubles titles at the 1985 U.S. Open, the 1987 and 1988 Championships at Wimbledon and the 1988 Olympics.
Craig Tiley (Illinois) - Head Coach at Illinois (1994-2005)...NCAA Team Champion (2003)...Two-time ITA National Team Indoor Champion (2003-04)...Two-time Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year...South Africa Davis Cup Captain (1998-2001).
Steve Wilkinson (Gustavus Adolphus) - The winningest coach in men's tennis collegiate history with a record of 929-279 (.768) over 39 years of coaching...Wilkinson's squads won two NCAA Division III titles (1980 and 1982) and 35 MIAC titles while appearing in the NCAA Division III Championships in 16 consecutive seasons.
Gordon Smith (Georgia) - Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the USTA...Served as captain of a team that swept the SEC title each of his four years...He was a two-time all-SEC selection and, as a senior, won the conference doubles championship with current men's tennis coach Manuel Diaz, who has led the Bulldogs to four NCAA national team titles.