Dennis Taylor is entering his 14th season as head coach of The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis program. Since his first season in 1988, Taylor has made improvements in all areas of his program. He has improved the Skyhawk tennis facilities, upgraded the strength of schedule and expanded his recruiting base in an effort to make Skyhawk tennis an upper echelon program.
During his tenure, Coach Taylor's teams have been ranked among top teams nationally. He has reaped the benefits of his hard work with an NCAA Division II National Championship and in the second and third year of membership, the woman's team won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference titles. Coach Taylor has the reputation of turning good players into champions.
In 1991 Luciano D'Andrea won the NCAA II Championship in singles, then he teamed with Vesa Ponkka to win the doubles championship in the same season. It was UT Martin's first national championship in any sport.
In 1992 Coach Taylor was named Coach of the Year in the South. Taylor was selected as the OVC Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1995. During the 1995 season, one of his athletes, Caroline Groves, was selected OVC Player of the Year and Tennessee's NCAA Female Athlete of the Year.
The team motto, "a commitment to excellence," applies not only to competition, but in daily activities as well.
Taylor's teams continually produce the highest grade point averages of any athletic program at UT Martin. Several of his players have been recognized for their classroom accomplishments. Coach Taylor maintained a perfect 4.0 while studying for his Master's degree.
Taylor is a prominent figure in the tennis community and has contributed to the development of young athletes. He is the director of the annual West Tennessee Summer Classic and the Carl Seale Memorial Tournament, in honor of former UT Martin professor Dr. Carl Seale, a tennis enthusiast.
Dennis and his wife Sandra have three sons, Chris, Joe and Ty.