After his third-straight winning season and returning Mississippi State men's tennis to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2001, head coach Per Nilsson has been named the 2013 Wilson/ITA Southern Region Coach of the Year.
Nilsson led the Bulldogs to an 18-10 record and 6-6 in the Southeastern Conference in the 2013 campaign, with 15 of those wins coming against top 55 opponents. Along with returning the Bulldogs to the Round of 16, Nilsson led State to a No. 10 national seed and its second-straight season of hosting the NCAA Championship First and Second Rounds.
Perhaps most impressive is that Nilsson's 2013 squad was led heavily by four true freshmen after he lost three stellar seniors from 2012, two of which being All-Americans. Combined, all four freshmen collected 81 singles victories for the 2012-13 season under Nilsson's direction.
One of those freshmen, Romain Bogaerts, also picked up an honor this week when he earned 2013 ITA Southern Region Rookie of the Year. Bogaerts picked up 28 victories for the 2012-13 slate, earning All-SEC First Team and Freshman Team honors and was announced as the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year.
Bogaerts' play in the spring earned him a bid to the 2013 NCAA Individual Championships as the No. 6 national seed, making him State's 21st All-American in program history.
Nilsson and Bogaerts, along with junior Malte Stropp and freshman Jordan Angus will be in Champaign, Ill., for the 2013 NCAA Individual Championships. Nilsson will guide No. 6 Bogaerts and No. 57 Stropp in singles play, while Angus and Stropp, the nation's 13th-ranked duo, will compete in the doubles bracket.