Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

January 25, 2013

Tennis coach earns berth in ABAC Athletics Hall of Fame

TIFTON — With three national championships to his credit, Derrick Racine stands as one of the leaders in the college tennis coaching profession.  And his career started as a Stallion at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Racine was nationally ranked and received All-America status in singles and doubles when he was a Stallion from 1984-86.  For his exploits on the court and on the sidelines, Racine has been selected to the 2013 class of the ABAC Athletics Hall of Fame.  

“Derrick has maintained a very strong relationship with ABAC through the years,” ABAC Athletics Director and tennis coach Alan Kramer said.  “Here’s a guy who is operating at the highest levels of tennis, and he is still an Ambassador for ABAC.  As it should be, his primary concern is West Florida, but he is always on the lookout for a player who would fit well into our situation at ABAC.”

Tickets are now available at a cost of $30 per person for the induction luncheon at noon on March 2, which is a part of the Celebrate ABAC Alumni Weekend activities.  Contact the Office of College Advancement at (229) 391-4895 for tickets.  Tickets will only be sold in advance.

Other Hall of Fame inductees in this year’s class include the 1999 national championship men’s tennis team, Henry Will Jones from the 1936-37 baseball, basketball, and football teams; women’s basketball coach Julie Conner, and baseball player Z.B. Hamilton.

Racine finished his college playing career as an All-America standout for Valdosta State University.  Ironically, he now competes against VSU as the men’s and women’s tennis coach at the University of West Florida. Both institutions are members of the Gulf South Conference.

Racine was the assistant coach at VSU from 1993-95 before becoming the head coach at Mobile University.  His Mobile men’s team won the NAIA national championship in 1997.  The men’s team finished as the national runner-up in both 1996 and 1998.

The Mobile women’s team wound up second in the nation in 1996 and 1997.  Overall, his Mobile men’s teams finished 76-9, and his women’s teams recorded a 77-6 record.

Now in his 14th year as head coach at West Florida, Racine’s teams have been incredibly successful, winning NCAA Division II national titles on the men’s side in 2004 and 2005, only the seventh time in Division II history that a team has won consecutive championships.

For his coaching expertise, Racine was selected as the NCAA Division II Wilson/ITA Men’s Tennis National Coach of the Year in 2003, 2005, and 2012.  He was also named the NCAA Division II Wilson/ITA Women’s Tennis National Coach of the Year in 2002.

The Argonauts have posted a 326-83 record under Racine with six Gulf South Conference titles.  The West Florida women’s team has won nine GSC championships with an overall record of 304-108.

Racine has been named the GSC Coach of the Year 14 times, six times for men’s tennis and eight times for women’s tennis.  He is a 10-time Wilson/ITA South Region Coach of the Year, six times for the men’s team and four times for the women’s team.

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