Billy Pate

Now in the 25th season of his college coaching career, Billy Pate is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Princeton men's tennis team in 2019-20.

He is regarded as one of the most respected and influential leaders in college tennis, underscored by his long history of instilling character-based values to his players.

Through his first seven seasons, Pate guided the Tigers to 114 dual-match victories and matched Princeton against 74 ITA-ranked opponents. During Pate's tenure, Princeton has been ranked as high as 23 in February and March 2015, the program's highest ranking on record since 1980.

The 2015 season saw Princeton return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998, gaining an at-large berth, and the team's 19 victories were the third-most in a season in program history. Four seasons later, in 2019, Princeton tied the program record for wins in a season with 20, alongside the 1995 team.

Princeton players have earned 20 All-Ivy League selections in Pate's seven seasons. In Pate's first year, Matija Pecotic '13 reached a ranking of No. 2 on the ITA national singles list while becoming the first three-time Ivy League Player of the Year in league history, as well as Princeton's first All-America honoree since 1984. That year, Pecotic advanced to the second round of the NCAA singles tournament, becoming the first Tiger to win an NCAA singles tournament match since 1996.

Pate's tenure has also seen Princeton qualify two teams to the NCAA doubles championship, in 2017 and 2019, with Payton Holden and Ryan Seggerman defeating the nation's No. 4-ranked team in the first round to become the first Princeton pair since 2001 to win an NCAA doubles tournament match.

Prior to Princeton, Pate spent 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Alabama, where he guided the Crimson Tide to seven NCAA tournament appearances.

Pate arrived at Alabama for the 2002-03 season and led the team to the NCAA round of 16 that spring. The Crimson Tide reached the NCAA tournament six more times and the round of 16 two more times under Pate's tenure.

Pate's Alabama teams were routinely part of the ITA national rankings, achieving a regular-season ranking of No. 9 in 2007. That season, Pate was named the ITA's South Region Coach of the Year and the SEC Co-Coach of the Year.

In addition to recruiting domestically, Pate put together a long list of international recruits from 15 countries across four continents during his time at Alabama.