Derek Tarr

His 31st season as the head coach of the UAB men’s tennis team, Tarr has driven the Blazers to become 1 of the most respected programs in Conference USA.

Before Tarr took the reins of the program in 1989, UAB men’s tennis had never produced a nationally-ranked player, had never been nationally-ranked as a team and had never defeated a nationally-ranked opponent.

Over the last ten seasons, 15 Blazers received All-Conference USA honors, including Tim Dollman, who earned Conference USA Freshman of the Year accolades before being named first-team All-Conference in 2018. The latest Blazers to bring home such honors are Michal Lusovsky, who earned a spot on the singles second-team, and Roman Postolka, who joined Lusovsky on the doubles second-team in 2019.

The 2000 season saw UAB earn its way to the NCAA regionals for the fifth time in school history and featured four Blazer wins over nationally ranked opponents. Martin Woisetschläger posted a 31-10 record on the season and peaked at No. 12 nationally en route being recognized as Conference USA Player of the Year.

The 2000s saw the Blazers finish in the top-five in Conference USA seven times, including a five-year stretch from 2004-2008.

In 1997, Tarr coached Woisetschläger to a spot on the Conference USA First-Team as a freshman and Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors. Under Tarr’s leadership, Woisetschläger became one of the most decorated Blazers ever, earning All-Conference honors in each of his four seasons in the Magic City.

The Blazers saw many milestones in the 1990s under Tarr’s leadership. While in the Sun Belt in 1991, UAB won the conference championship before claiming the top spot in the Great Midwest Conference in all four seasons as a member of the league (1992-1995). Tarr was named conference coach of the year in each of those championship seasons, and was awarded the ITA/Wilson Region Coach of the Year in 1993 before winding up as a finalist for National Coach of the Year in the same season.

A phenomenal player in his own right, Tarr was named to the All-SEC Team for his performances in all four seasons at Auburn. He accumulated a collegiate record of 91-16 and became Auburn’s first SEC individual champion in 1978 and the Tigers’ first All-American in 1981.

As a professional player, Tarr ranked in the top-100 in both singles and doubles. During his seven years on tour, Tarr defeated the likes of Andre Agassi, Henri Leconte and Tim Mayotte.