Jim Laitta is in his 19th season as head coach of the Maryland men's tennis program. He spent the first 11 years of his tenure as Maryland's director of tennis where he headed up both the men's and women's programs.
Laitta is in his eighth season running only the men's team, though the Terps have been a fully-funded program for just the last four seasons.
He is gradually building the Maryland men's program in the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the top league's in the nation. Laitta has led the Terps to a national ranking in each of the last three seasons and produced the first All-Americans at the school in over 30 years.
Last season, Boris Fetbroyt and Andrew Orban advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship after entering the tournament among the top eight seeds. The last Maryland men's tennis player to earn All-America honors was John Lucas in 1976. No doubles team in school history had reached All-America status.
Over the years, Laitta's teams have had on-court success and he has shown the ability to build programs.
He began his first season (1990-91) with both men's and women's teams without any scholarship players. It wasn't until the 1998-99 campaign that the women's program had a full complement of eight scholarships.
Prior to Maryland having a fully-funded women's team, Laitta demonstrated his recruiting prowess and on-court coaching ability by taking his partially-funded teams to three NCAA Tournaments in four years.
In 1996, he led the Terrapin women's team to its first-ever NCAA appearance, as well as a tie for fourth place in the grueling ACC. As a result, he was named both ACC and NCAA Region I Coach of the Year by his peers.
The 1998-99 season saw the women's team achieve the "triple crown" at the NCAA Tournament by competing as a team and sending competitors in both singles and doubles. That was the first such occurrence in Maryland women's tennis history. Laitta also coached two of his players through two other prestigious tournaments, the National Invitational Tournament and the National Clay Court Championships.
Prior to coming to Maryland, Laitta was the head women's tennis coach at Mississippi State University from 1989-1990. The program finished in the national top 20 and captured an NCAA Doubles Championship. In addition to coaching several college All-Americans and junior national champions, he has coached professionals who have competed in major tournaments such as the U.S. Open and Wimbledon.
Laitta played collegiately at Eastern Kentucky University, where he was team captain and played the No. 1 singles and doubles position. Upon earning his degree in psychology in 1988, he competed on the satellite tour before entering the coaching ranks.
Head Coach Jim Laitta's Recruiting Statement:Head coach of the Maryland men's tennis program, Jim Laitta, recruits at the National Clay Courts (Boca Raton, Fla.), the National Hard Court Championships (Kalamazoo, Mich.), the Winter Nationals (Phoenix, Ariz.), Orange Bowl (Miami, Fla.) and several ITF junior championship tournaments.
"The type of student-athletes that we look for are highly motivated individuals who want to excel both on the court and in the classroom. Our program is one of the more intense in the country. The players on the team each have the option of 1-2 individual workouts a week. We prepare our players physically and mentally for their matches. We are starting to attract players here who have ambitions of playing on the pro tour. We try to accommodate all of the players' dreams and goals when they arrive here. When the players leave here upon graduating, they should all be able to say that they had the time of their lives the University of Maryland."