Entering his 11th season, Jim Laitta has taken what began as an underfunded program onto the national scene. Arriving at Maryland in 1991, Laitta began his first season with a team that did not have any scholarship players. The 1998-99 season marked the first year that the program had eight scholarships. Prior to becoming a fully funded team, Laitta demonstrated his recruiting prowess and on-court coaching abilities by taking his partially-funded teams to the NCAA Tournament three times in four years.
In 1996, he led the Terps to the school's first-ever NCAA appearance, as well as a tie for fourth place in the grueling Atlantic Coast Conference. As a result, he was named both ACC and NCAA Region I coach of the year by his peers. The 1999 season saw the team achieve the "triple crown" at the NCAA Tournament by competing as a team and in singles and doubles; this was the first time in the team's history that this was accomplished. 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 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 positions. Upon earning his degree in psychology in 1988, he competed on the satellite tour, but always knew that coaching would be in his future.