SAINT LEO, Fla. – Pablo Montana, a two-time national coach of the year with seven NCAA 'elite eight' appearances under his belt, has been tabbed as Saint Leo University's new head men's and women's tennis coach.
"In an applicant pool with many exceptionally qualified candidates, Pablo Montana's name quickly rose to the top," said Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo's director of athletics. "His extended track record of success in Division II, combined with his international recruiting connections and his commitment to his student-athletes' academic and athletic success, made Pablo the obvious choice to keep Saint Leo tennis among the top programs in the nation."
Montana takes the helm of Saint Leo men's and women's tennis from California University of Pennsylvania, where over the last 12 seasons he has built one of the nation's elite Division II programs on a campus in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Montana was named the Wilson/ITA Division II Women's Tennis National Coach of the Year in 2007 and again in 2010, and he is a five-time Wilson/ITA Atlantic Region Women's Tennis Coach of the Year honoree (2005, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2016). Under his tutelage, CalU women's tennis has produced 10 All-America honorees. The Vulcans have earned 13 ITA All-Academic Team awards for achieving a team grade point average of 3.20 or better.
Over 12 seasons, Montana has guided CalU women's tennis to a 259-72 overall record, capturing 10 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championships and 10 NCAA Atlantic Region Championships along the way. Seven times his teams reached the national quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championship, the most recent coming in 2014 when the Vulcans saw their run come to an end with a 5-2 loss to Saint Leo in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Altogether, the 10-time PSAC West Coach of the Year has led the Vulcans to 13 NCAA tournament appearances.
Since 2010, Montana has served as the national chair for the ITA Division II women's tennis national rankings, and he has chaired the ITA Division II women's tennis awards program committee since 2009.
Prior to accepting the position at California University (Pa.), Montana was the assistant men's tennis coach at Southeastern Conference-member Vanderbilt University from 1999 to 2002, assisting in the Commodores' ascension as a preeminent Division I program. He was part of Commodore teams that earned NCAA tournament berths in 2001 and 2002, and helped recruit many of the international players that helped Vanderbilt win the 2003 SEC championship and reach the finals of the 2003 NCAA championship.
Montana has also been on the staff at the College Tennis Academy in Tampa, Fla., since 2012, and he also currently serves as the tennis director at Camp Winadu in Pittsfield, Mass., a position he has held since 2004.
Montana played tennis collegiately at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned All-America honors in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and was a two-time All-SEC selection in 1995 and 1996.
Paired with teammate Chris Mahony, Montana reached the NCAA doubles championships in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and advanced to the national semifinals in both 1994 and 1996. The duo also captured the 1996 Rolex National Indoor doubles championship, and were ranked no. 1 in the nation during the 1996 campaign. The Montana/Mahony doubles pairing combined for 75 career doubles victories for the Volunteers; individually, Montana was a part of 95 doubles victories overall and is currently ninth among UT's career leaders in doubles wins. Montana also qualified for NCAA singles competition in the 1996 tournament.
After his time at Tennessee, Montana played professionally on the ATP Tour, achieving a ranking of no. 368 in the world.
Montana received his Bachelor of Science degree in liberal arts from Regents College (N.Y.), and earned a Master of Arts degree in geography and regional planning from CalU in 2004. Montana and his wife, Karen, have two children, Alexis and Silas.