James Wilson named Mountain West Coach of the Year

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s tennis coach James Wilson has been named the Mountain West Coach of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Friday. Wilson led the Aggies to the Mountain West regular season and tournament titles for the second year in a row.

Wilson is the second Coach of the Year in program history, joining Clancy Shields who won the award in 2016.

Wilson led the Aggies to their highest ITA ranking in program history at No. 37 earlier this season. Utah State’s signature win came when it defeated then-No. 26 Old Dominion in Tampa, Fla. The Aggies went undefeated in conference play, 7-0, for the first time in program history, and USU completed an undefeated season at home, 8-0, for the second time in program history and for the first time in the Mountain West era. The Aggies also defeated in-state rival BYU for the fourth-consecutive year. After winning the Mountain West Championship, the Aggies punched a ticket for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

Utah State will enter the tournament as the No. 50-ranked team in the nation, and is set to travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to face No. 8 TCU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at noon on Saturday, May 12. The Aggies open their tournament run on a program-record-tying nine-match winning streak, the second such streak during Wilson’s two-year tenure as head coach.

Wilson helped guide three Aggies to all-Mountain West honors this season with senior Jaime Barajas and sophomore Sergiu Bucur earning all-MW in singles, and Barajas and freshman Jose Carvajal earning all-MW as a doubles tandem.

Barajas posted 25 singles wins, including a team-best 15 in the dual-match season while playing primarily at the No. 1 spot. Barajas was a perfect 6-0 against conference opponents in the regular season and went 3-0 at the No. 1 spot in the Mountain West Championship. He also recorded four victories over nationally-ranked opponents.

Bucur had 20 singles wins, including 14 in the dual match season playing mostly at No. 2 singles. Bucur was 5-1 against MW opponents in the regular season, and clinched two of the victories for the Aggies in the conference tournament, including the championship match over Fresno State.

Barajas and Carvajal were 15-8 overall and 11-8 in the dual match season at the No. 1 spot.

Fans can follow USU’s men’s tennis team on Twitter @USUMensTennis, on Facebook at UtahStateMensTennis or on Instagram at USUTennis. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.

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