2019 was an up and down year for the University of Texas Men’s Tennis team. In March of 2019, due to the college admissions bribery scandal, the team lost head coach Michael Center.
Since that turn of events, the program’s trajectory has been nothing short of upward. Bruce Berque, an assistant under Center, was named interim coach following Center’s termination. Under Berque, the team went on to claim the Big 12 regular-season conference championship. They then parlayed that success into defeating Wake Forest for the programs’ first-ever NCAA National Championship. The interim tag was taken off of Berque’s resume in May of 2019 and he became head coach.
As the program’s success continues to climb, Texas Tennis is attracting some of the best players in the country. Micah Braswell and Leighton Allen are two of them.
Braswell is from Sarasota, Florida and according to tennisrecruiting.net, he’s the number one recruit in the 2020 class. Allen isn’t far behind, as the Austin native is eighth on that same list.
“On my recruiting trip, I really enjoyed the city and loved everything about the school the coaching, the team, and the Academics,” Braswell said on his commitment to the Longhorns.
“I grew up in Austin and it was a dream of mine ever since I was about 12 years old to be able to become a Longhorn,” Allen said on his commitment. “I’ve always watched the team matches over the years and I knew that I wanted to be affiliated with this type of environment and the rich tennis history it has behind it.”
UT Tennis can be traced back to its first season in 1912. Since then, they’ve won 27 regular-season championships and seven conference tournaments. Including the women’s program, Tennis programs at the University of Texas have won three national championships and 25 regular-season conference titles since 1993.
They also hold multiple national championships in singles and doubles play most recently coming in 1990 and 2015 respectively.
Leighton Allen is the number one recruit in all of Texas and in 2019 won the golden ball in singles play at the USTA 18s National Clay Court Championships. Tennis runs in Allen’s blood as his mother was a four-time All-American at Trinity University.
“I am extremely driven and competitive. I have worked exceedingly hard to be able to accomplish all of my goals. I have been very fortunate to be able to work with a world-class coach, Scott McCain. He has helped me reach my potential at every level both on and off the court,” Allen said on his success.
Braswell has most recently won the Vancouver Grade Three ITF singles title and currently holds a 38-11 record in 2019. His father played tennis at Florida State University.
“Everything my dad has taught me on the court has helped me the most,” Braswell said on his success.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Texas won’t get a chance to repeat as national champions in 2020. In 2021 however, with Allen and Braswell on the team, the sky is the limit for Texas Men’s Tennis.
“My goals at Texas are to just contribute to the team as much as I can,” Braswell said. “I would say that I’ve always liked having a team even though tennis is an individual sport. I’m really looking forward to the team aspect of college tennis.”
“I would like to be a consistent performer year in and year out to help the team win multiple titles,” Allen said on his goals for UT.
Leighton Allen isn’t enrolled yet and still had this to say about the University of Texas.
“I have been a Longhorn since birth and will always bleed burnt orange. Hook’em!”
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