Howard Joffe, one of the brightest young collegiate tennis coaches in the country, is entering his third season at the helm of the Aggies after being named the Texas A&M women’s head tennis coach in July 2011.
Upon his hiring, Joffe said, “I intend to work extremely hard with our student-athletes to do the athletics department, Texas A&M University and Aggies everywhere proud,” and that is exactly what he has done and continues to do.
Joffe, 45-10 in two seasons at A&M and 93-48 in his six-year head coaching career, has rapidly transformed the Aggies from pretender to contender. In 2013 the Maroon and White shocked the nation by reaching the NCAA Championship finals for the first time. A&M, whose previous best finish in the NCAAs was a round of 16 appearance in 2004, narrowly fell to 17-time national champion Stanford, 4-3, in the championship match. The Aggies concluded their historic 2013 campaign ranked an all-time high No. 3 in the final team rankings with a 26-4 record, marking the most wins in school history.
Texas A&M, competing in its first season as a member of the powerful Southeastern Conference in 2013, also had experience unprecedented success during the regular season which resulted in A&M receiving a 14th consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament and an all-time high No. 3 seed in the 64-team tournament. Joffe directed the Aggies to their highest ranked win in school history by knocking off two-time defending national champion and fourth-ranked Florida, 4-3, snapping the Gators’ 45-match winning streak against SEC teams in conference regular-season, SEC Tournament and NCAA Championship matches combined. The statement win was part of a 13-match win streak, tying the all-time school record for consecutive victories first accomplished in Joffe’s debut season as the Aggie skipper. A&M would go on to win the SEC Western Division title and stake claim to a share of the SEC regular-season crown with the Gators and Georgia.
Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, who followed Joffe to A&M from Maryland, concluded her stellar two-year career as the most heralded player in Aggie women’s tennis history. After being ranked an A&M all-time high No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s preseason singles rankings in January 2013, the senior was No. 5 in the final rankings, the highest final ranking in school history. The Spaniard, who posted the school’s highest ranked singles victory by defeating No. 3 Robin Anderson of UCLA in the NCAA semifinals and received an all-time high No. 4 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship, finished her two-year career with a .844 (81-15) winning percentage in singles, also an A&M record.
The Aggies also produced numerous highlights during Joffe’s inaugural season at Texas A&M. Although the team lost, 4-3, to Ole Miss in Joffe’s debut, the Aggies rebounded with a school-record 13 consecutive victories, obliterating the previous record of nine straight wins. The Aggies would later defeat No. 6 Texas (April 17, 2012), which marked A&M’s highest ranked win since defeating No. 5 USC in 2004, when Joffe served as an assistant for the Women of Troy.
The Aggies went on to tie for second in the Big 12 Conference behind the stellar play of Sanchez-Quintanar. The junior went 9-0 in conference matches and 24-1 in dual matches all at the No. 1 line and became the first player in Big 12 history to garner both Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors in the same season. Sanchez-Quintanar, who first became the highest ranked player in Texas A&M history when she received a No. 4 singles ranking on Feb. 28, 2012, would go on to become the first Joffe-coached player to earn ITA All-America honors after receiving a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship. She would also become only the second player in Texas A&M history to reach the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament.
Texas A&M made its 13th consecutive NCAA appearance in 2012, and after narrowly falling at No. 15 Michigan, 4-3, in the NCAA second round, Joffe’s Aggies finished the season 19-6 and ranked No. 17 in the final ITA rankings. It was A&M's first top-20 final ranking since tying for 16th in 2004 and its third highest final ranking in school history.
Joffe has had success both as a head coach and as an assistant coach. Prior to coming to Aggieland, he served as the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Maryland for two years. In 2011, he led the Terrapins to the NCAA Championships, marking the Terps’ first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 2006. Joffe’s squad finished 13-10 and was No. 34 in the final ITA rankings.
Joffe went to Maryland from his first head coaching position at Miami University (Ohio), where he took over a program and within two years led the RedHawks to the top of the Mid-American Conference and their first NCAA appearance in program history. Joffe was rewarded by being named the 2009 MAC Coach of the Year. The RedHawks would also become ranked for the first time in the program’s history.
Joffe cut his teeth at the highest level, serving five years as an assistant coach at USC where the Trojans finished among the country’s best teams every season from 2002-07 and Joffe was a two-time recipient (2004 & 2006) of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. In 2006, he was the national runner-up for the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. During Joffe’s stint at USC, the Trojans finished among the Top 11 every season and finished as high as No. 3 in the land after the 2006 season.
At Miami (Ohio), Joffe recruited the 2009 MAC Freshman of the Year and first-team all-league player in Monica Gorny. His sophomore, Anastasia Dracheva, also earned first-team all-league honors. In addition to outstanding play on the RedHawk tennis courts, Joffe’s squad scored a perfect 1000 on his last Academic Progress Rate (APR) report.
At Maryland, Joffe recruited Sanchez-Quintanar who ended the season ranked No. 34 and defeated Texas A&M standout Nazari Urbina in the first round of the NCAA singles championships. Another Joffe recruit, Jordaan Sanford, combined with Sanchez-Quintanar to end the season ranked No. 26 in doubles.
In only six seasons, Joffe-coached players have earned two All-America citations and 10 first-team all-conference certificates.
Joffe was himself a talented player earning All-America honors at Pepperdine in 1992 and advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship. He earned three letters before playing on the professional circuit for three years. While he served as an assistant coach at USC, Joffe earned his psychology degree at USC in 2006.
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Joffe spent three years (1999-2002) as a teaching professional and director of tennis at Kettering Tennis Center and Quail Run Racquet Clubs in Dayton, Ohio. Prior to coming back to the United States, Joffe spent four years teaching young tennis players in South Africa. He established the Joffe-Wheeler Tennis Academy in Johannesburg, and he coached and managed the Gauteng Central Junior Tennis Team. He was also appointed the Gauteng Central tennis coach and served as the head coach at Rand Afrikaanse University.
THE JOFFE FILE
ALL-CONFERENCE, FIRST TEAM
1990-92 Led Pepperdine to three consecutive West Coast Conference titles