ASU sponsored tennis for over 100 years before budget constraints forced the school to cut the program in 2008. Only the Sun Devil football team (founded in 1897) has a longer history at the school than the men's tennis team, which was founded in 1902.
The team boasts six top-25 national finishes and 18 top-five conference finishes in the former Pac-10. In
The Sun Devils also lay claim to three Western Athletic Conference titles from the 1970s, each won under the tutelage of head coach Marty Pincus, whose 161-31 record in seven years with the team is good for the second-best winning percentage of any coach in school history (NCAA-sanctioned sports). Only former football coach Dan Devine (.887) had a better winning percentage than Pincus' .839. The program also had its first three All-Americans during this period.
The program grew in stature through the 1980s, when Lou Belken took over head coaching duties, and reached prominence in the early 1990s as Brian Gyetko, Dave Lomicky, Bruce Haddad, and Peter Jeshke all earned All-America recognition. But of all the names in the Sun Devil record books, none is bigger than Sargis Sargsian.
It took three sets for Armenian national to become the first ASU player to win the NCAA Singles Title in 1995. For his effort he also earned the NCAA Player of the Year award, Pac-10 Player of the Year award, and All-America recognition.
Sargsian went on to represent Armenia in the Olympic games in both Atlanta and Sydney, and had a successful career in pro tennis as well. He climbed the international singles circuit to achieve a rank as high as No. 38 in the world (No. 33 in doubles).
He partnered with close friend and world No. 1 Andre Agassi at the US Open in 2000. The two played one another several times in their careers, including the fourth round of the 2004 US Open which you can watch below.
The Arizona State program can boast dozens more All-Conference selections in the late 90s and early 2000s, and head coach Lou Belken was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1999. The Sun Devils reached the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season that year, and made it to the third round before bowing out.
Following the approval of the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State will get to work finding the coach who will re-ignite the program and start the next chapter of Sun Devil Men's Tennis history.