SAN LUIS OBISPO – Men's tennis head coach Nick Carless was named the Wilson ITA Coach of the Year, while senior Corey Pang was named the ITA Most Improved Player, announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Monday.
Carless and Pang went up against coaches and seniors from the Southwest Region, which include a number of ranked players and ranked teams.
The two-time ITA Coach of the Year award winner led Cal Poly to its highest ranking in Division I program history at No. 33. The Mustangs maintained a top 50 ranking for the remainder of the season.
During his 2017 season, Carless led four of his seniors to national rankings, including Ben Donovan and Pang who were ranked in singles and doubles play and the doubles tandem of Tim Tan and Garrett Auproux. The doubles tandem of Pang and Donovan were ranked as high as No. 21 and maintained a national ranking all season.
Carless, who is in his sixth season with the Mustangs, led the team to an overall 18-8 record and to the Championship Final at the Big West Conference Tournament.
Under Carless, several Mustangs picked up wins over ranked opponents from ranked teams, including Pang.
After spending his freshman through junior seasons at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, Pang kicked off his senior year holding down the No. 1 position after posting an 8-2 record during his fall campaign.
Pang compiled an overall singles record of 26-7, while going 18-4 in dual play. The senior and his doubles partner went 25-9 overall and 16-7 in doubles dual.
The Redwood City native earned his first national ranking in singles at No. 100, while earning his highest national ranking in doubles play at No. 21, compared to his previous career high at No. 68 his junior season.
Pang earned five Big West Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week honors, while earning three of them his senior season.
"Corey's four years of hard work being recognized by the ITA is a fitting accomplishment for an athlete that epitomized what it means to work hard, persists and improve," said Carless.
Carless, Pang and the rest of the Mustang squad ended their season taking second at the Big West Conference Tournament.