Thursday, January 25, 2018

$3 million gift endows Cal men's coaching position

   Cal's week just got even better.
   One day after alumnus Ben McLachlan's stunning march in Australian Open doubles ended with a narrow loss in the semifinals, the university announced today that an anonymous gift of $3 million will endow the men's head-coaching position.
   The position will be named for Bears coach Peter Wright after his retirement. At age 54, however, Wright has no such plans.
   Wright, Cal's coach since 1993, is an ITA Regional Coach of the Year, a recipient of the 2017 ITA Meritorious Service Award and a three-time conference Coach of the Year. He has taken Cal to the NCAA Tournament 23 times and seen his athletes earn 20 All-America selections along with numerous academic awards.
   A Berkeley native, Wright earned a bachelor's degree in social science from Cal. He was a four-year letter winner in tennis before competing on the pro tour and the Irish Davis Cup team. Wright also served as the Ireland's Davis Cup captain and Olympic coach.
   No. 19 Cal (2-0) will host ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Sunday and Monday at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Bears will face No. 22 Tulane (1-0) on Sunday at 10 a.m., followed by No. 13 Stanford (1-0) against Oregon (3-0) at 1 p.m. The losers will meet on Monday at 10 a.m., and the winners will square off at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, Feb. 16-19 in Seattle. 
    Five of Cal's 11 players are from Northern California: seniors Billy Griffith of Fresno and J.T. Nishimura of San Jose, sophomore Dominic Barretto and freshman Paul Barretto (Dominic's brother) of Tiburon, and freshman Thomas Wright (Peter's son) of Berkeley.

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