Navy vs. George Washington men's tennis. March 21, 2012. Photos by Phil Hoffmann
John Officer, the most decorated head coach in Patriot League men's tennis history, enters his 29th season as the mentor for the Navy program.
Officer has guided the Mids to five of the last seven Patriot League titles and to a league-best eight crowns in all over the last 17 seasons. He also earned league coach-of-the-year accolades in helping Navy to the 2012 championship. The nod was the seventh of his career, which is the most laurels earned by any Patriot League men's tennis coach.
In addition to his league-high eight Patriot League titles in 21 seasons at Navy (and two Colonial Athletic Association crowns), the Mids have reached the finals of the league tournament on four other occasions during the existence of the head-to-head format to decide the league champion and placed second once when the title winner was determined by team points.
Officer has led his Navy teams to an overall record of 444-294 and to winning (above .500) seasons in all but three of his 28 seasons. Over the last seven years alone, the Mids have produced an overall record of 121-74 and a mark of 43-7 against league foes.
The current format (established in 2003) for determining the All-Patriot League teams has resulted in 15 Mids garnering a total of 29 laurels. This includes Calvin Mark and Peter McDonald, who have been recognized as first-team all-league performers during the 2012 and `13 campaigns.
The prior format utilized by the league from its inception through the 2002 season saw 13 of Officer's singles players and nine of his doubles teams receive all-league accolades.
Additionally, members of the Navy team have been selected as the Patriot League Player of the Year on seven occasions, including Mitchell Koch and Nate Nelms, who both received the honor twice, while Mark became the fifth Mid to be tabbed as the league's rookie (freshman) of the year since the award was established in 2002.
Navy players also have been annually recognized for their academic achievements. Nick Birger was selected as the Patriot League's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's tennis following the conclusion of the 2010 and `11 seasons, was the league's overall male scholar-athlete of the year as a senior and was the valedictorian of the USNA's Class of 2011. Also, Navy players have accrued 53 placements onto the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll over the years.
On a national level, Navy attained its highest ranking of No. 75 during the 2000 season and has received a regional ranking 10 times. Individually, Craig Moringiello and Mitch Koch earned a top-100 national ranking in 1991 and `99, respectively, while the duo and Chris Thompson totaled five regional rankings in singles. Officer also has had four of his doubles tandems garner a regional ranking.
In addition to Officer's seven Patriot League Coach-of-the-Year awards, other honors for Officer include him being selected as the 1986 CAA Coach of the Year, as the USPTA Mid-Atlantic and National Coach of the Year in 1991, as the ITA Regional Coach of the Year in 1991 and `99, and as the Naval Academy Athletic Association's Spring Season Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2007.
A native of Hanover, N.H., Officer graduated from Boston College in 1979 (history) before earning a Master's Degree (education) from Boston University. He served as the head coach of tennis team at B.U. for two years before arriving on The Yard.
Along with his coaching duties at Navy, Officer also is a Professor of Physical Education at the school.
Outside of Navy, Officer has completed a 10-part series of tennis instructional videos, and recently authored the book, Discovering Your Passion: The Path of the Spiritual-Warrior.
He and his wife, Cathy, are the parents of four daughters.