Since being named head coach in 2011, Michael Engdahl has led both South Dakota State tennis teams to unprecedented success.
Under Engdahl, both squads earned their first Summit League Tournament berths and set Division I single-season records for dual victories. He also coached the first Jackrabbit to advance to the round of 32 at an ITA Regional.
In Engdahl’s first season, the men’s team qualified for its first Summit League Championship after finishing fourth in league play with a 2-3 record.
The Jackrabbit men built on that success during the 2012-13 campaign, going 4-1 in Summit League play en route to a second-place finish, the highest in program history. For his efforts, Engdahl was named the Summit League Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year.
That season, the Jackrabbit women reached the double digits in victories for the first time since transitioning to the Division I level, posting a 16-10 record. They also made their first Summit League Tournament appearance after placing third in the league with a 5-2 record. Ffion Davies, who went 17-5 in singles play, became the first Jackrabbit on either team to be named Summit League Newcomer of the Year.
In 2013-14, both teams set Division I single-season records for dual victories, as the men finished 16-8 and the women went 18-8. The Jackrabbit women posted their best finish in Summit League play, going 5-1 in league play to enter the Summit League Tournament as the second seed.
At the Summit League Tennis Championships, Iasmin Rosa and Parker Lawley became the first Jackrabbits to win a point, each dispatching their opponent in straight sets. For leading the women’s team to a record-setting season, Engdahl took home Summit league Women’s Coach of the Year honors.
The Jackrabbits opened the 2014-15 campaign on a high note when Rosa became the first Jackrabbit to advance to the round of 32 at the ITA Central Regional. Both teams enjoyed solid dual seasons, as the men went 14-10 (3-3 SL) and the women went 15-8 (5-2 SL), entering the Summit League Championships as the fourth and third seeds.
There, the women’s team advanced to the finals for the first time in program history. After dispatching fifth-seeded Oral Roberts, 4-0, in the first round, the Jackrabbits upset second-seeded Fort Wayne on its home court, 4-2. South Dakota State ultimately fell to top-seeded and defending champion Denver, 4-0, in the finals.
In his first four years, Engdahl coached eight players to 12 All-Summit League nods. His players have also consistently set high marks in the classroom, with the team boasting a perfect Academic Progress Rate and a GPA above 3.3 each season. In addition, four Jackrabbits earned spots on the Summit League Academic All-League team while, in 2015, Lawley became the first South Dakota State tennis player to be named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Men’s At-Large Team.
In addition to coaching at South Dakota State, Engdahl spent time as the director and head tennis instructor for Michael Engdahl Tennis, which he founded in 2006. He also worked as the director and head tennis instructor at the St. Cloud Country Club in St. Cloud, Minn. from 2005-11.
Before starting his own program, Engdahl was heavily involved in coaching and teaching at all levels. This included duties such as a teaching pro at Gold’s Gym and Set Point Tennis and as the head tennis coach for Sartell High School in Sartell, Minn. from 2005-06.
A 2008 graduate of South Dakota State, Engdahl played first singles and first double as a senior captain. Before transferring to South Dakota State, he competed at St. Cloud State from 2004-06. There, he competed in the NCAA Division II national tournament and earned all-North Central Conference selections twice.
A native of St. Cloud, Minn., Engdahl lives in Brookings with his wife, Carrie.