All-Bee girls tennis Coach of the Year: Jonathan Slater

The Fresno BeeJanuary 21, 2013 

Jonathan Slater, Buchanan

Seasons: Six

He's qualified because: After his Bears were upset in the Central Section Division I semifinals as an undefeated top seed in 2011, Slater regrouped while relying on four freshmen and a sophomore to deliver points. Buchanan built momentum early in the season with a 5-0 run through the California Tennis Classic's Division II, continued strong by going 10-0 in the Tri-River Athletic Conference, went to the Lewis Cup in Bakersfield for the first time and came away with the title, then reached a zenith with a 6-3 victory over Stockdale for the program's second section championship in Slater's six seasons. The Bears advanced to the first CIF Southern California Regional championships, losing 7-0 to Southern Section power Arcadia to cap a 27-1 season. Slater guided singles players Megan Lee and Maddy Monreal and the doubles teams of Brooke Sanford-Sravya Gudipudi and Mary Kate Shellworth-Sienna Swain that qualified for the section individual tournament -- more qualifiers than any school. Lee was the singles runner-up.

Background: As a player, Slater helped lead Sierra High to a section title in 2000 before moving on to Fresno Pacific. He took over Buchanan's girls and boys in 2007. The girls program has gone 117-25 with four TRAC titles, two section championships and one section runner-up finish since his arrival.

He said it: "They were so much better at the end of the season than in the beginning. They gave so much dedication and hard work. To have a whole team do that all season is rewarding. It was fun to have a season like that, they don't come around very often."

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6103 or nickg@fresnobee.com.

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