After 12 seasons as assistant coach, Kevin Kurtz was named head coach at Sacramento State on Jan. 26, 2018. Kurtz was elevated from assistant to head coach after longtime coach Slava Konikov announced his retirement to coach professionally.
During his tenure with the Hornets, Kurtz has helped coach the Hornets to a 169-141 overall record, an 88-18 mark in the Big Sky Conference, six NCAA Tournament appearances (2007, 2009-13), six conference tournament crowns (2007, 2009-13) and six Big Sky regular season championships (2007-11, 2013).
In addition, Sacramento State has received a combined 38 all-conference selections during his 12 seasons, including 23 first team selections and six MVP awards.
As an assistant, Kurtz had his fingerprints an array of duties for the program, including recruiting, on-court coaching, scheduling, travel, budget and equipment.
Despite a myriad of injuries in both 2014 and 2015, Kurtz and the coaching staff helped guide the Hornets to a combined 13-8 Big Sky record during those two seasons. Sacramento State saw six of its nine eligible players suffer injuries during the 2014 season, and three more players got hurt in 2015. That included 2013 Big Sky MVP Marek Marksoo playing just 19 matches combined over the last two seasons.
Last season, in 2017, Sacramento State finished with a 13-12 overall record and a third-place finishing 8-3 mark in the Big Sky despite zero seniors on the roster.
Kurtz was named the 2013 ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year after helping guide the Hornets to Big Sky regular season and tournament crowns, as well as an NCAA Tournament appearance. The team finished with a 17-13 overall record and a 9-1 mark in the conference despite using a singles lineup that consisted of one senior and five underclassmen in every match. Five Hornets received some form of all-conference recognition, with Marek Marksoo being named the league’s co-MVP.
During the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the Hornets won a pair of Big Sky Tournament crowns and combined for a 15-1 league record despite many new faces on the roster. In fact, the Hornets used four freshmen in the 2012 singles lineup every match, and still found a way to win eight of their last 11 matches and post a 7-1 league mark. In 2011, the roster featured eight newcomers and Sacramento State finished a perfect 8-0 in conference. The team had won 24 straight conference matches (dating back to 2010) before falling at Montana, 4-3.
Also during the 2010-11 academic year, Kurtz coached Kiryl Harbatsiuk to the program’s first-ever ITA Northwest Regional singles title, a quarterfinal appearance at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Tennis Championship, the Big Sky Conference MVP, and the Sacramento State Senior Male Student-Athlete of the Year award.
In 2010, Sacramento State posted a 17-12 overall record and a 7-1 mark in the conference. The team swept both opponents (Montana, Northern Arizona) it faced in the Big Sky Tournament before falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to ninth-ranked UCLA. During the season, the team put together a 10-match winning streak. In 2009, despite a singles lineup that included four underclassmen and no seniors, Sacramento State posted a 19-7 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in Big Sky play. The team won 18 of its final 20 matches of the season prior to falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to ninth-ranked Stanford.
In 2008, Kurtz helped guide Sacramento State to a 15-8 overall record and an 8-0 mark in the conference. Four of his players earned all-conference honors, including Anton Stryhas being named the league’s MVP. In Kurtz’s first year as a full-time assistant in 2007, the Hornets’ 20-6 record was the team’s best mark in six years, and the team won the Big Sky regular season and tournament crowns for the first time since 2003.
Upon his arrival to the Hornets as a volunteer assistant in the spring of 2006, he helped coach the team to a 12-11 overall record and a share of the Big Sky Conference’s regular season title (5-1 record).
Prior to arriving at Sacramento State, Kurtz, who is a 24-year coaching veteran, was an assistant at American River College (2002-04) where he helped guide the team to a conference championship and a top 10 ranking in the state of California in both 2003 and 2004.
At the high school level, Kurtz was the head varsity tennis coach at both Jesuit High School (1994-05) in Carmichael, Calif., and Loretto High School (2002-05) in Sacramento.
At Jesuit, he coached the team to 11 consecutive league titles and eight section championships. He was named The Sacramento Bee High School Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2005, and the Untied States Professional Tennis Association Northern California High School Coach of the Year in 2005.
He guided Loretto High School to its first two section championships (2004, 2005) in school history, as well as three consecutive league titles (2003-05). For his efforts, he was again named The Sacramento Bee High School Coach of the Year in 2004.
Kurtz graduated from Sacramento State in 2003 with a communication studies degree. He and his wife, Cher, reside in Sacramento and have two daughters, Kennedi (6) and Harper (3).