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Jay Berger

(1966- )

Jay Berger was a professional tennis player from the United States active from 1986-1981.  He was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey on November 26, 1966 and won the USTA boy's 18 national championship in 1985 when he was 19 years old.  Winning this tournament earned him a Wild-Card spot in the 1985 US Open in which he made it to the fourth round.  That year he also won the Florida State Juniors Championship and was named an All-American at Clemson University where his winning percentage in singles matches still is the third highest in the school's history. 

Berger dropped out of Clemson and began to play professionally in 1986 and played on the tour until 1991.  In 1990 he managed to make it to the quarterfinals of both the French and US Open, came in second place at the Canadian Open, and achieved a career high ranking of #7 in the world.  Throughout his professional tour career he won three tour singles titles and recorded wins against tennis greats Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, and Jimmy Connors.  Berger represented the United States during the international tennis tournament the Davis Cup in 1988 and 1990, going undefeated. 

His professional tennis career ended in 1991 due to chronic knee injuries and other physical issues.  After his professional career he joined the coaching staff at Florida International University as an assistant coach and completed his bachelors degree while he taught there.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in Sports Management from FIU in 1994.  After attending and coaching at FIU, Berger joined the staff at the US Tennis Association (USTA) as the head coach where he coached the best professional tennis players in the country for almost 3 years.  Following his time at the USTA Berger was hired as the head coach for the University of Miami tennis team.  He took the tennis program at the school to new heights, leading them to three victories in the Big East Championships, and five straight trips to the post-season tournaments.  His record at the University of Miami was 66 wins and 31 losses.  Over the course of the year 2000 tennis season under Berger's direction the University of Miami tennis team jumped from being ranked #52 during the pre-season to #17 at the end.  He was named the Big East Coach of the Year for two consecutive seasons in a row in 2000 and 2001 for his work with the University of Miami.

In 2003 Berger left the University of Miami and accepted a job at the USTA as a national mens tennis team coach in their Player Development team.  He coached various young players there including sensation Ryan Harrison, and in 2008 he was promoted to the Head of Men's Tennis at the USTA. Berger was named as one of the two coaches for the US Olympic tennis team in 2012. 

Berger was named "sportsman of the year" by the Olympic Committee and "junior player of the year" by Tennis Magazine in 1985, was inducted into the Florida Hall of Fame in 1993, was inducted into the Greater Miami-Dade County Hall of Fame in 2001, and was named Big East Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2001.  He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. 

Sources: The University of Miami, Star Tribune, USTA