hugh and marthaCoaching Career

Hugh Curtler
Women’s Tennis Head Coach
Southwest Minnesota State University

Coach Curtler with All-American Martha Garzon. Hugh was a certified U.S.P.T.A. tennis professional for more than 35 years. He coached men’s tennis at the University of Rhode Island and at Midwestern College in Iowa before he took over the Mustang women’s tennis program in 1979 and quickly turned it into one of the most dominant teams ever to play in the conference – in any sport. SSU’s superiority in tennis lasted for a decade as the Mustangs went undefeated in the conference from 1985-92. Overall, he had a won-loss record of 172-69. The Mustangs won nine Northern Sun Conference titles and 10 NAIA District 13 crowns. In 1992, SSU had a perfect conference tournament, winning every point.

Curtler’s Mustangs had 135 all-conference and all-district players, six Second Team NAIA All-Americans, three First Team NAIA All-Americans, two National Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award winners, and one GTE All-American. Under Curtler, SSU was ranked in the top 10 in the nation six times and finished in the top 20 eight times. Coach Curtler shared in the honors, winning 10 NAIA District 13 and five NSC Coach of the Year awards. He also was honored with the Wilson/ITCA National Coach of the Year Award in 1990.


  1. Won-Lost record 172-69 (.714)
  2. 15 Consecutive Dual Meet victories 1981-1983.
  3. Nine consecutive Northern Sun Conference Championships
  4. Ten Consecutive N.A.I.A. District 13 Championships.
  5. 135 All-Conference and All-District players.
  6. Undefeated in Conference eight years (1985-1992).
  7. Perfect Conference Tournament (every point) 1992.
  8. Six N.A.I.A. second-team All Americans
  9. Three N.A.I.A. first-team All Americans
  10. Two Arthur Ashe Award Winners.
  11. One G.T.E. All American
  12. Six times ranked in the top ten in the nation, N.A.I.A.
  13. Eight times finished in the top twenty in the nation N.A.I.A.


  1. Ten N.A.I.A. District 13 “Coach of the Year” awards.
  2. Five N.S.C. “Coach of the Year” awards.
  3. One Wilson/I.T.C.A. “Coach of the Year” award.
  4. Winningest coach in Southwest Minnesota State University 40 year history.
  5. Secretary of the N.A.I.A. Tennis Coaches Association – 1990-1991.
  6. Vice-President of the N.A.I.A. Tennis Coaches Association – 1991-1992.
  7. President of the N.A.I.A. Tennis Coaches Association – 1992-1993.
  8. N.A.I.A. National Ranking Committee 1988-1993.
  9. Chair, N.A.I.A. National Ranking Committee 1990-1993.
  10. Inducted Southwest State University Hall of Honor 1992.
  11. Inducted Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame 2000.

One thought on “Tennis

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