Now in his 23rd season at the helm of the California program, Peter Wright has built an impressive resume as the head coach of the Golden Bears. He received his first coaching award in 1994 when he was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year for guiding the Bears back to postseason play. He earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2001 and has helped the Bears become fixtures in NCAA postseason play since. More recently, Wright claimed the 2012 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, for providing a leadership role in increasing tennis participation throughout his community, both on and off campus
The ninth coach in the 120-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 285-203 (.584 winning percentage) career record during his tenure in Berkeley. He led the 2013-14 squad to its 15th consecutive – and 33rd overall – NCAA tournament appearance and to the NCAA round of 16. Along the way the Bears posted a huge upset of 10th-ranked/eighth-seeded Texas A&M on the Aggies’ home courts. Cal knocked off Texas A&M, 4-3, in the round of 32 in the heat and humidity of College Station, Texas. His Bears closed the regular season with a 4-3 Pac-12 record, a No. 4 seed in the conference tournament and an appearance in the Pac-12 semifinals, in which they lost to top-seeded USC. Wright also coached senior Ben McLachlan to the NCAA singles quarterfinals and juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton to the NCAA doubles quarterfinals, for which all three Bears claimed All-America honors.
Cal's 2012-13 season ended with a 16-10 overall record (5-1/third in the Pac-12 Conference) and a run to the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 for the seventh time under Wright. Juniors Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson both played in the NCAA singles tournament, while Johnson paired with senior Christoffer Konigsfeldt in the NCAA doubles field.
In the 2011-12 season, with a 14-12 overall record (4-3/fourth place in the Pac-12), the Bears made their 13th consecutive postseason appearance in the NCAA tournament and the 18th in 19 years under Wright's guidance. The Bears advanced to the round of 16. Senior Nick Andrews and junior Christoffer Konigsfeldt earned ITA All-America honors, while Andrews and sophomore Ben McLachlan earned selection to the All-Pac-12 Second Team. Senior Carlos Cueto garnered All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Under Wright, 11 Cal players have combined to receive 15 ITA All-America selections. Wright's 2003 squad completed the season ranked fourth nationally, and boasted two ITA All-Americans and three all-conference selections. That team's 21-5 record is considered the school's all-time best record since joining the Pac-10. That year, the Bears finished in second place in conference play, which is California's best-ever showing in one of the toughest conferences in collegiate men's tennis. The 2002 season marked the first time that Cal enjoyed a series sweep of UCLA since 1953 and the first time that the Bears beat Stanford, UCLA and USC in the same season.
Wright's tour highlights include appearances at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. He represented Ireland in Davis Cup from 1988-95 and served as Irish Davis Cup Captain from 1995-2003. Wright also served as the Head Coach for Ireland at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Wright has served as Chairman of the NCAA Tennis Committee as well as on the Executive Board of Directors of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Wright's community involvement includes serving as vice-president of Youth Tennis Advantage, whose organizational mission is to inspire inner-city kids to achieve their full potential through tennis and academic programs. In 2001, he established the Bear Trax program at Cal, which brings YTA children from Oakland to the Berkeley campus for academic tutoring with Cal students and tennis instruction with the Golden Bear men's and women's teams.
A Berkeley native, Wright was born on Dec. 8, 1963, attended Berkeley High School and earned a B.A. in Social Science from Cal. His wife of 17 years, Fionnuala, is a former Irish national tennis champion and a former member of the Irish national basketball team. The Wrights currently reside in Berkeley with their sons, Thomas and Michael, and daughter, Carly.