Andy Brandi, who led UF women’s tennis to three national titles, has died at 72
Andy Brandi, who led the Florida women’s tennis team to three national titles during his 17-year tenure as coach, died last week in Boca Raton after an illness at 72.
Brandi took over as UF’s women’s tennis coach in 1984 and held the position until 2001, leading the Florida Gators to national championships in 1992, 1996 and 1998. UF won SEC titles in 14 of his 17 seasons as head coach. a coach His .914 (460-43) winning percentage remains the highest for a UF coach in school history.
Brandi was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and attended Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas, where he played for the school’s men’s tennis team. After a short pro tennis career, Brandi turned to coaching, where he helped develop rising WTA talents Kathy Rinaldi and Carling Bassett. He was also the executive director of the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton before being hired by UF.
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In addition to leading UF to three national titles, Brandi also coached three UF players to individual NCAA titles. The most notable was Lisa Raymond, who won back-to-back national titles in 1992 and 1993 before going on to a successful, 17-year UF career.
“He taught me about the work ethic and discipline it takes to be a champion,” Raymond told the UF athletics website. “For other players – a lot of other players – it didn’t work out the way it did, but Andy saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself and gave me everything. As soon as you won Andy’s respect, you were golden.”
Brandi is survived by his wife Nancy, and son Chris. Brandi came out of retirement to assist his son, Chris, as LSU’s head coach from 2017-21.
This article first appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Florida Gators women’s tennis coach Andy Brandi dies at 72