Branzburg earns second consecutive first team honor
Montana returns all six players from roster next season
No. 3 Montana defeated No. 6 Northern Arizona 6-1 earlier in the season
Montana trailed 0-2 before winning the final five singles matches
Both schools have already qualified for Big Sky Championship
Montana vs. Idaho State (2/28/15)
Meet the Griz :: 2014-15 men's tennis photo day
Montana vs. Sacramento State (3/1/14)
Montana vs. Weber State (4/6/13)
Montana vs. Southern Utah (2/16/13)
The 2014-15 season is men's tennis coach Kris Nord's 33rd year at the University of Montana. In his three-plus-decade tenure with the Grizzlies, Nord has coached men's tennis, women's tennis and women's golf.
Now in the early years of his fourth decade at Montana, Nord, the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year two of the last three seasons, might be doing the best work of his coaching career.
Over the last three seasons Nord has guided his teams to a Big Sky Conference regular-season record of 25-3, three straight appearances in the conference tournament championship match and a pair of Big Sky titles.
The Grizzlies went a perfect 8-0 in Big Sky matches in 2011-12 to win their first-ever conference championship and ended the season ranked 10th in the ITA Mountain Region.
Two years later, in 2013-14, Montana defeated Northern Arizona and No. 1 seed Weber State in the Big Sky tournament to add its second conference title. The Grizzlies advanced to their first NCAA tournament, where they fell 4-0 to Oklahoma, the eventual national runner-up.
In both 2012 and 2014, Nord was voted by his peers as the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year.
It's the first time a Montana men's tennis coach had been so honored and was Nord's third conference coach of the year award. He was named the Mountain West Conference coach of the year for his work with the Griz women's tennis program in 1986.
The firsts have continued. In 2011-12 Nord coached three of his players to first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors: Mikolaj Caruk, Michael Facey and Ethan Vaughn, and Andrew Warren became the Grizzlies' first Big Sky MVP in 2013-14.
The team's recent on-court success hasn't come at the expense of the classroom. Nord's players have posted a 3.3 GPA or better four of the last six semesters and have 11 straight semesters at 3.0 or better.
Montana has had 17 selections on the Academic All-Big Sky Conference team the last three seasons.
Since 1989, when the Big Sky Conference began recognizing all-conference teams, Nord has coached 21 first-team selections. He has coached 92 Academic All-Big Sky picks, an award that's been given out since 1984.
Nord was hired as the head women's and assistant men's tennis coach at Montana in 1982. He became the head coach for both programs in 1986. Nord coached both programs until 2006, when Montana hired its first fulltime women's coach.
Under mainly Nord's guidance, the women's program has advanced to the Big Sky Conference postseason tournament every year since 1990. The men's team has played in the postseason tournament every year since 1991.
The men's team was the Big Sky Conference tournament runner-up in 2006, 2012 and 2013 and has eight third-place ties to its credit during its current streak of tournament appearances.
A Missoula native, Nord graduated from Sentinel High School in 1976 after winning the state AA singles title. He was also named all-state in football and basketball.
Nord was recruited to play football for the Grizzlies but opted to sign a tennis scholarship with UNLV, where he spent his freshman and sophomore years.
Following his second year, Nord took a year off from college and went to Alaska, where he served as a teaching professional at Tanana Valley Community College in Fairbanks.
Nord enrolled at Boise State in the fall of 1979, and he finished out his collegiate tennis career with the Broncos. He was the Big Sky Conference champion at No. 3 singles and BSU's Big Sky Conference Scholar-Athlete in 1981.
Nord spent a year on the Satellite Circuit before being appointed to the Montana tennis coaching staff in 1982.
Nord, who earned a degree in health and human performance from UM in 1986, served as Montana's first women's golf coach from 1993 to 1996.
Nord's late father, Ron, was the head basketball coach for the Grizzlies from 1962 to 1968 and was an assistant football coach from 1969 to 1974. His brothers, Jeff and Mark, both played basketball for the Grizzlies.
Nord and his wife, Robi, have two sons, Anders and Isak.
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