Men's tennis coach Steve Houghton announces retirement

Men's tennis coach Steve Houghton announced his retirement.

Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten men's tennis head coaches and a University of Iowa graduate, announced his retirement Monday after 47 years as a UI student-athlete and coach, including 33 seasons as head coach.

Ross Wilson, who joined the program last season as an assistant coach, has been appointed interim head coach for the 2014-15 season.

During his tenure, Houghton amassed 354 victories — the most of any coach in school history. Houghton coached 20 All-Big Ten performers and his players received 109 Academic All-Big Ten accolades. He coached Big Ten singles champions and ITA Regional singles champions, and several of his players played professional tennis, including Tyler Cleveland, who reached the top 300 ATP in the world.

"Steve Houghton has been a tremendous leader and mentor for Hawkeye Athletics for many years," Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said in a news release. "His retirement will leave a void, but he is stepping down at a time when the tennis program has momentum and his legacy is strong.

"I'm grateful for Steve's wonderful service and wish he and Leora a healthy and enjoyable retirement."

In addition to coaching the Hawkeyes for more than three decades, Houghton had a successful playing career at Iowa (1969-71), lettering three years and winning the No. 5 singles title at the Big Ten championships. His career Big Ten singles record was 21-6, and his career winning percentage of .727 (40-15) is the second best in school history.

A City High graduate, Houghton earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Iowa.

"First of all, I want to thank Bump Elliott, Bob Bowlsby, Gary Barta, and Jane Meyer for hiring me, supporting me and allowing me to choose my time to retire," Houghton said. "I've been privileged to coach great student-athletes who were also wonderful guys and to have worked side-by-side with terrific people in the UI Athletic Department for 33 years. I feel that I leave our tennis program in good shape with a lot of momentum and in the hands of a terrific young coach in Ross Wilson."