Alan Nagel recently completed his 36th year as a head coach at Queens College in 2014-15. Nagel co-coached the men’s team for the first three years of his career before becoming the women’s head coach, a title he has held for the last 33 years. During this time, Nagel’s Queens College teams have amassed over 500 victories and have appeared in a number of NCAA Championships, earning a bid in each of the last 15 national tournaments and advancing to the Final 16 an impressive seven times.
Under Nagel, the 2014-15 Knights had a spectacular year. Led by star senior Jenna Plevako, the team finished the season with a 17-5 overall record, which included a 16-3 record in Division II play and wins over three nationally ranked teams. After advancing to the Final 16 of the NCAA Tournament in Surprise, Arizona, Queens College finished the year 25th in the final national rankings and second in both the East Coast Conference and Division II East Region rankings. For his part in the team’s success, Nagel was voted ECC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, an honor he has achieved nine times during his tenure, and selected as the ITA Eastern Regional Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Now for the past six seasons, Queens College women’s tennis has been on amazing roll. 2014-15’s finish in the Final 16 of the NCAA Championship was the Knights’ 15th straight appearance in the end-of-the-year national tournament and the fifth time in the last six years that Coach Nagel’s team has advanced as far. In 2014, the Knights lost to just three different opponents all year, finishing 19-5 overall with a conference record of 7-1 and a final national ranking of 32. The successes of 2014 followed a 2012-13 season in which the Knights defeated the 15th ranked team in the country, stretched their winning streak in the ECC regular season to 27 straight matches and won their fourth straight ECC regular season crown. During these last six years, the Knights were twice ranked as the number one team in the final East rankings and were slotted as the second team another three times.
Nagel has compiled quite the record as head coach at Queens College. His teams have won 517 matches while losing just 145 for an overall winning percentage of .747. In 1995, the Knights won the first Division II regional playoff, which at the time still included Pennsylvania state schools, and went on to their first Final 16 appearance in the NCAA Championship. Fast forward to 2015, and Coach Nagel’s teams have matched that finish seven times.
When Nagel began at Queens College, the school still competed in Division III in the Met Conference/Liberty Division. Competing against a collection of Division I, II and III schools that included Manhattan, Wagner, Long Island University and Hofstra, the Knights won the conference title eight times including a five-year stretch between 1990-1995 in which the team repeated as champions.
In 1989, Queens became a Division II member of the NCAA when it joined the NYCAC, enabling Coach Nagel to offer scholarships for the first time. In 1995, the Knights became the first team with an entire roster comprised of New York City residents to win regionals and advance to the Final 16 round of the NCAA Tournament in Davies, California. In the time since, Queens College’s tennis teams have taken on an increased international identity. Coach Nagel’s 2014-15 team included players from Morocco, Poland, India and Kazakhstan as well as standouts from the New York City region and Florida.
Coach Nagel earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Physical Education from the University of Miami and his Masters in Physical Education and Health at Brooklyn College. He went on to earn an additional 30 credits at Queens, St Johns and Old Westbury colleges. He taught Physical Education for 33 years in the New York City public school system. As a high school baseball player, he pitched for Far Rockaway High School where he earned All-Queens honors, pitched in the semi-finals of the city championship and was on the team that won the city championship in his sophomore year.
Nagel also served as the Tennis Director and Head Pro at the Hamlet - a prestigious tennis community in Jericho, Long Island - for 28 years. His individual coaching accomplishments include winning the NYCAC (which became the ECC Conference) “Coach of the Year “ eight different times: 2001-2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Also in 2011, Coach Nagel was awarded the Inter-Collegiate Tennis Association (ITA), East Coach of the Year. For the past five years he has served on the ITA Rankings Committee and for several years he served on the NCAA Selection Committee.