David Vest is in his eighth season as head coach at Samford. He was named to the position Aug. 2, 2007, and has led the Bulldogs to a pair of conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Vest, one of the top young coaches in the nation, has already garnered six Coach of the Year accolades, including being named the 2015 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Southern Region Coach of the Year.
In 2015, the Bulldogs’ head coach led his squad to both the regular-season SoCon title, as well as the SoCon Tournament championship. Samford finished the campaign with a brilliant 10-0 record against league opponents, including a 4-1 triumph over ETSU in the SoCon Tournament final.
Vest’s 2015 squad opened the year in stellar fashion by winning the doubles point at No. 10-ranked Georgia in the prestigious ITA Kickoff Classic. Samford faced four nationally-ranked opponents throughout the season and opened the campaign as the No. 71-ranked team in the country.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a 7-0 SoCon record and an 8-2 mark when playing in the friendly confines of the Samford Tennis Center.
Vest was named the Southern Region Coach of the Year in 2014 after he led the Bulldogs to a 20-3 overall record, their best mark in school history.
Vest joined 12 coaches from across the nation in receiving regional coach of the year honors. The Bulldogs, members of the ITA’s talent-laden Southern Region, finished 20-3 on the season, 8-1 in SoCon play and 4-1 versus regional opponents.
Samford’s only losses in 2014 occurred against No. 21-ranked Auburn, No. 68 Furman and Elon.
The Bulldogs finished the year ranked No. 69 in the ITA national rankings, their highest ranking in school history. Samford also spent a school-record seven weeks listed amongst the country’s top 75.
In 2014, the Vest-led Bulldogs strung together a spectacular 10-match winning streak and advanced to the championship match of the SoCon Tournament.
Samford concluded its 2014 campaign being triumphant in 18 of its last 20 matches.
As a team, the Bulldogs dominated play in both singles and doubles in 2014. Samford finished the year with a stellar 101-27 record in the singles competition, as well as a brilliant 49-17 mark in dual-match doubles play.
In 2012, Vest’s Samford squad finished the season with a stellar 15-6 overall record and a 6-4 mark against conference opponents. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the SoCon standings and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the postseason tournament held in Charleston, S.C.
Just two years earlier, in Samford’s second year as a member of the SoCon, Vest’s squad registered a 9-1 conference record and a second-place finish in the league. Samford finished the season with a 17-6 overall mark and advanced to the semifinal round of the 2010 SoCon Tournament.
During the 2010 spring campaign, the Bulldogs defeated the 67th-ranked Tulane Green Wave and compiled a nine-match winning streak. Two of Samford’s six losses that season came against nationally-ranked opponents Mississippi State and North Florida.
In 2007–08, Vest guided the Bulldogs to the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship and the OVC Tournament title. Samford finished the season with a 10-0 record in conference play and set the school’s all-time record for wins with 20.
The Bulldogs also finished the 2007–08 campaign as the 13th-ranked team in the talent-laden ITA South Region.
Prior to taking the reins at Samford, Vest served as the assistant head women’s coach at the University of Kentucky for two seasons. He helped coach a women’s team that was ranked as high as No. 13 in the nation in 2006, and produced a pair of All-Americans: Kim Coventry and Joelle Schwenk.
A relentless recruiter, Vest helped Kentucky earn the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2007, as determined by tennisrecruiting.net.
Prior to moving to the University of Kentucky, Vest was the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Morehead State for four seasons. He was named the OVC Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2005 after he led the Eagles to school-record totals in wins each season.
During his first year at Morehead State in 2002, Vest helped a women’s team that finished eighth in the conference tournament the year before to a third-place finish. He earned a number of accolades with the Eagles and coached Morehead State’s first nationally-ranked NCAA singles performer, Greg Johnstone (#67 ITA ranking in 2005).
Before being named the head coach at Morehead State, Vest spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the program after he completed his eligibility as a member of the Eagles’ tennis team.
Vest was a four-year letterwinner at Morehead State and was named to the OVC Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll following each season. He was also the Eagles’ team captain, and was the No. 1 singles and doubles player as a junior and senior.
Vest graduated from Morehead State with a degree in government and history in 1999. In 2008, he earned his master of arts degree in sports administration at Morehead State.
In high school, Vest was a four-time team Most Valuable Player at Morgan County Central High School in West Liberty, Ky., where he was named first-team All-State in his junior and senior seasons.