Dan Oosterhous enters his sixth season as the head coach of the men's tennis team at the Air Force Academy after leading the Falcons to a 13-12 record during the 2013-14 season, their best season since 2006 and the most wins in one campaign since 2005. Last season, the Falcons achieved their highest national rank in program history at No. 63 and finished the season ranked eighth in the Mountain Region, their best finish since 2005.
The 2013-14 season included several of the Falcons' biggest victories in recent years. The Falcons defeated 49th-ranked BYU 4-3 at home, the first time AFA beat a ranked team since Feb. 4, 2005, a 4-3 win over 55th-ranked Nebraska. That match was part of a streak that helped the Falcons jump out to a 12-2 record, their best start since 13-1 in 2003. Also during that span was a 4-2 victory over service-academy rival Army. In addition, the Falcons defeated Mountain West opponent Utah State. Air Force's 5-2 win over the Aggies was its first regular-season conference victory since defeating Utah 5-2 on April 12, 2003. Oosterhous has also coached several Falcons to individual honors. In the 2012-13 season, senior Lance Wilhelm ('13) became the first Falcon since Shannon Buck ('06) in 2006 to achieve a national ranking. Wilhelm finished the season ranked 78th nationally, fourth in the Mountain Region, and was named Mountain Region Senior of the Year. Wilhelm also paired with Grant Taylor ('15) for a No. 5 regional ranking in doubles. Wilhelm received All-Mountain West honors for singles and doubles along with Taylor for the second consecutive year.
The Falcons have been impressive off the court as well under Oosterhous' leadership. Five players have earned academic All-Mountain West honors, Brett Rodgers ('10), Sam Barnes ('13), Alex Grubbs ('14), Steven Young ('14), and Lucas Fumagalli ('17). In addition, three of his players have been named MW scholar-athletes, Mike Tope ('12), Fumagalli ('17) and Nicholas Carpenter ('17).
Following a team competition in the 2013 season, Oosterhous suffered a brain stem stroke that impaired his right side. Three weeks later, he suffered another stroke which resulted in substantial loss of function to his left side. Oosterhous has made significant strides in his recovery, owing much to the support of his three children, Emma (18), Anna (16), and Andrew (14) and the rehabilitative power of competition. Oosterhous has fueled his recovery through opportunities in adaptive sports as a member of the 2014 Air Force Wounded Warrior team and member of the United States team for the inaugural Invictus Games held in London. During the 2014 Warrior Games, he earned a silver and bronze medal in swimming events. Also in 2014, Oosterhous received USAFA's General Mal Wakin Character and Leadership Award for his inspirational work with cadets and resiliency during recovery.
Oosterhous, a native of Texarkana, Texas, graduated from USAFA in 1993 with athletic distinction and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. One of the best tennis players to graduate from the Air Force Academy, Oosterhous is fifth on the Academy's career list with 56 wins at the No. 1 singles position and second on the career list with 57 victories at the No. 1 doubles position. As a senior, Oosterhous posted an outstanding 22-3 singles record at the No. 1 position, the fourth best single-season winning percentage (.880) at that spot in program history.
As co-captain of the 1993 team, he led the Falcons to a phenomenal 25-2 dual match record, the best mark in the 53-year history of Air Force tennis. That season he earned his third team MVP award, one of just seven players in the program to win the award at least three times. He was also selected to the all-conference team in each of his four seasons at AFA and received the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for Region VII. Upon graduation, he remained at the Academy as assistant men's tennis coach for the 1994 season and was the 1993 DOD Interservice Men's Singles champion.
During his 21-year Air Force career, Oosterhous accumulated over 3,100 hours as an instructor pilot in three aircraft: the C-21, C-5, and most recently, the T-53 at the Air Force Academy where he trained cadets in the Academy's Powered Flight Program. He earned his pilot wings at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training in 1995 and went on the serve as a C-21 instructor pilot at Andrews AFB, Md and C-5 instructor pilot at Travis AFB, Ca. He earned his master's degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology by completing the Advanced Study of Air Mobility program in 2002 followed by assignment as C-5 evaluator pilot at Dover AFB, De.
Oosterhous then served at Scott AFB, Ill, as the Chief of the Program Objective Memorandum branch and Executive Officer to the Director of Strategic Plans, Requirements, and Programs. He completed two deployment tours in Southwest Asia, serving as an air mobility advisor and civil aviation advisor to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority where he successfully transitioned U.S. Air Force control of civil aviation operations back to Iraqi sovereignty for the first time since 2003. He returned to the Air Force Academy on 1 Oct 2009 and became the 12th head coach of the men's tennis team, replacing legendary coach Rich Gugat after 36 seasons. Oosterhous retired from active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel on 28 Aug 2014. Oosterhous enters the 2014-15 campaign with a 55-65 career mark, including a 3-1 mark against service-academy rival Army.