with the plan:
April 10 named ‘Paul Scarpa Day’
Furman honored Paul Scarpa, the third winningest active coach in NCAA Division I tennis, by celebrating “Paul Scarpa Day” April 10.
On that day, Scarpa, in his 33rd year at the helm of the Paladin tennis program, coached his 1,000th match at Furman. The opponent: Southern Conference foe Georgia Southern.
Entering this season, Scarpa had tallied a 609-363 record, with an overall record of 645-382 in 35 seasons of coaching.
Many of Scarpa’s former players, friends, and colleagues attended the match, which was followed by a luncheon and a special “roast” of the coach.
A native of Charleston, S.C., Scarpa was a 1986 inductee into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and 1994 inductee into the Furman Athletic Hall of Fame. He has been named Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times and has coached 101 all-league players, including 69 singles champions and 28 doubles champions. In 1975 he was named South Carolina Professional of the Year, and in 1978 he was Southern Coach of the Year.
While Scarpa’s influence has left its mark at Furman and throughout the state, it has also been felt at the national level. In what Scarpa calls one of his proudest accomplishments, the NCAA, in 1993, began using a scoring system developed by Scarpa in all men’s dual match and championship play.
Known as the Scarpa System, the format specifies that all matches begin with doubles play featuring eight-game pro sets and that all three doubles teams play for one team doubles point. The aim of the system is to shorten the time of a typical dual match, thus increasing overall intensity and fan interest — two elements that are hallmarks of Scarpa’s Furman program.
Scarpa continues to field excellent squads. His 1998 team cruised through the conference with a perfect 9-0 record. He has posted winning records in 29 of his 32 seasons at Furman and has had only one losing season since 1970.