Manuel Raga, who was an All-American tennis player at Cowley College during the 2012 season, begins his fourth season as head coach of the Tiger men and women's tennis teams.
In his first season at the helm, Raga helped the Tiger men’s tennis team to a fourth place finish at the national tournament, while also guiding the Lady Tigers to a tie for fifth place at nationals.
Raga was named the Men’s Tennis Region III Wilson ITA Coach of the Year as the Tigers tied the highest ever Division I finish in the history of the program.
The 2020 spring tennis seasons were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demonstrating the stellar seasons, the Cowley College men and women's tennis teams were having, the Tiger men finished ranked fifth nationally and the Lady Tigers were ranked sixth.
However, competing in the spring of 2021, Raga led the Tiger tennis teams to unprecedented heights. The Tiger men had two singles and one doubles team capture national championships as the team went on to finish as the national runner-up. While, the Lady Tiger tennis team had its highest national finish (third) since the 2002 season.
This past season, the Tiger men’s tennis team had two more individual national champions and were once again the national runner-up. Raga also led the Lady Tigers to another top-five finish at the national tournament.
Raga, whose sister, Arianna, played for the Tigers' women's tennis team and is now an assistant coach for the squad, was a top Venezuelan junior tennis player before coming to Cowley.
At Cowley, he finished as the national runner-up at No. 4 singles, and helped the Cowley College tennis team win the conference and region title and finish in sixth place at the NJCAA Division I Men's National Tennis Championship in Plano, Texas.
After Cowley, he went on to have three incredibly successful tennis seasons at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS as he was the KCAC Player of the Year and an All-American all three years at the school. Raga finished his senior season with a record of 14-0 in the No. 1 singles spot and helped the Swedes capture the KCAC regular season title all three seasons and finish as high as fifth in the nation.
He teamed with former Tiger Edgardo Tapia to play No. 1 doubles. The duo was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally.
Raga graduated from Bethany in 2016 with a degree in Business Administration and Management. After graduation he helped the Bethany tennis team as a graduate assistant.
Raga said his coaching philosophy is simple, create an environment where the athletes are having fun but at the same time working hard to improve their skills on the tennis court.