UofL names new head tennis coach

UofL names new head tennis coach
The University of Louisville has announced a new head men's tennis coach. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The University of Louisville men’s tennis team now has a new head coach.

On Friday, UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra announced Rodrido da Silva would take over the position.

“We are confident that we have landed a great leader for our men’s tennis program in Rodrigo,” said Tyra. “The reference of many in the tennis community, and our alumni that played during his prior term at UofL, provides us affirmation that we have a respected leader who will not only meet player expectations on the court, but develop them off the court and in the classroom. His ability to recruit at a high level, develop talented players into champions, and focus on their academic success is just the recipe that we needed to be highly competitive in the best tennis conference in the country.”

Da Silva comes to Louisville after four seasons as the head men’s tennis coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He makes his return to UofL where he spent six years (2009-14) as an assistant coach, helping guide the Cardinals to three BIG EAST Conference tournament titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Words cannot describe how excited I am to be back in Louisville,” said da Silva. “My family and I really enjoyed our time here and it feels like we are returning home to our Cardinal family. I would like to thank Vince Tyra, Josh Heird and John Carns for the opportunity to continue and build upon the success of the tennis program. I can’t wait to meet the team and get started.”

De Silva will be formally introduced at a press conference at a later date.

De Silva’s coaching experience is listed below:

UTSA Head Coach (2016-19)

During his time at UTSA, the Roadrunners improved their win total during each of their seasons including back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2012 and 2013. Most recently, his 2019 squad posted a 14-10 record and boasted an All-Conference USA selection in Javier Rodriguez while Kai Breitbach appeared in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings. The 2019 team also excelled in the classroom, earning 2019 ITA All-Academic Team honors.

Additionally, da Silva assembled a pair of top-10 recruiting classes among mid-major schools for the first time in UTSA program history.

Pepperdine Assistant Coach (2015)

Prior to his stint at UTSA, da Silva served as an assistant coach at Pepperdine during the 2014-15 season. He helped lead the Waves to an 18-10 record, a top-40 national ranking and the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. While at Pepperdine, four players earned All-West Coast Conference honors.

Louisville Assistant Coach (2009-14)

Da Silva spent six years as an assistant coach at Louisville and helped guide the Cardinals to some of the most successful seasons in program history. With his assistance, UofL compiled 161 wins while earning three conference titles and five NCAA appearances - including a trip to the round of 16. While at Louisville, the 2011 ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year helped oversee the highest team ranking (10), most season wins (24), the first two-time All-American in singles and the first doubles team to earn All-America honors.

In his first season at UofL, the Cards posted a 21-7 record and made the first of four straight NCAA team appearances behind 2009 BIG EAST Player of the Year Austen Childs. Louisville also qualified for the NCAA singles and doubles championships.

The 2010 squad followed with a program-best 24-6 mark, won the BIG EAST title and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in school history. Louisville spent the entire season ranked among the nation’s top 20, reaching as high as No. 10, while Childs finished the season as NCAA singles runner-up and earned All-America accolades.

Da Silva was named 2011 ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year after he helped guide the Cardinals to their second straight BIG EAST crown and third consecutive NCAA Tournament. Childs was named BIG EAST Player of the Year for the third time, became Louisville’s first two-time All-American and teamed with Viktor Maksimcuk as part of UofL’s first doubles team to earn All-America honors.

The 2012 Cardinals captured their third straight BIG EAST Conference title and registered an 18-10 record en route to their fourth NCAA appearance in as many years while Sebastian Stiefelmeyer garnered BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.

UofL went on to post a runner-up showing in the 2013 BIG EAST championship.

In his final season at Louisville, da Silva helped the Cardinals reach the 2014 American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals in Louisville’s lone year in the league. The Cards went on to make their fifth NCAA tournament appearance in six years.

Anderson Head Coach (2006-08)

Da Silva joined the Cardinals’ coaching staff in the fall of 2008, after three seasons as the head men’s and women’s coach at his alma mater Anderson College. In his three seasons there (2006-08), da Silva led Anderson to three regular season, two tournament titles and three NCAA regional appearances and was a two-time Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year. He led the men to an overall record of 52-21 and a perfect 28-0 mark in league play. The Trojans made trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament in each of his three years at the helm. He coached All-American, ITA Rookie of the Year and Conference Carolinas Player of the Year Philip Pakebusch. Da Silva guided the women to an eight-win improvement from his first to final season with a 12-8 record.

Prior to his collegiate coaching careerPrior to his stint at Anderson, da Silva was on the staff at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he served as a coach from 2003-05. Before joining the Bollettieri staff, da Silva was a tennis professional at the West View Tennis Center in Morgantown, W.Va.

Da Silva was also the head professional at Anderson’s Cardinal Racquet Club from 1997-99. During his tenure at Cardinal, the club was named the SCTA Club of the Year and the ’98 Southern Club of the Year.

As a player at Anderson, da Silva was a member of the 1996 National Christian College Athletic Association championship team and won the 1996 NCCAA championships in singles and doubles. The Campinas, Brazil native earned his bachelor’s degree in sports science from Anderson in 2000 and his master’s degree in athletic coaching education from the University of West Virginia in 2003. Da Silva and his wife, Cassie, have two sons, Luca and Caden.

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