PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania has named Nik DeVore as the new Albert G. Molloy Head Coach of Men’s Tennis. The announcement was made August 14.
DeVore replaces Mark Riley, who left Penn after seven seasons to become head tennis coach at his alma mater, Kalamazoo (Mich.) College, as well as Assistant Director of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships.
“We are excited to get a coach of Nik’s caliber to Penn,” said Penn’s Director of Athletics, Steve Bilsky. “Our men’s tennis program has become one of our premier programs, winning a share of the last two Ivy League titles, and the bar was set high by Mark Riley. Nik has had great experience coaching top-level student-athletes at the highest level of intercollegiate competition. He knows how to win and create winning programs, and we look forward to continued success for our men’s tennis program under his guidance.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to be coming to Penn as the new men’s tennis coach,” said DeVore. “I have always felt that the Ivy League coaching positions were the best in the country. Penn is one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the nation, and has one of the most storied sports programs as well. Steve Bilsky and Mary DiStanislao have provided me with an incredible opportunity, one which I will take full advantage of. Following Mark Riley will not be an easy task, but I look forward to building upon the solid foundation he has built at Penn.”
In taking over at Penn, DeVore inherits a program that has won two-straight ECAC championships as well as a share of the last two Ivy League titles (the Quakers’ first since 1971). Going into the 2007-08 season, the Quakers return three players who earned first-team All-Ivy honors a year ago in seniors Jason Pinsky and Eric Riley and junior Jonathan Boym (who was also the 2005-06 Ivy Rookie of the Year). In addition, Pinsky was one of just 64 players -- and the only Ivy Leaguer -- to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship in May.
DeVore arrives at Penn with outstanding credentials. The last six years he has been the head tennis coach at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif. Before DeVore’s arrival in 2001, the Lions had achieved just five winning seasons in school history and regularly finished toward the bottom of the West Coast Conference standings. Since his arrival, however, the Lions have averaged 15 wins per season and finished in the top four in the WCC three times -- this despite playing a schedule with an average of 12-15 nationally ranked teams per season.
In DeVore’s first season (2001-02), the Lions finished 20-6 overall, went 14-0 at home, and defeated #57 Santa Clara for third place in the WCC. All of these results are the best in school history. For his efforts DeVore was named 2001-02 WCC Coach of the Year. In 2002-03, facing even stiffer competition, the Lions finished 15-10 overall, with nine of the ten losses coming to nationally ranked programs. In 2003-04 -- with a team comprised mostly of freshmen -- the Lions started the season 3-5 but went on to win 12 of their final 16 matches to finish 15-9 overall and third in the WCC. The young Lions also achieved a top 75 national team ranking for the first time in school history. In 2005-06 the Lions got off to a 1-6 start, but won 13 of their last 20 matches against top national teams and finished 14-13 overall. DeVore’s six-year record at LMU was 85-64.
The Lions enjoyed a great deal of success individually as well under Coach DeVore. During the 2003-04 season, Tigran Martirosyan won five rounds at the ITA All American and was ranked among the top 100 players nationally in singles. He is currently competing on the ATP Tour. In doubles, the #1 team of Leo Graeubig and Mike Wojnarowicz were ranked as high as #35 in the nation, and Tigran Martirosyan and Jaakko Asuja were ranked #54. This marked the first time in school history that LMU individuals had achieved national rankings. In 2003-04, Nico Terrien achieved an overall record of 27-8 and was named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-WCC. In 2004-05, after missing five months due to surgery on his playing hand, Terrien rallied to go 15-10 during the spring season and was ranked in the top 100 nationally. In 2005-06 Terrien was ranked #76 in the DI national rankings.
In addition to their success on court, the Lions have also excelled in the classroom -- during the past six years the program has consistently maintained one of the best overall team GPA’s at the University, and on three occasions won the Academic Excellence Award which goes to the team with the highest overall GPA. In 2006-07 four players were named to the Dean’s List, while four others achieved honor roll status.
Prior to his Loyola Marymount stint, DeVore directed the men’s tennis program at Morehead State University in Kentucky for three years. The two years prior to his arrival at Morehead State the men’s team had a combined record of 7-28 and finished at the bottom of the conference standings. In his last season at MSU the men finished 18-8 overall, 8-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference, 9-0 at home and challenged for the conference championship. All of these results were the best in school history. Coach DeVore’s three-year record at MSU was 43-29, putting his 10-year career record as a head tennis coach at 140-98.
DeVore is a graduate of Tyler Junior College in Texas in 1988, where he received his A.A.S. Degree in Sports Management, and the University of Northern Colorado (1991) where he played No. 1 singles and doubles while attaining his B.S. Degree in Recreation and Kinesiology. In 1990 he ranked 13th in the nation in singles and was NCC champion in both singles and doubles. From 1989-91, DeVore competed on the ATP Tour, where he enjoyed a great deal of success before deciding to commit himself full-time to coaching.
Over the years DeVore has attained a wide range of teaching and coaching experience throughout the United States and Europe. From 1997-2003 DeVore coached U.S. junior teams on European tennis tours through Belgium, Holland, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain. From 1997-98 he served as assistant coach for the No. 7 ranked Boise State University men’s tennis team. While at Boise he had the opportunity to work with two-time NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year Greg Patton and a team that ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation.
"Penn scored a major victory in announcing the hiring of Nik DeVore," said Patton. "Nik's expertise as an elite craftsman and builder of tennis programs will take the Penn program to new heights of excellence, picking uponwhat Mark Riley established. There is no doubt among the tennis coaching brethren that Nik will continue the construction of Penn as a major tennis force on the national level."
Prior to his experience at Boise State, DeVore served as head men’s tennis coach at Colorado State University in 1995-96; head coach at the Cascade Club and Resort in Vail, Colo., where he worked with several top 500 ATP and WTA players; head professional at Rolling Hills Country Club in Colorado; and coach/administrator for the USTA Area Training Center in Libertyville, Ill. DeVore has been a professional-level USPTR Teaching Professional since 1988.