LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's and women's tennis teams have named former tennis pro Tavi Popaluca as their assistant coach for the 2012-13 season. The announcement was made Wednesday by head coaches Timmer Willing and Liz LaPlante.
"I'm very excited to be on board," said Popaluca, who spent time working on development with the Triton men's program last season. "Both the men and women have been successful on the regional and national levels and I'm really looking forward to helping that trend continue."
Popaluca was previously a tennis pro at The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, Calif., a position that covered multiple duties including running lessons, marketing and coordinating day-to-day facility maintenance. He was also in charge of special projects at The Vintage Club.
Popaluca has instructed juniors and adults in private tennis lessons and conducted clinics as a tennis pro for Star Stringing/Cathedral Canyon Golf & Tennis Club in Cathedral City. He also spent three months as manager/director of tennis for the Los Angeles-based Century City Tennis Club, where he was in charge of supervising staff and tennis pros, marketing and membership sales.
As a professional player, Popaluca ranked in the top 50 in Southern California in every age group as well as the top 20 in the region's Men's Open Division. Internationally, he had a doubles world ranking of 1130 and was ranked in Spanish National Tennis. Popaluca was also a member of the Romanian Junior Davis Cup team that faced Greece in 1999.
While at the Jose Higueras Tennis Academy in Palm Springs, Popaluca was a sparring partner for former pros such as Jim Courier, Todd Martin and Jonathan Stark, among others.
At the collegiate level, Popaluca was a standout player at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, where he helped lead the Roadrunners to a state championship title in 1992. In 1994, he was voted his team's MVP.
Born in Romania and raised in Palm Springs, Popaluca began playing tennis at age six.
Popaluca is a 1999 graduate of UC Riverside with a Bachelor of Science Degree in business administration/management information systems. In addition he earned an Associate of Arts Degree in liberal arts from College of the Desert in 1996.
-- UCSDtritons.com --