SAN ANTONIO – UTSA head men’s tennis coach Sergey Avdeyev announced on Wednesday, September 27, that Dane Esses has joined the Roadrunners coaching staff as an assistant coach. A long-time academy coach and former student-athlete in the American Athletic Conference, Esses comes back to Texas from a coaching opportunity in the SEC.
“I’m very excited to welcome Dane to our program,” Avdeyev said He brings a wealth of experience at a variety of levels. As a player Dane has been around three great programs. All three were highly ranked and well respected. I heard great things about him, and I can already tell that he is very passionate about college tennis.”
Esses started this fall as an assistant coach at Arkansas, but the Houston native jumped at the opportunity to work in his home state and a chance to make a difference with a Roadrunners program on the rise. Before beginning in the college ranks, Esses served most recently at Austin Tennis Academy, previously working as a long-term coach at Houston’s Madden Tennis Academy, a premiere program that featured more top 10 players than any other academy. With Madden, Esses coached and mentored some of the top high school players in Texas, working with the academy for stretches of the past six years.
“I want to thank Sergey for giving me the opportunity to join such an exciting program,” Esses said. “I’m really excited about the direction that the program is going in and can’t wait to be a part of the great culture that is being built at UTSA.”
His move into coaching provided an outlet for the vast experience gained as a Division I student-athlete at Loyola Marymount, Tulane and Pepperdine. He played No. 1 singles for LMU with a 9-9 record as a graduate student. However, Esses wrapped up his undergraduate career as a two-year captain for the Tulane Green Wave when the program reached a No. 17 national ranking. He was among the most winning players on his squad, leading singles wins in his first year with the program and tying for second the subsequent season – during his time in New Orleans, Esses went 37-25 in singles and 23-18 in doubles play, earning a No. 47 ITA singles ranking in his senior season. An ITA Scholar-Athlete and American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team honoree, Esses was also named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Newcomer of the Year and All-LSWA First Team in 2019.
Bursting onto the collegiate scene as a five-star prospect, Esses started his playing career in Malibu, California at Pepperdine, where he was an All-West Coast Conference and WCC All-Academic honoree, collecting a 35-29 singles record through his first two collegiate seasons.
A graduate of Houston’s Memorial High School, Esses was a prolific prep player in Texas 6A, ranking as high as No. 2 in Texas and No. 39 nationally in his senior year, posting a 29-12 overall record and earning District and Regional titles in all four campaigns, while helping MHS to four State tournament appearances.
Avdeyev, Esses and the Roadrunners have a busy fall schedule in the big spotlight. After opening up at the Lake Charles Invitational last week, UTSA will send select qualifiers to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete in the ITA Men’s All-American Championships, beginning September 30 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
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