Evan Austin is in his third season leading the Drake men's tennis program after serving four years (2006-10) as assistant coach at Wisconsin.
Tabbed as head men's tennis coach at Drake on Sept. 13, 2010, Austin directed the Bulldogs to a 24-3 mark this past season, equaling the school record for wins established in 2008. Drake captured the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championships and its sixth NCAA Tournament berth.
The Bulldogs rose to No. 39 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, before finishing rated No. 47 in the final poll.
For the second-consecutive campaign, Austin was chosen as the MVC Coach of the Year. Five Bulldogs were tabbed as All-MVC selections, including Ghorbel, who became the sixth-straight Drake player to be honored as MVC Player of the Year.
Also on the all-conference list were junior James McKie and Salibasic at the Nos. 2 and 4 singles slots, respectively. In doubles, Drake collected first-team accolades at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions. At the top position was the duo of Ghorbel and McKie, while junior Jean Erasmus and sophomore Robin Goodman captured honors at No. 2.
Off the court, senior Jonathan Hadash was honored as a first-team MVC Scholar-Athlete selection. Hadash was also named for the second-consecutive season as the Elite 18 winner by the MVC, while being selected a Capital One Academic All-District recipient by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
In their NCAA Tournament contest with No. 17 Auburn, a 4-2 setback, the Bulldogs' two points scored in the match were the most by the Bulldogs since Drake's initial NCAA Tournament appearance in 1992, a 5-4 loss to Harvard.
During his rookie season guiding the Bulldogs, Austin directed Drake to a 21-3 record en route to cracking the ITA rankings for the first time since May 23, 2008, when the Bulldogs checked in at No. 71 on March 22.
Drake rose to 62nd in the final tabulations on the strength of a 15-match winning streak. Individually, senior Mauricio Ballivian and Sean O'Grady captured national rankings in singles, while in doubles Ballivian and Ghorbel pulled in a national ranking.
His coaching efforts were rewarded as his peers selected him as the MVC Coach of the Year, while four Bulldogs garnered all-conference laurels. Headlining that list was Ballivian, who became the first-ever back-to-back recipient of the award and only the second player to win the honor twice, joining former teammate Maor Zirkin, who was the honoree in 2007 and 2009.
Ballivian also became only the ninth player in MVC history and fourth at Drake to be named All-MVC selection in singles all four seasons. Joining him are former Bulldogs, Sergi Vila (2004-07), Dalibor Pavic (2005-08) and Zirkin (2006-09).
Also on the all-conference list were Erasmus and Ghorbel at the Nos. 3 and 4 singles slots, respectively, while McKie earned All-Select honors.
In doubles, Drake collected first-team accolades at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions. At the top position was the duo of Ballivian and Ghorbel, while McKie and Erasmus captured honors at No. 2.
Off the court, Hadash and Ballivian were honored as first team MVC Scholar-Athlete selections. Hadash was also named the Elite 18 winner by the MVC, while being selected a Capital One Academic All-District recipient by CoSIDA.
Austin came to Drake from Wisconsin where the Badgers concluded the 2010 season with a 21-9 overall record and a No. 23 national ranking en route to the program's fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Wisconsin reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history with victories over Notre Dame and Illinois.
The Badgers' 21 wins marked only the sixth 20-win season in program history and the first since 1990. Wisconsin was just one win shy of the program-record 22 wins set in 1977 and 1978.
During his tenure in Madison, Austin spearheaded recruiting, planning team travel, managed NCAA compliance, oversaw budget management, coordinated fundraising and oversaw the strength and conditioning program.
"We are very pleased having Coach Austin lead our men's tennis program," Drake associate athletic director Dennis Francois, who chaired the search committee, commented. "During his time at Wisconsin, he developed a reputation as a great recruiter and player's coach."
During his last four years at Wisconsin, Austin helped lead the Badgers to a 71-41 (.634) record, including four NCAA Tournament appearances, five NCAA Tournament individual singles' selections and seven All-Big Ten honorees.
"I am really excited for Evan and his opportunity as a head coach," Wisconsin head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. "Selfishly, I would like to keep him around longer, but most every assistant is looking to eventually be a head coach. I am grateful for the time and dedication he spent working with me to make the men's tennis program successful here at Wisconsin. We will miss him and wish him all the best in his new position at Drake."
Austin, 30, came to Wisconsin after spending two years at Bay Colony Tennis Club in Naples, Fla., where he served as the head tennis professional.
A Naples, Fla., native, Austin played collegiate tennis at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a career-best ITA singles ranking of 65th in 2002 and held an ATP ranking from 2000-03.
A three-year letterwinner, Austin was a co-captain on the 2003-04 Wildcat squad that finished the season No. 14 in the final ITA rankings.
Austin's success extended into the classroom, receiving Academic All-SEC honors three times and also earning a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in the fall of 2003. Austin was inducted into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character in March of 2004.
As a junior player in 2000, Austin was ranked No. 4 in the U.S. in the 18-and-under division. As a junior, he had victories over current ATP touring professionals Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Joachim Johansson and Mario Ancic.
He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Kentucky in 2004.