|Title:||Associate Head Coach|
Goncalo Figueiredo, one of the greatest Islanders men’s tennis players ever, a former team captain and a member of the Portuguese Davis Cup Team, serves as associate head coach for men’s and women’s tennis.
Figueiredo has entered the league of the very best in college recruiting for men and women. Up until a year ago, Director of Tennis Steve Moore had done all the recruiting for both teams, but Coach Figueiredo has now stepped up and become a valuable recruiter as well. He assists Coach Moore in all aspects of the program, planning, setup and running practice, team travel, itineraries, fundraising and running the numerous tournaments held at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
Both the men and women reached the NCAA Division I national rankings in 2013, making Texas A&M - Corpus Christi one of only 34 universities in the nation to have both teams ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Poll at the same time. Coach Figueiredo was a big part of making this success happen.
“I feel Goncalo has put in tireless hours and study to become one of the top recruiters in college tennis,” Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. “His contacts are incredibly strong, both in America and Europe, and he has built strong relationships with some of the best coaches in the world. He is an extremely hard worker and always does his due diligence. Being a great recruiter means never spending less than 20 hours a week on it, and Goncalo is willing to pay that price. He has become an incredible asset to our men’s and women’s programs.
“Goncalo was one of the most respected players in all of Division I college tennis during his career. He had wins over NCAA Champion Benjamin Becker, who later reached Top 40 in the ATP rankings, and was considered one of the toughest competitors in the country. Every coach in college talked about what a great competitor he was and how reliable he was for his team. I feel Goncalo brings those same qualities as a coach, and is a great mentor to our young players on how to compete and play the game at the highest level. He is incredibly intense, but loves the players and is a great teacher of the game.”
Figueiredo was ranked one of the top 100 junior players in the world, and competed in World Junior events against Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro. He reached the Top 60 in the NCAA Division I national singles rankings and had five wins against players ranked in the Top 25 nationally.
While coaching the Islanders, Figueiredo has seen the team reached the ITA Top 65 nationally seven years in a row, including No. 32 in Division I in 2007 and No. 35 in 2009. The Islanders were Southland Conference Regular-Season Champions five years in a row, and went to the NCAA Championships in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
In 2013, Figueiredo saw the team reach No. 51 in the ITA National Rankings and win the HEB Tournament of Champions, the longest running, and perhaps most prestigious, team tournament in the United States. The Islanders men beat two Top 35 teams to win the championships for the first time in program history.
“Goncalo was a great player, a tremendous coach, but most importantly, as great person with the highest character that any player could ever wish to play for,” Moore added. “He is the type of person that any parent would want their son or daughter to play for.”