Old Dominion tabs Piric as coach
Georgia Tech assistant chosen to take over Monarchs’ program
NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion on Thursday named Aljosa Piric head men's tennis coach. Piric spent the past three years as assistant coach at Georgia Tech, which reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Tennis Championships this season.
He replaces Darryl Cummings who stepped down after 19 years to focus on developing a tennis business venture in Virginia Beach.
"We welcome Aljosa as our head men's tennis coach. He has proven to be an outstanding recruiter both nationally and internationally throughout his career which we will certainly welcome. Our student-athletes will benefit from his value driven leadership skills and his ability to communicate," ODU athletic director Dr. Wood Selig said. "An intense competitor, Aljosa has recently helped Georgia Tech become a top 15 tennis program. Coach Piric shares our vision and ambitions to achieve a similar top 25 status for our men's program."
At Georgia Tech, Piric was an assistant coach for Kenny Thorne, the 2011 ITA Men's Coach of the Year. During Piric's three years, Georgia Tech improved its national ranking from 49th in 2009 to 25th in 2010 and 13th this past season. He coached three-time All-American Guillermo Gomez, the ITA National Indoor Championship finalist, ranked fifth nationally in 2010, and 13th this season. He also coached Juan Spir and Kevin King, who were All-Americans in 2011 and NCAA doubles tournament semifinalists, with a national ranking of ninth.
"I would like to thank Dr. Selig, [search committee member] Bruce Stewart, and the rest of the search committee members for giving me this incredible opportunity. I am extremely grateful and look forward to working very hard in helping our student-athletes, and ODU's men's tennis program in general, reach new goals and triumphs," Piric said. "I am especially pleased to be returning to, what I feel is, my home state of Virginia. This is where I pursued my high school and college education, and I look forward to reconnecting with many friends throughout the Virginia tennis community. Last but not least, I want to thank my wife Jessica, for her support and encouragement throughout this whole process. We are both very excited to be Monarchs."
Piric was also very active in the community as he helped organize men's tennis team community service outreach and worked with organizations such as "Friends of Jaclyn," a program that benefits children with brain tumors.
A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Piric has coached numerous sectional champions and top level U.S. junior players while working at the Stamford Indoor Tennis Academy.
In 2000, Piric coached the Bosnian National boys 18-and-under junior team at the team European Championships in Catania, Italy. He also coached the Bosnian National boys 18U junior team at the European individual championships in Closters, Switzerland.
Piric graduated from Richmond in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in Business Management. As a member of the Spiders' tennis team, Piric played at No. 1 singles and doubles and served as team captain his senior season.
In 1999, Piric was selected to the Bosnian Davis Cup National team that competed against Egypt and Luxembourg in Cairo, Egypt.
"Piric's vision for our program was matched only by his passion for the sport. He has learned a tremendous amount from Kenny Thorne. I am confident Piric will be a great asset not only to our student-athletes, but our entire community," Stewart said. "He is poised to build upon our current foundation on pillars of integrity, passion and excellence. He is a tremendous leader and I fully expect our student athletes to grow, not only as tennis players under his direction, but as young men ready to serve the global community."
Prior to attending Richmond, Piric competed in numerous European junior tournaments and was a member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national junior team that competed at the European Team Championships. He attended Mills Godwdin High School in Richmond. where he won the Virginia High School state championship in both singles and doubles.