Men’s tennis head coach Shawn Heinchon had a lot of success with the East Carolina tennis team from the very beginning, owning a school record 19 wins in a single season, with a first-ever appearance in the national rankings.
When Heinchon first came to ECU, he began as an assistant coach, and later became head coach in 2006.
“I had been an assistant coach for too long,” Heinchon said. “I was given the opportunity to build something sustainable with the tennis team.”
Heinchon began playing tennis at a young age and it took him all over the world. He traveled as a coach on the women’s tour and coached several top-ranked American women’s players who went on to compete at the Division I level.
Heinchon began at Wake Forest in 1998, where he helped transform the program and gain national recognition. From 2001 to 2004, he brought the Demon Deacons to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
“Coming from St. Petersburg, Florida, I felt that it was a good change for me,” Heinchon said.
In 2013-14, Heinchon led the Pirates to a first ever appearance in the Conference USA tournament with a 18-7 record overall and a semifinal showing.
Last season, Heinchon led the Pirates to a quarterfinal appearance in the AAC tournament after a 4-1 upset victory over No. 9 Connecticut. Heinchon had five players who had at least 15 singles wins and two had 19 wins apiece. Sophomore Ronny Georgi, who was a freshman at the time, had an impressive 17-8 individual record.
“Our goal is to temper expectations this season. We have six freshmen this year which can be looked at as a good thing and a bad thing. The bad thing can be the inconsistency among the team from being young,” Heinchon said about his expectations for the upcoming season.
Heinchon and the tennis team will begin its season play on Jan. 20 against North Carolina Central.