May 14, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn men's tennis head coach Eric Shore was named the Wilson/ITA Southern Regional Coach of the Year, and associate head coach Gabor Zoltan Pelva was named the regional Assistant Coach of the Year, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Monday.
In addition, senior Alex Stamchev was awarded the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award, as well as the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.
Shore has amassed an overall record of 305-241 (.559) as the Tigers' head coach. It was the first ITA regional award for the Ottawa native now in his 22nd season at Auburn. The Tigers finished the 2012 dual match season with an 18-10 overall record, the best for Auburn since the 2002 season.
"It just shows that when you have good players and you have an associate head coach like Gabor, good things can happen," Shore said. "I thought the Mississippi State coach (Per Nilsson) probably deserved it this year, but it's nice to get recognized by your peers. But without good players and a great assistant, it doesn't happen."
Pelva is in his seventh year as an assistant for the Auburn program; he was named associate head coach prior to the 2010-11 season. Auburn's win over Drake on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament was his 100th career victory in a coaching role; he has helped the Tigers to a 100-78 dual match record.
The Novi Sad, Serbia, native was one of the most decorated Auburn players in his three years on the team, garnering two first-team All-America and All-SEC selections with a 65-31 career singles record.
"Gabor has meant a lot to the program over the 7-plus years as our assistant and associate head coach," Shore said. "He's done everything. He's an integral part of the program, and I can't say enough about what he's meant to Auburn as a player and now as a coach."
Stamchev finished the 2012 dual match season with the Auburn records for career doubles wins (107) and combined singles/doubles wins (212). He is also the second player in school history to win more than 100 career singles matches (105). This season, the Pleven, Bulgaria, native was 26-10 overall in singles play, and he currently has a 24-9 mark in doubles with at least one match remaining in the NCAA doubles draw.
"I think Stam is getting rewarded for all the things he's meant to the program over his four years," Shore said. "I know we're disappointed in what happened this weekend, but I know he's looking forward to playing doubles in the NCAA Tournament, and potentially playing singles if things fall right and he gets a break."
Stamchev will join junior Andreas Mies in competing in the doubles draw at the NCAA Championships, which get underway next week in Athens, Ga. Mies will also compete in the singles draw, and Stamchev is currently the eighth alternate for singles play.