FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh announced on Friday that former University of Miami assistant coach C.J. Weber has been named the third head coach in men’s tennis team history.
“We are excited to have C.J. joining our Eagles’ Athletics Family,” said Kavanagh. “In particular, amidst a very qualified candidate pool, his energy and enthusiasm stood out throughout the search process and he comes with lofty recommendations from some of the most respected head coaches in the country. Coupled with his extended tenure within the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference, he brings a strong background of success as a coach.
“We feel confident that he possesses the overall ingredients necessary to maximize the capabilities of our student-athletes both on the courts and in the classroom. In turn, we look forward to his providing energized daily leadership to our student-athletes and continuing our ascension to the upper echelon of the Atlantic Sun Conference, in our pursuit of the conference championship and beyond.”
Over his five years at the University of Miami, the Hurricanes had four players earn a total of eight All-America honors.
Last season, Weber helped guide the Hurricanes to a No. 27 ITA ranking and a fourth place finish in the ACC regular season. For his efforts he was named the 2011 ITA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
“What an awesome honor and opportunity to be chosen the head men’s tennis coach at Florida Gulf Coast University,” said Weber. “Becoming a Division I head coach has been a career goal of mine since I got into college coaching. FGCU is a very special place. I knew inside that it was the place for me as soon as I stepped onto campus.”
Prior to working at Miami, Weber had an impressive four-year collegiate playing career for Eastern Illinois University, and then went on to pick up coaching experience at both his alma mater and the University of Illinois.
Weber spent the spring of 2006 serving as the volunteer assistant coach for the ninth-ranked Fighting Illini, coordinating practice sessions, providing on-court instruction and match preparation, overseeing fitness and conditioning, as well as providing administrative support. At Illinois, he coached three All-Americans and helped guide the team to the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoors Tournament and to the "Sweet Sixteen" of the NCAA Tournament.
He spent the 2004-05 season as the assistant coach of both Eastern Illinois' men's and women's tennis programs, and picked up experience managing and providing instruction at summer tennis camps at both Eastern Illinois and Illinois.
In three years with the University of Illinois' Nike Tennis Camps, Weber worked extensively with Craig Tiley -- the current tournament director of the Australian Open, as well as the Director of Player Development for Tennis Australia.
As a collegiate student-athlete, Weber was a three-time All-Conference selection, as well as the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and Eastern Illinois' Male Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2004 -- just two years after Tony Romo, the Pro Bowl quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. The two-time team MVP was also selected team captain as a senior and finished his career with a 44-18 singles record.
A scholar as well as an outstanding athlete at Eastern Illinois, Weber graduated with a 3.95 GPA. In addition to being named to the Dean's List throughout college, he was also a four-time recipient of EIU's Scholar-Athlete Award and garnered Academic All-America first team honors as a senior, following his selection to the Academic All-America District first team as a junior and senior.
Weber graduated with honors from Eastern Illinois in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He added a master's degree in physical education in 2005.
“I'm looking forward to being a part of the success that has already been attained in the few short years of FGCU's existence,” said Weber. “I hope to add to that success by building a men's tennis program that the University, student-athletes and community can all be proud of.”
TRANSACTIONS: Florida Gulf Coast University Names C.J. Weber head men’s tennis coach.
What they’re saying about C.J. Weber:
“C.J. (Weber) did an amazing job for us in the last five years. He was a crucial part in the development of our program, and I'm certain he will accomplish great things at FGCU. I'm going to miss him very much as a coach and as a dear friend of my entire family”. –Mario Rincon (University of Miami head men’s tennis coach)
“C.J. (Weber) is going to bring an incredible amount of enthusiasm and passion to Florida Gulf Coast University. His work ethic is second to none and he is highly motivated to bring success to the men’s tennis program. He will be a great mentor to the young men in all facets to their life. Also, he will bring a positive impact in the Fort Myers community as well.” – Brad Dancer (University of Illinois head men’s tennis coach)