Nick Zieziula - 2012
Nick Zieziula (pronounced za-ZOO-la) enters his third season as Head Coach of the Georgia Southern men’s tennis program. A four-year letterwinner at The State University of New York at Buffalo, Zieziula became the eighth head coach of the Georgia Southern men’s tennis program in the summer of 2010. Prior to taking over as head coach of the Eagles, Zieziula served two years as the assistant men’s tennis coach at the University of Central Florida.
In 2012, Zieziula led the Eagles to a 3-20 overall record and a 1-9 ledger in conference play. The Eagles’ season was highlighted by their rally from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Wofford in the first round of the Southern Conference Championship. The win sent them into the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time since 2009 and marked their first victory in the tournament since 2008. Another event that highlighted the 2012 campain was doubles pair Alain Garrido and Andrew Dromsky’s defeat of nationally (#57) pair Calum Gee and Joe Schafer from Davidson on March 7. At the end of the year the squad was honored with five student-athletes achieving ITA Scholar Athlete honors for the 2011-12 academic year.
In his first season at the helm, Zieziula guided the Eagles to a 10-13 overall record and a 3-8 mark in conference play. Georgia Southern finished the season 7-4 on its home court. The Eagles fell to Chattanooga, 4-3, in the first round of the conference championships after overcoming a 2-0 deficit early in the match. Sophomore Juan Melian Puigventos became the first player in Georgia Southern history to be named Southern Conference Player of the Year. Under Zieziula’s tutelage, Puigventos improved from a 14-6 singles mark in 2010 to a 21-1 record in 2011, going a perfect 10-0 at No. 1 singles in league play. Puigventos finished the year ranked No. 16 in the region.
Georgia Southern Men’s Tennis also performed in the classroom in 2010-2011, with four players earning spots on the Academic All-Conference Team by achieving a 3.20 or higher cumulative grade point average during the 2010-11 academic year.
In his second season at Central Florida, Zieziula played an instrumental role in helping the Knights’ record shoot up the national rankings - ranking as high as No. 61 in early March - and earn the program’s best tournament seed (No. 3) in the Conference USA league tournament. Facing a competitive spring schedule that included eight nationally-ranked squads, the Knights posted a 12-8 record and witnessed senior Brock Sakey earn a spot on the All-C-USA First Team. During the 2010 campaign, Sakey became the winningest singles player in UCF history, capping his collegiate career with 85 singles victories. Sakey was named to the All-C-USA Second Team in 2009 and was the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2006.
In two seasons at UCF, Zieziula also tutored three doubles tandems and a singles player to Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings. Blaze Schwartz and Marc Rocafort earned their highest ranking as a doubles team on January 5, 2010, taking the No. 21 spot in the country. In addition, Joe Delinks was nationally ranked in doubles with both Sakey (2009) and Eugene Dolgovykh (2010). Claudio Romano ranked 81st in the nation in the initial spring 2009 rankings.
In both his seasons at Central Florida, Zieziula oversaw the academic progress of the team’s student-athletes. In 2010, five Knights garnered C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll status and in 2009, four players received conference academic honor roll recognition.
Before joining the athletic department at UCF, Zieziula was the assistant men’s tennis coach at his alma mater for three seasons. Working directly with the head coach, Zieziula played an active role in the recruitment process, scheduling, practice plans, travel, monitoring academic progress, and was also responsible for video analysis and day-to-day operations.
Zieziula spent two years at the Village Glen Tennis Club in Williamsville, N.Y., as an Assistant High Performance Program Teaching instructor and
served as the Director of the High Performance Program from October 2007 to June 2008.
A 2005 University at Buffalo graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and minor in anthropology, Zieziula held UB records for career singles wins, career doubles wins and single season singles and doubles wins at the time of graduation. The three-time team captain won the UB men’s tennis Most Outstanding Player award and was named a Second Team Mid-American Conference selection in 2005. He was a member of the All-Mid-American Conference Academic team in 2004, received the UB Service Excellence Award twice (2003 and 2004) and won the Coaches Award in 2004.