Texas Border Business
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque announced on Friday that Nathan Robinson, who spent the last four years (2017-21) as an assistant coach at UC Davis, is the new men’s tennis head coach.
Robinson guided the Aggies to the semifinals of the Big West Tournament twice (2018 and 2019) while also helping them start the 2019 season 6-0, which is the best start to a season in program history.
Robinson coached 11 players to All-Big West Conference honors, including the 2021 first team doubles duo of Ivan Thamma and David Goulak. Thamma also earned first team honors in singles.
Robinson guided Thamma and Goulak to a program record No. 43 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) doubles rankings in 2020 while also coaching Thamma to Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2018.
Throughout his tenure at UC Davis, Robinson worked with the program’s budget while also helping to fundraise for the program, develop and execute a recruiting strategy that proved to be successful, and help maintain excellence in the classroom that saw the program earn three-straight ITA All-Academic Team honors while setting a program record with five student-athletes earning ITA Scholar Athlete honors in 2020.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Robinson to the Vaqueros family and we believe he is the right person to lead our young men and help build our men’s tennis program,” Conque said. “Nathan comes highly recommended from those that have worked with him throughout his career. His work ethic, passion for the game, and relationships with his student-athletes are all qualities we feel make him a great fit to lead our program at UTRGV.”
Prior to his time at UC Davis, Robinson spent one season as an assistant women’s tennis coach at Western Michigan, where he handled the team’s travel, helped the team to multiple wins over Big 10 and ACC opponents, and set a program record by defeating the No. 5 ranked doubles team in the nation.
Prior to his stint at Western Michigan, Robinson was the Oklahoma State Director of Operations and Volunteer Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach for two seasons (2014-16). He helped lead Oklahoma State to a National Runner-Up finish in 2016, as the team defeated three top-five national seeds in No. 5 Georgia, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 1 California.
Oklahoma State finished the 2016 season undefeated at home and swept the Big 12 Conference regular season and tournament championships. Robinson helped the program finish the season with the highest ITA ranking in program history, coming in at No. 8.
In 2015, Robinson helped Oklahoma State to 23 wins, including 14 over ranked opponents and 15 shutouts. Robinson saw Oklahoma State clinch its fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Championships and host the first and second rounds for the first time on the Oklahoma State campus.
“I would like to first thank Chasse Conque, Vince Volpe, and Nathan Burke for this incredible opportunity at UTRGV,” Robinson said. “I am beyond excited to get to the Rio Grande Valley and get to work. I believe this is a program that is prepped and ready to take a huge stride and become a respected program within college athletics and college tennis. I look forward to being a part of the community, meeting alumni, and being part of the growth and goals put forth by Chasse. Let’s Rally the Valley!”
Before joining Oklahoma State, Robinson was a high school girls tennis coach in Stillwater Public Schools from January 2012 through June 2013, where he assessed and developed high school tennis players to play at the collegiate level.
Robinson graduated from Oklahoma State with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2014.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT NATHAN ROBINSON
Eric Steidlmayer, UC Davis Men’s Tennis Head Coach
Nathan Robinson is a great young man, a superb tennis coach, and will be a great addition to the athletic staff at a growing UT Rio Grande Valley. Nathan has great tennis and coaching knowledge along with solid inner character traits that will help the players respect his voice. He also has the desire and drive to help the program move forward. I fully expect that the players, coaches, alumni, donors, and administration will be very pleased with this selection, and I fully expect UTRGV to compete at the top end of the conference very soon.
Chris Young, Oklahoma State University Women’s Tennis Head Coach
I am thrilled for Nathan to get this opportunity. He has worked very hard to prepare for this moment, so I can’t wait to see how the program will thrive under his leadership.
Grant Chen, SMU Men’s Tennis Head Coach
Excited to welcome Nate to the state of Texas. The Vaqueros have chosen a tremendous leader who will help guide the program and add to the depth of college tennis for our region. I look forward to competing against UTRGV and watching this team rise.