Men's Tennis Set for Pair of Home Matches This Weekend
Mark Merklein is in his second season as an assistant coach with the University of Michigan men's tennis program. Prior to his hire in August 2011, Merklein spent the past six years as a national coach with the USTA Player Development Center in Boca Raton, Fla.
Merklein is a former ATP tour professional, competing from 1994-2005. He achieved career-high rankings of No. 35 (doubles) and No. 160 (singles) in the world, capturing four doubles titles during his career. Merklein coached tennis professional James Blake (ranked as high as No. 4 in the world) for two years, and was responsible for Blake's complete fitness and nutrition program in addition to coaching.
Merklein played at the University of Florida from 1990-94. He was joined in Gainesville by Michigan head coach Bruce Berque, who was an assistant coach for the Gators from 1990-96. Berque coached Merklein during his four years at Florida, and then joined him on the professional circuit for two years after his eligibility expired. As a member of the Gators' men's tennis team, Merklein won the NCAA doubles championship in 1993, following that up with an NCAA singles championship in 1994. He was a four-time NCAA All-American at Florida, and was the 1994 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. Merklein returned to Gainesville in 1998, serving as a volunteer coach for the Gators until 2000.
He was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 2005. Merklein also has international playing experience, competing for the Bahamas at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia (quarterfinalist), and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He also played for the Bahamas' Davis Cup team from 1999 to 2005.
Merklein, 40, and his wife, Giulia, have two daughters, Gina (18 months) and Olivia (three months).
THE MARK MERKLEIN FILE Born: June 28, 1972 Hometown: Coral Springs, Fla. College: University of Florida
Coaching Experience: University of Florida (Volunteer Assistant), 1998-2000, USTA Player Development Center (Head Coach), 2006-11
Coaching Highlights Former head coach of USTA Player Development Center in Boca Raton, Fla. (2005-11). Coached men's tennis pro James Blake (ranked as high as No. 4 in the world) for two years.
Playing Career Highlights Played in 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games (Bahamas). ATP Tour Professional (1994-2005). Bahamas' Davis Cup team (1999-05). NCAA Doubles Champion (1993). NCAA Singles Champion (1994). Four-time NCAA All-American. 1994 SEC Player of the Year. Inducted into University of Florida Hall of Fame (2005).