Former Winthrop tennis standout Sergey Belov was named the new men’s tennis coach, Winthrop athletics director Tom Hickman announced Wednesday.
Belov, a native of Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia and a two-time graduate of Winthrop, replaces Andrew Stubbs who left in June for a position at a tennis academy in Orlando, Fla., after leading the Eagles to the 2014 Big South Conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Regional tournament.
“We had a committee which interviewed four individuals from our pool of candidates. Sergey emerged as the person who best fit our program needs and expectations here at Winthrop,” said Hickman “Having both played for and assisted under coach Cid Carvalho and coach Stubbs, we know that he has had both the training and experience to continue our men’s tennis success. Sergey has a bright future and we are excited that he will begin his head coaching tenure here at Winthrop.”
“I am very excited for this opportunity to coach at Winthrop. I have spent six-and-one-half years as a player, student assistant and graduate assistant coach in the program and I have really enjoyed my experience as an Eagle,” said Belov.
“When the job became available, I was thrilled to apply for the position and be selected as a finalist. I learned a lot about coaching while serving under Coach Carvalho and Coach Stubbs and I really appreciate the confidence that has been shown in me by Tom Hickman. I know it will be a challenge to continue the excellent tradition of the Winthrop men’s tennis program, but I will strive to maintain and further build on the success that has been achieved here.”
As a player and former team captain, Belov helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 Big South Conference title and a NCAA tournament appearance and culminated his collegiate career by being voted the 2011 Big South player of the year.
Following his collegiate playing career, Belov served as a student assistant coach in 2011-12 and for the past two years as a graduate assistant coach for the Winthrop women’s team, helping direct it to the 2013 and 2014 Big South championships and back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament.
“Winthrop could not have found a better person than Sergey to replace Andrew as the head men’s tennis coach,” said Carvalho, who coached both the Winthrop men’s and women’s teams for 25 years until the positions were divided in 2012. “Sergey was a winner as a player, as an assistant coach and I’m sure he will be a winner as a head coach. His knowledge of Winthrop, the players and the program will allow for a smooth transition.”
As a graduate assistant coach under Carvalho, Belov was responsible for providing coaching and mentoring to the women’s tennis team, coordinate the daily practice schedule, provide instruction on specific techniques of the game, provide drills and fitness training, and assisted. with the on-campus recruiting process of new players.
Before coming to the United States, Belov played for the Russian National Team in 2006, was ranked 113 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and was a member of the Russian National Junior Tennis Team that participated in the Summer and Winter European Cups. He also received the Boris Elzin Scholarship as one of the top three players in the Russian Federation.