Former Georgia standout joins Crimson Tide coaching staff
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Drake Bernstein, one of only 14 players in Georgia history to win over 100 matches in his career, was named assistant coach of the University of Alabama women’s tennis team on Tuesday, as announced by head coach Jenny Mainz. Bernstein replaces Rahim Esmail, who recently accepted the head men’s tennis coaching position at Samford.
“We're very excited to have Drake Bernstein join our Crimson Tide family,” Mainz said. “He is a former Georgia Bulldog standout, so he's familiar with the premier Southeastern Conference. Drake was an integral part of Georgia's success as he was a staunch competitor and was appreciated for his strong leadership on and off the court. Drake brings a wealth of playing experience as he was a part of Georgia's National Championship Team as well as the Bulldogs’ 2009 squad that advanced to the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.”
Bernstein, a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs, compiled a 112-44 record in singles and 84-56 mark in doubles throughout his tenure in Athens. In 2011, he was an All-SEC Second Team selection and was the recipient of Georgia’s Copas Leadership Award while serving as a team captain. As a junior, Bernstein led the team in match clinchers with six on the season, with his final one coming in the second round of the NCAA Championships helping the Bulldogs advance with a 4-3 win over Florida State. He was also vital as a sophomore, clinching four team wins with one coming against eighth-ranked Florida on an ace and another over No. 6 Tennessee to give Georgia the SEC Eastern Division title. That season, he was named to the ITA National Team Indoors All-Tournament Team helping the Bulldogs reach the finals.
Bernstein, a native of Winder, Ga., enjoyed a stellar prep career as well, posting an 82-1 record that included 79 straight victories. He was named the 2007 Athens Banner Herald Boys Tennis Player of the Year and was a three-time Athens Banner Herald All-Northeast Georgia selection. Bernstein led Winder-Barrow High School to its first state tournament appearance in 2006 and followed that up with another trip in 2007. According to Tennisrecruiting.net., he was a four-star recruit, ranked 15th nationally, ninth in the Southeast and No. 2 in the state of Georgia.
“I'm impressed with Drake's initiative and feel he's going to make an immediate impact in our program,” added Mainz. “He has great energy and passion for college tennis and will definitely translate that fervor to our team.”
Bernstein graduated from the University of Georgia in May of 2011 with a degree in sports studies.