Nick Carless Head Coach
Fresno State, 2005
Nick Carless, a former Cal Poly tennis player who has served as an assistant coach at Pepperdine University the last four years, has been selected as head coach of the Mustang men’s tennis program.
The announcement was made Friday by Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman. Carless replaces Justin McGrath, who resigned in July after five years with the Mustang program to pursue other tennis coaching opportunities.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to Cal Poly,” said Carless. “I am a product of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing, and athletics is a prime example. I’m looking forward not only to coaching tennis, but also to being part of a program that develops young men into responsible adults who will enjoy rewarding careers and give back to their community.
“My goal is to make sure all of our players leave Cal Poly with a degree and a championship ring,” Carless added. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”
“I’m delighted to have Nick on board,” added Oberhelman. “He was a terrific student-athlete, he’s proving to be an excellent coach and he understands Cal Poly and our values. He’ll be an excellent mentor for our student-athletes, on the court and off.”
Carless was a volunteer assistant coach for the Pepperdine men's tennis team that won the NCAA championship in 2006, then returned to Malibu in September 2007 to begin his four-year stint as a full-time assistant coach.
In his five seasons in Malibu, the Waves posted a record of 111-35 (.760) and won the West Coast Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on four occasions.
As the volunteer assistant, Carless helped develop two All-Americans on the 2006 team (Andre Begemann and Scott Doerner). Begemann and Doerner reached the NCAA doubles final and ended the season ranked No. 2 in the nation.
In between stints at Pepperdine, Carless spent one year at Northwestern, where he was an assistant coach for the 2006-07 season. He helped guide the Wildcats to a 16-15 record and a No. 60 final ITA ranking. Carless also was co-director of Northwestern’s Nike Tennis Camp.
After returning to Malibu in a full-time position, he helped the 2008 team reach the Round of 16 and a No. 12 national ranking at the end of the season. Begemann, who earned All-American honors again, made the semifinals of the NCAA singles tournament and finished his career ranked No. 5 in the country. Bassam Beidas reached the NCAA quarterfinals and finished the year ranked No. 22.
The 2009 squad made it to the NCAA second round and was ranked No. 18 in the country. Omar Altmann was an All-American in singles and teamed up with Beidas to win the award in doubles.
The 2010 season was another successful campaign as Pepperdine went 17-11 overall, reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament and had a final ranking of No. 21. Beidas earned All-American honors for the third straight year.
Last spring was a roller coaster year for the Waves, who reached as high as No. 6 in the rankings and ended the season listed at No. 15. They finished the season with an 18-5 record, and Sebastian Fanselow earned All-American distinction in singles after reaching the Round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship.
Carless has worked at the Malibu Summer Tennis Camp for many years and also previously served as an assistant tennis professional at the Visalia (Calif.) Racquet Club from 2003-06. He was the director of the junior tennis program there.
He played his freshman and sophomore seasons of collegiate tennis at Cal Poly from 2000-02 and went on to graduate from Fresno State with a degree in kinesiology/exercise physiology in 2005. While at Cal Poly, he was selected to the All-Big West second team as both a freshman and sophomore.
Carless is a native of Visalia and a 2000 graduate of Golden West High School, where he earned three-time All-American honors in tennis and basketball and made the Dean’s List. As a youth tennis player, he was ranked in the top five in Northern California in each age division and was as high as No. 40 in the country.
Carless was an assistant tennis professional at the Visalia Racquet Club from 2002-04, directing the junior tennis program, and was head tennis professional from 2004-05. He also was a tennis instructor at the Copper River Country Club in Fresno from 2002-04.