Head Coach - ETSU, '93
Now entering his fourth year as head coach of the men’s tennis program, Yaser Zaatini strives to continue to build upon the success his teams have achieved under his lead. Zaatini was initially named the assistant coach of the men’s tennis program in the fall of 2002, but has taken on the larger responsibility of head coach since former head coach Dave Mullins was named as the director of athletics at ETSU.
In his first year at the helm, Zaatini led the Buccaneers to a regular season Southern Conference Championship that comprised a 16-7 overall and an 8-1 conference record.
Tow years ago, Zaatini led the Bucs to their third NCAA apperance in the history of the men's tennis program. His 2004 team went 20-6 overall and was undefeated in SoCon play (10-0), winning both the regular season and championship titles and earning Zaatini Coach-of-the-Year honors.
Last season, Zaatini led the Bucs to their fourth NCAA appereance in the history of the men's tennis program. His 2005 team went 20-4 overall and was undefeated for the second consecutive year in SoCon play extending their SoCon winning streak to 26-0. Zaatini was named Coach-of-the-Year for the second consecutive season.
The 35-year-old Zaatini is a 1993 graduate of East Tennessee State, where he enjoyed an extraordinary four-year playing career and became one of the school’s most decorated student-athletes. In 2004 Zaatini was recognized formally for his accomplishments when he was inducted into the ETSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
As a player, Zaatini was the first individual from ETSU to compete in the NCAA Championships and is the only four-time Southern Conference tennis champion in No. 1 singles. In 1992, he was ranked as high as four in the nation in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, the highest ever for a Buccaneer tennis player. Zaatini is also a two-time All-American (1992, 1993), the only All-American in ETSU tennis history.
After graduation Zaatini became a member of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He made appearances in the 1994 and 1995 Davis Cup tournaments, representing his home country of Venezuela.
He returned to ETSU prior to his head coach assignment in the fall of 1996 to serve as a volunteer assistant with the Buccaneer program. Zaatini then went back to play professionally in Venezuela while managing the Zaatini Tennis Academy in his hometown of Maracay. He has served as the director of the academy for the last six years where Zaatini has taught nationally and internationally ranked juniors and professionals alike.
Zaatini resides in Johnson City with his wife Gloria and their two sons, Yaser, affectionately known as "Yaby," and Sebastian.