Vyacheslav "Slava" Konikov, who spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons as an assistant coach with the Hornet women's tennis team, was named the head men's tennis coach at Sacramento State on Sept. 1, 2005.
Konikov has an extensive coaching resumé, having spent time as head coach of the Belarus Davis Cup team from 1995-02, and leading the Belarus Junior National Women's Team (14-year olds) to four-consecutive world championships from 1999-02. In addition, Konikov, who goes by the name Slava, coached the Polish Junior Men's and Women's National Teams from 1993-95. From 1998-02, he coached Victoria Azaremko, who is the top-ranked juniors player in the world.
During his two years with the Sacramento State women's squad, Konikov helped coach the team to a combined record of 46-9, including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. This past season (2005), the Hornets posted a 23-5 record, including six wins over ranked opposition.
A 20-year coaching veteran, the Minsk, Belarus, native also coached three players currently ranked among the top 200 professionals in the world, comprised of Max Mirnyi (ranked 28th on the ATP Tour), Vladimir Voltchkov (185th on the ATP Tour) and Tatiana Poutchek (194th on the WTA Tour). Mirnyi is also ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles play with teammate Jonas Bjorkman. In 2000, Voltchkov became the first qualifier to reach the Wimbledon semifinals since John McEnroe accomplished the feat in 1997.
Konikov also spent nine years as an instructor at the Minsk Tennis Club in Belarus (1983-92) where he coached Mirnyi, Voltchkov and Poutchek.
During his playing days, Konikov was ranked among the top 10 singles players in the Soviet Union when he was 18 years old. He graduated from Moscow Sports University where he received what is the equivalent to the United States' All-American honors as a tennis player.