Head Coach Pierre Pilote
17th Season • 311-100 (.757) • Sherbrooke '85
Since becoming the Stetson University Men's Tennis coach in 1993, Pierre Pilote is responsible for turning Hatter tennis into one of the most successful teams at the University.
In his 16 seasons at the helm of the men's program, Pilote has compiled the most wins and the best winning percentage in school history. His teams have also averaged better than 19 wins per season during his tenure. Pilote earned his 300th career victory in a 7-0 Stetson sweep of Lehigh at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center March 4, 2009. Under Pilote, the team has now been at or above .750 in 12 of the last 14 seasons and .800 or above seven times.
When Pilote inherited the program in 1993, the Hatters were coming off a 4-23 season under former head coach Bill Russell. Since then, the team has enjoyed tremendous success. Stetson has been to four consecutive A-Sun tournament finals (2006-09) and also reached the semi-finals on three different occasions during Pilote’s tenure.
In 2009, Pilote's Hatters went 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the Atlantic Sun Conference; at the end of the season three Stetson players were named to the league's All-Freshman Team, tying a conference record that SU had originally set in 2006. Stetson was invited to participate in the inaugural ITA Season Kickoff event, a tournament featuring some of the nation's top squads, including Hatter foe #1 Ohio State. Stetson reached as high as #63 in the ITA national rankings and defeated #72 South Alabama on February 20.
The 2008 season, in which the Hatters went 21-5 overall and 9-1 in conference play, marked the high water mark of program history as Stetson spent the last three months of the season ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 75, ascending as high as #53 and finishing 56th. Pilote's squad achieved this distinction by defeating three ranked squads (South Alabama, Tennessee Tech and North Florida) in a span of 11 days. Hicham Laalej and Marcus Echtler earned First Team All-Atlantic Sun honors with Joey Jones making the second team and rookies Gokay Celik and Chris Swanteson tabbed to the All-Freshman squad.
In 2006, 6 players earned All-Conference honors, with Marcus Echtler being named A-Sun Player of the Year. Echtler also became the first player in Stetson and A-Sun history to be selected for the NCAA individual championship in 2006. In 2007, Ecthler reached a national ranking of 61 and first team all conference while freshman Hicham Laalej won A-Sun player of the year, freshman of the year and first team all conference. Laalej was 23-3 in singles play.
Pilote's teams and individual players have been recognized for numerous outstanding accomplishments during his time at Stetson. Four of his squads (1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009) have received the ITA's All-Academic Team Award, while 31 players have been chosen as an ITA Scholar-Athlete.
In 2009 a program high of six players earned ITA Scholar-Athlete recognition, a figure higher than all but six schools in NCAA Division I.
Before joining the Stetson coaching staff, Pilote served as the tennis director of the Pine Meadows Country Club in Eustis, Fla. While at Pine Meadows, Pilote coached Ty Braswell, who was among the top 10 players 18 and under in the country and currently is an assistant coach at Florida State. He also served as head tennis coach at Eustis High School from 1989-91.
Pilote was also selected as one of the clinicians for the 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Youth Education through Sports (YES) Clinic. As a clinician, he participated in instructional lessons, submitted a sport skill tip for a participant handout, and provided a student-athlete to act as a group leader and mentor during sessions, along with other assigned duties. In 2005 and 2007, Pilote was selected as NCAA representative for the first two rounds of the tennis championship hosted by the University of Florida.
Prior to his appointment at Pine Meadows, Pierre worked as the tennis professional at Club De Tennis, Tennisport, Inc., in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada from 1985-86 and at the Gray Rock Inn at St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada in 1985.
A certified teaching professional by the U.S.P.T.R., Pilote is a 1985 graduate of the University of Sherbrooke. Pilote is a graduate of the USA Tennis High Performance coaching program.
Pilote is the proud father of a 14-year old daughter, Isabelle.
Pilote's Year-By-Year Results
Year Wins Losses Pct.
1994 9 13 .409
1995 17 10 .630
1996 20 2 .909
1997 21 4 .840
1998 24 6 .800
1999 21 7 .750
2000 24 6 .800
2001 19 5 .792
2002 18 6 .750
2003 22 5 .815
2004 21 5 .808
2005 17 7 .708
2006 19 5 .792
2007 20 7 .741
2008 21 5 .808
2009 18 7 .720
Totals (16 years)
311 100 .757