Mark Booras enters his fifth season as head coach of the Tulane men's tennis program after being named in 2008 to guide Tulane back to prominence following a hiatus caused by Hurricane Katrina.
In his first season, and Tulane's first season since 2005, Booras led the freshman laden squad to a 3-17 overall record. In year two, Booras and the Green Wave saw drastic improvements and posted an 11-11 overall mark, including a pair of Conference USA victories.
Year three saw a lot of improvement when Booras guided the Green Wave to a 12-11 overall record with a 3-5 mark in C-USA. In addition to the increased win totals, Tulane received the first national ranking since 2005 when the Green Wave cracked the ITA rankings at 72nd in late February and peaked in the polls at No. 63 in mid-March.
Last season, Booras' fourth at the helm of the Green Wave, was the best season since 2005. Tulane posted a 12-8 overall record, went 3-2 in Conference USA matches and earned as high as a No. 55 national ranking and ended the year ranked 69th. Booras helped guide Dominik Koepfer earn the C-USA Freshman of the Year and second team All-Conference.
Since taking over the program, Booras has brought in some of the nation's top talent to don the Olive and Blue. His initial signing class of Adam Bernstein, Coby Kramer-Golinkoff, Etham Frenkel and Trevor Getz comprised a group rated as the number 22 class in the nation by The Tennis Recruiting Network. Booras also added Joe Young, rated the number 11 prospect in California by The Tennis Recruiting Network; Rodrigo Rappaccioli, the number one ranked tennis player in Nicaragua and became the first player from his country to ever be ranked in the ATP World Tour; Idan Mark, a ATP World Tour Ranked amateur from Israeli; Kansas All-State performer Chris Somers; and Shaye Wali, a transfer from Lander University and former St. Petersburg (Fla.) Player of the Year.
Rappaccioli went on to earn second-team All-Conference USA honors as a freshman, while Mark received several national rankings during the 2010-11 season and was named the 2011 C-USA Newcomer of the Year after collecting 19 singles and 17 doubles victories during the season.
Booras joined Tulane from LSU, where he served as the associate head coach during his final four years and was an assistant coach during his first six seasons in Baton Rouge. He played a large role in the Tigers' success on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Booras' leadership was showcased in 2007 when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association named him its National Assistant Coach of the Year. He was also recognized in 2004 and 2007 as the best assistant coach in the ITA Southeast Region.
On the court, he was instrumental in helping the Tigers reach the NCAA Tournament during all 10 seasons with the program, and LSU never finished lower than No. 29 in the final national polls during his tenure. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA "Final Four" once, the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen" four times and to the "Round of 32" three times during his 10 seasons. Individually, Booras helped 14 players reach All-America status.
In the classroom under Booras' watch, five LSU players achieved Academic All-America status, while four players received SEC Men's Tennis Student-Athlete of the Year Awards, and one team member was awarded with the prestigious National ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr., Leadership and Sportsmanship Award in 2007. The Tigers garnered All-Academic Team honors by the ITA in 2004 and 2005.
LSU was honored by the NCAA in 2007 and 2008 for its Academic Progress Rate score, scoring a perfect APR of 1000 in the report, and was one of the 10 sports teams out of 236 squads in the entire SEC that were recognized for academic achievement by the NCAA, and was the only men's tennis team in the league to achieve the honor.
In his first season with the Tigers, Booras helped guide LSU to its second consecutive SEC Championship as well as a berth in the Final Four. The 1999 squad also won its second-straight SEC Tournament, becoming the first team to ever repeat as tournament champions.
He began his collegiate career for legendary coach Terry Deremer at West Virginia in 1989 and was a four-year letterman for the Mountaineers from 1989-93. He twice served as team captain, and was the Atlantic-10 Conference Player of the Year and the school's senior player of the year in 1993. In each of his final three seasons at West Virginia, Booras competed in both the NCAA singles and doubles championship tournaments. He was a top-20 singles and doubles player throughout his college career.
Following his collegiate career, Booras joined the ATP tour and continued his success, ranking as high as No. 240 in the world in doubles and 700 in singles. After a three-year career from 1994-96, he retired and decided to further his education. While earning his master's degree at West Virginia, he was also the volunteer assistant men's tennis coach and a private tennis instructor.
In 1999, he went to LSU as assistant coach, conducting practices, player instruction during matches and recruiting future players.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Booras graduated from West Virginia with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts in 1997, and received his master's degree in sport psychology from WVU in 2001.
Booras married the former Laura Anne Ingram on June 17, 2006.