*2007 ITA Mountain Region Head Coach of the Year*
The man who brought UNLV men's tennis program its first-ever Mountain West Conference championship -- Owen Hambrook -- is back for his eighth season, which is the third-longest tenure in Rebel history.
The 2007 ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year stands second all-time in winning percentage at the school with a .552 clip after becoming the first coach in program history to finish at least four wins over .500 in each of his first three seasons. Also, last year's 13 victories make Hambrook only the second UNLV coach to reach double figures in victories every year at the helm.
The 2010 team made it two consecutive winning seasons after the 2009 squad finished with more dual wins (14) than all but one Rebel squad since 1997 and reached the semifinals of the MWC tournament for the third time under Hambrook.
In 2007, the Rebels' team title was not only the first league crown since the school was part of the Big West Conference in 1996, but it also took a program with a proud history back to the NCAA Championships as a team for the first time in nearly a decade. That season was also highlighted by Elliot Wronski earning a spot in the NCAA singles event and the squad turning in the highest combined GPA of any Rebel sport.
Named the sixth head coach in Rebel history but the first new leader since 1992, Hambrook moved over to the men's side in 2003 after serving as the top assistant for Kevin Cory and the UNLV women's team.
After leading the men's team to a 10-win improvement in his first season overseeing the program as an interim coach, Hambrook was rewarded for his efforts by getting the job permanently, the athletic department announced on June 4, 2004. That decision paid off immediately for the school as the 2005 Rebels posted the most victories (16) since 1997, finished 10-1 at home, downed a top-10 team for the first time in school history and returned to the ITA top 40 for the first time since 2001.
The list of accomplishments also included the school's first Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and ITA Regional Senior Player of the Year in NCAA singles qualifier Henner Nehles.
The 2006 squad won 13 times and continued to successfully defend its home courts with a 9-1 mark at the Fertitta Tennis Complex. In fact, the UNLV men boast a shiny 59-19 home record under Hambrook.
All of this success was not the norm at the beginning of the decade as Hambrook took over a squad that had set a school record for futility in 2003 with a 2-14 record. However, he quickly pushed the team back into the national rankings for the first time in two years and UNLV's 12-7 overall mark in 2004 included a second-place regular-season finish in the MWC and the best home record (9-2) since 1997. The season also produced a qualifier for the NCAA Singles Championship.
Prior to taking over the men's squad, Hambrook spent four years as an assistant with Lady Rebel tennis, including serving on the staff of the 2003 MWC regular-season champions, and the 2000 and 2002 league tournament champion women's teams. In 2002, Hambrook was recognized for his work when he was named ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year, only the second such honor in school history.
Hambrook joined UNLV after having served as director of the state's largest junior program -- the Junior Tennis Academy at the Sports Club of Las Vegas from 1996-2000. Previously, the certified tennis professional worked as the tennis pro at the MGM Grand Hotel for two years.
Before moving to the Silver State, he served as pro at the Barrybrooke Tennis Club in Kansas City, Mo., and then was director of the Heartland Tennis Camp at Missouri Western State College from 1993-95. Active in the USTA, he has been head coach for the Southern Nevada USTA Training Center and was honored as a USTA High Performance Coach in both 1998 and 2000.
A 1991 graduate of Northwest Missouri State, Hambrook was a three-year member of the Bearcats' tennis team. He and his wife Julie, have a son, Jack (10) and a daughter, Hannah (8).