Mario Rincon embarks on his eighth season as the head coach of the Miami men's tennis program. With an young and talented lineup, Rincon and the Hurricanes look to carry on the tradition of excellence that has become synonymous with Miami tennis.
Rincon guided the Hurricanes to a 15-9 record and the No. 27 ranking last season. Led by senior, Christian Blöcker, the team advanced to the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships. Blöcker finished with a record of 13-20 in singles, playing the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. He was also named to his third All-ACC Academic team.
The team advanced to their fourth-straight NCAA tournament appearance in 2009, advancing to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2006 and the second time under his tutelage. Daniel Vallverdu was selected to his third-straight NCAA singles championships, earning a program-best fifth All-America honor. Vallverdu and fellow All-ACC selection Carl Sundberg entered the fall as the nation's top-ranked doubles pair.
The team finished the season ranked No.19 in the final ITA poll, its highest final ranking since 2006. In addition, the 16 team wins leaves Rincon just two wins shy of becoming one of the top-five winningest men's tennis coaches in program history.
In his first five seasons at the helm of the program, Rincon has had four players earn 11 All-America honors. Only three Hurricanes have earned as many as four All-America honors in program history -- with two (Vallerdu and Luigi D'Agord) accomplishing the feat under Rincon's guidance.
In 2006-07, three Hurricanes earned All-America honors. D'Agord, an All-American in both singles and doubles play, was ranked as high as ninth in the nation in 2006-07, repeated as ACC Player of the Year after his second-straight undefeated season in league play at No. 1, advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Tournament and finished his final collegiate season with a 28-5 singles record, including an 18-5 mark versus ranked opponents.
Josh Cohen wrapped up his career as the winningest Hurricane in program history with a combined 174 wins -- including 82 doubles victories, which ranks second-best all-time at UM. He earned All-America honors in doubles play alongside D'Agord as the duo, who were ranked as high as third in the nation, advanced to the NCAA's Round of 16.
Vallverdu earned his second All-America honors -- and first in singles play -- as a sophomore in 2006-07 and advanced to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Tournament. He finished the season ranked No. 34 in the nation, posted nine wins versus ranked players and repeated as All-ACC Men's Tennis Team and All-ACC Academic Team picks.
In 2006, Rincon earned ACC Coach of the Year accolades after leading the Hurricanes to a remarkable turnaround in just his second season at Miami. Just one year removed from a 12-11 campaign that saw UM finish ninth in the ACC with a 2-8 record, Rincon guided the Hurricanes to a 20-5 overall record and a share of the ACC regular season title with a 9-2 conference mark, culminating with the program's 41st appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Under his direction, the Hurricanes were ranked among the nation's top 10 for the first time since 1994, and finished the season No. 11 after the program's first "Sweet 16" appearance at the NCAA Tournament in five years.
That season, Rincon led the Hurricanes in a sweep of all three ACC postseason men's tennis awards for the first time in league history, as D'Agord was named the 2006 ACC Player of the Year and Vallverdu was selected ACC Freshman of the Year.
Coach Rincon took the helm of the Hurricanes' men's tennis program in October of 2004, following a three-year stint at the University of Alabama where he served as an assistant coach on the Crimson Tide staff. As an assistant at Alabama, Rincon shared in the Crimson Tide's recruiting efforts in addition to his day-to-day responsibilities of coaching.
Rincon joined the Crimson Tide in July of 2001 and along with head coaches, Billy Pate in 2002 and 2003 and Adam Steinberg in 2001, guided Alabama to two top-20 final rankings and one top-40 finish in three seasons. In 2002, Rincon helped lead Alabama to a No. 15 national raking after winning the NCAA East Regional and a birth into the NCAA "Sweet 16."
As a player, he spent nine years (1989-98) on the ATP tour, playing in each of the four Grand Slam venues: the U.S. Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open. As a professional, Rincon was ranked as high as No. 193 on the ATP tour and in the top 200 from 1994-96.
Rincon also spent five years (1993-97) on the Japanese pro tour, where he was ranked as high as No. 2 in singles, and was a member of the Colombian Davis Cup team for nine years (1989-98), leading the team to Group I in 1997.
Rincon was an NCAA All-American as a standout at the University of Kentucky, winning an SEC No. 2 flight Championship in 1988. He spent two seasons (1986-87) at North Greenville College (S.C.) where he was named the National Junior College Champion in 1987.
A native of Colombia, Rincon graduated from Kentucky in 2001 with a bachelor of science in Agricultural Communications. Rincon and his wife, Laura, are the parents of daughters Laura Sofia (11), Daniela Andrea (8) and Gabriela (4).