Samara brings 21 years of tennis experience as both a player and a coach to Louisiana. She takes over after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado the past two years. In her first year at CU the team finished with a 16-8 conference record and ranked No. 37 in the nation. She assisted in recruiting all over the world while at CU. She has been working as a tennis pro since 1999.
“I am very excited about the opportunity, and I look forward to seeing to what I can do to make the tennis program the best it can be,” Samara commented. “One of the biggest deciding factors for me was having an athletic department that is supportive and I feel UL is moving in the right direction, not just for tennis, but for all their athletic programs.
“It is a pretty exciting time for everybody, and I am happy that I am going to be a part of it. I look forward to merging the tennis program and the community in Lafayette.”
“We are very honored to welcome Tina to the Louisiana family,” senior associate athletics director Scott Farmer stated. “Tina brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and a coach, to UL and we are very lucky to have her.”
Samara is a 1996 graduate of the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in family and consumer sciences. While in Athens, Samara was an outstanding tennis student-athlete earning All-American honors in 1994 and 1995; a member of the Bulldogs 1994 national champion team; and was the number one nationally ranked doubles team in 1995.
She was crowned the 1993 Collegiate Grasscourt Singles champion, member of Georgia’s 1994 SEC title team and was a two-time national team indoor champion.
In 1995, Samara was listed in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd.”
She has participated as a tennis professional since 1996 and has coached at the national, collegiate, and professional levels. As an active member on the USTA/WTA/LTA Pro Tour, Samara also played on the Federation Cup for Norway in 1996-1998, and qualified for the U.S. Open singles draw in 1994 and 1995.
As a tennis professional at the Creek Club in Locust Valley, N.Y., Samara developed a fitness program for men and women, in addition to instructing adults, juniors and clinics.
Samara is also bilingual, speaking fluent Norwegian.