AMHERST, Mass. – A familiar face returns to the Mullins Center courts as Juancarlos “JC” Nunez has been named the University of Massachusetts women's tennis head coach as announced by Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford today.
Nunez spent the last two years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Brown University following a six-year stint as assistant coach for the Minutewomen. He succeeds legendary coach Judy Dixon who retired following the 2016-17 season after leading UMass to an Atlantic 10 Championship title and the NCAA Tournament.
“We are very pleased to welcome Juancarlos in his return to the University of Massachusetts,” said Bamford. “It is fitting that after Judy Dixon's remarkable 25-year run at UMass, we name a former assistant coach to replace her. JC has proven in his young coaching career that he is ready for the challenge of running his own program. We are excited to have him back in Amherst to build on the many successes UMass has had under Coach Dixon.”
The return for Nunez reunites him with several players he recruited before his time at Brown, while the program itself is in a strong position among the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“UMass is family for me, which makes this a truly exciting opportunity,” said Nunez. “I am deeply humbled and honored to lead the UMass women's tennis program. Coach Judy Dixon has established a remarkable legacy at UMass and my goal will be to continue building upon the foundation that she leaves.”
“I want to thank Ryan Bamford, Darrice Griffin, and Joan Hopkins for believing in my vision for this program,” said Nunez. “I would also like to thank my wife, Mary, our family, and friends for their support. I wouldn't be here without them. I'm excited for the future of this program and cannot wait to get to work.”
At Brown, Nunez helped guide a pair of All-Ivy League selections in 2015-16 and 2016-17. He coached the leading doubles pair of Alyza Benotto and Dayna Lord to the program's highest national ranking (No. 45) in program history. In addition to his on-the-court work, Nunez was also responsible for all academic supervision, assisting with fundraising efforts, and coordination of recruiting, social media and compliance work.
In his time with the Minutewomen (2009-15), Nunez helped the program post six-consecutive winning seasons including a pair of finals appearances in the Atlantic 10 Championships alongside two other semifinal appearances. He was named the ITA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2013.
Overall, Nunez helped 16 players earn All-Atlantic 10 honors highlighted by rising senior Ana Yrzusta's 2015 A-10 Most Outstanding Rookie accolade. Additionally, UMass was tabbed an ITA All-Academic Team twice during his tenure while 19 Minutewomen were named ITA Scholar-Athletes. Nunez assembled four top-25 recruiting classes in his six years with Dixon as well.
Prior to UMass, Nunez served as an assistant coach for the women's tennis team at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, in 2008-09.
As a student-athlete at UALR, Nunez posted a 78-30 career singles record including a 24-5 mark as a junior. Nunez served the Trojans as a captain as a senior in 2007-08 and earned Academic All-District honors on three occasions.
A native of Valenica, Venezuela, he earned a bachelor's degree in speech communication from UALR in 2008. As a graduate student at Massachusetts, he attained master's degrees in sport management and higher education administration. He is married to Mary Nunez who is a double graduate from UMass as well.
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