August 21, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Pablo Pires De Almeida, who has served as an assistant men's tennis coach at USF for the past four seasons, has been promoted to head coach, Director of Athletics Scott Sidwell announced today.
He succeeds Peter Bartlett, who has served as head coach of the men's program for the last 16 seasons. Bartlett will continue his duties as director of tennis for both men's and women's programs.
"We are thrilled to promote Pablo to the head coaching position," said Sidwell. "His dedication and passion for our student athletes is at the core of our vision to be a nationally prominent athletic department. We are excited to see his growth and have our tennis program continue to Aim Higher."
Pires de Almeida originally joined the staff in 2009-10 as an assistant coach and was promoted to associate head coach in 2011-12. During his coaching tenure, Pires De Almeida has helped the Dons reach their highest ITA ranking in program history at No. 58 in 2011-12 and mentored Thai Tu's rise to No. 60 in the ITA individual rankings in 2011-12. In 2010, he became the first USF assistant coach to receive the ITA NCAA Division I Northern Region Coach of the Year Award.
In 2012-13, USF more than doubled its win total from the previous season to finish 14-8 overall and 4-4 in West Coast Conference dual matches. The Dons advanced to the semifinals of the WCC Tournament before falling to No. 10 Pepperdine. Bernardo Saraiva and Thai Tu earned second team All-WCC honors in singles, while Saraiva and Nils Skajaa earned first team doubles' honors. Seven USF players earned WCC All-Academic recognition.
"It's truly an honor to be named head men's tennis coach at USF," said Pires De Almeida. "I have been associated with our program for over 12 years and feel fortunate to have been mentored by Peter Bartlett as a student-athlete and a coach. I welcome the opportunity to continue to work with Peter, our student-athletes and administration to take the program to the next level and contend for the WCC championship and qualify for the NCAA tournament every year."
A former standout player on the Hilltop from 2000-05, Pires De Almeida was a three-time All-West Coast Conference selection in singles and doubles, earning first team singles honors as a senior. He climbed to as high as No. 61 in the Division I singles' rankings and No. 70 doubles' competition. In 2004, Pires de Almeida became USF's first recipient of the prestigious ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
After graduating from USF in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, Pires De Almeida played professionally on various circuits around the world.
Following his professional career, Pires De Almeida became a high performance coach and mentored some of the top junior players in the United States. He coached the Boys' 18s Northern California National team and remains active in USTA and Northern California tennis programs.
This summer, Pires De Almeida coached a team of top junior players in Northern California to a victory over their Southern California counterparts in the prestigious Maze Cup, a five-match Davis-Cup format featuring the top junior players in California.
A native of Fairfax, Calif., Pires De Almeida attended Sir Francis Drake High School in Fairfax before enrolling at USF in the fall of 2000.
Courtesy of USF Athletics