May 17, 2013
Minnesota Men's Tennis Assistant Coach Urban Ljubic has been named the ITA Assistant Coach of the Year for the Central Region, as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association this afternoon.
Coaches are voted based on tennis accomplishments during the current season as well as overall career success. Other criteria include sportsmanship, team spirit, ethics, overcoming adversity, and community activity.
The native of Ljublijana, Slovenia, was served some extra adversity to tackle when he received the news that there were complications with his work visa and he would have to leave the country at the end of the season. Despite the news, he continued to remain committed to the job he loves and has been more passionate than ever.
Ljubic is highly responsible for the success the team saw during the 2012-13 season. After struggling at the beginning of the year, Ljubic was unwavering in encouragement towards the team and helped lift the squad back to a 15-11 overall finish. The Golden Gophers banded together to go on a 9-1 run to close out the regular season in second place, Minnesota's highest placement since 2000, among the heavy hitters of the Big Ten Conference and earn its fifth-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship.
"I'm really happy for Urban," said Head Coach Geoff Young. "It's been a long time coming. I can't think of anyone more deserving of an award like this than him. It has been a lot of fun to coach with him and I will miss him next year."
By winning the regional award, Ljubic is now in the running amongst 11 other candidates to be named the ITA National Coach of the Year. The winner will be voted on by a selection committee and will be announced next week Tuesday, May 21.
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