For new women’s tennis assistant coach Ace Matias, playing and coaching tennis is simply a part of his DNA.
With a name like Ace, it might not be a surprise that the new coach’s father, George, is a tennis instructor and his sister, Dianne, is the women’s tennis head coach at Cal State Fullerton.
“What I like about Ace is that he comes from a tennis background,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “His family is all involved in tennis so he knows tennis well.”
Matias played for the University of Utah as a freshman (’11-’12) then transferred to UNLV (’12-’15) where he competed at the No. 1 singles position and was team captain.
He has coached private tennis lessons for more than five years and worked summer camps at Cal State Fullerton. He hopes to integrate his coaching experiences with the energy he had playing at UNLV.
“From having the player’s perspective on coaching and dealing with college coaches, I want to implement what I liked in my college career from my coaches (…) and move away from what I didn’t,” Matias said. “I’m excited to bring that enthusiasm to the girls and make sure they achieve the best that they can.”
Jones-Spencer was impressed with the expertise of tennis and abilities Matias can bring to the team. Matias offers new ideas and drills from different programs. He also possesses a coaching style that will complement Jones-Spencer’s.
“He has a good background and knowledge of the game. That will help us in dual matches,” Jones-Spencer said. “He will be able to help the girls pull out tough matches.”
With several changes in the program, Jones-Spencer and Matias have put team goals in place to ensure a successful season this upcoming year.
“The big thing we are working on this semester is team unity. It’s big right now. We have new girls coming in, and we have Ace as the new assistant,” Jones-Spencer said. “The big thing is working on bringing the team together and getting a good team environment so that it can set us up for season.”
Matias also believes unity is the key to having a strong team.
“We need to unify the team and make sure they work hard every day, because it starts with them,” Matias said. “Just seeing one day worth of practice, I feel they have a lot of potential. It’s just really a team effort on all of our part. If they really want it they will achieve it.”
Here’s a video featuring Matias’ playing style when he was featured as Player of the Week at UNLV: