Get to know new BYU men’s tennis assistant coach Jonathan Sanchez

In mid-October, men’s tennis head coach Zack Warren announced he was hiring Jonathan Sanchez as the new assistant coach. As the former head men’s and women’s tennis coach for Concordia University Irvine from 2010-2023, Sanchez is bringing over a decade of coaching experience to BYU.

“I want to bring all those years of experience to BYU and help in any aspect that I can, from recruiting to development on courts to culture-building,” Sanchez said. “I think all my experience as a head coach and bringing it over here to BYU is only going to make this program more valuable and help get it to where we envision it.”

During his time at Concordia, he led the men’s and women’s teams to 277 total wins and helped both teams advance to the NCAA West Regionals in the last three seasons.

While Sanchez knew he would be leaving behind a lot of solid relationships with Concordia Irvine staff and athletes, he also knew he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to his alma mater and work with Warren, his former teammate.

“It’s been a discussion with my family that I’ve done as much as I can there, that it’s time to start considering moving on to something else,” Sanchez said. “So it kind of worked out at this perfect time where we were really seriously looking at some other options moving out of California as just a better option for my family but also career-wise. When I was given the opportunity, I said, ‘Absolutely.'”

Jonathan Sanchez with his wife, Jennifer, and two kids. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Sanchez.

Sanchez and Warren were former teammates during their collegiate career and Sanchez played his last season as the number one singles player. He is excited to go back to his roots and work with Warren to give the new tennis athletes the same experiences he had.

“How can you pass up on something like this?” he said. “To go back to the school I played at, to be with someone I admire and respect and like as a person, and to work alongside him is such a great opportunity.”

Sanchez admitted he was nervous to start coaching in the middle of the semester with athletes he hadn’t yet built relationships with, but he said he has since grown to love each player on the team.

“I think we have the best student-athletes in the country, and I’m feeling more confident about that every day I spend with them,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great team, a great group of young men who are so eager to listen and to work hard and to continue growing as tennis players and as individuals. You just can’t ask for something better than that.”

With less than a month to go until the start of the first season in the Big 12, both Sanchez and Warren are working to prepare the team for some tough competition.

“We’ve been working on developing and building culture, and building relationships with these players,” Sanchez said. “So when we’re on court with them during the season, competing and fighting for these points and these matches against very strong competition in the Big 12, you know that you have a foundation that you’ve been working so hard to build through that process and development. You know that they’re going to be able to give everything that they can when that moment comes.”

Sanchez says one of his main focuses as a coach is building relationships with the players.

“We want to win. We want to be the most competitive team out there, and we want to be the best,” he said. “But I think BYU is special in that all the coaches care so much about the people, the athletes, and working on the process, and not getting too caught up in the outcome, in the rankings, the wins and losses, but developing the people.”

The Cougars will begin their regular season in January. Their home matches are held in the indoor and outdoor tennis courts.

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