Eric Burns has been named the men’s and women’s tennis coach at Wright State University, Raider Deputy Director of Athletics Dr. Roderick Perry announced Thursday.
Burns had been the successful head coach of both programs at IPFW until the sports were discontinued there in April. Over his 13 years as head coach, the men posted 135 wins while the women won 232 matches and four Summit League titles, advancing to the NCAA Tournament three times in 2010, 2011 and 2013. The 2010 NCAA appearance was the first in program history. He led the women’s team to 10 consecutive winning seasons, including five 20-win seasons, while capturing the Summit League regular season championship in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
"I believe Coach Burns is a great fit for Wright State University," Perry said. "He has a proven track record as a head coach with multiple NCAA tournament appearances. I know he will work tirelessly to build upon the foundation established by previous coaches and student-athletes to take both teams to new heights of success."
With Burns at the helm, IPFW women’s tennis was a dominant force in the Summit League since joining in 2007-08, never finishing lower than third in the regular season standings with four titles. The Dons advanced to the Summit League Championship finals six times, winning three.
Burns was 55-5 all-time in Summit League regular season matches over eight years, which gives him the highest winning percentage in the history of the league, and had 27 players earn All-League honors in that time.
"I am very proud and honored to become the head coach at Wright State University," said Burns. "I want to thank Bob Grant, Dr. Perry and the entire search committee for giving me this great opportunity to continue doing a job I love. I believe, with some hard work, our teams can achieve great success and compete for Horizon League championships yearly. I am really excited to get started and work toward our goals of great academic success and gaining a conference championship and NCAA berth."
Burns coached Amy Recht, who is the only athlete in Summit League history to be named the league's Player of the Year all four years (2008-11) in any sport, while also coaching Summit League Players of the Year Anita Henestrosa (2013) and Mayu Soto (2014 and 2015). He also coached five Summit League Newcomer of the Year winners in Recht (2008), Ingrid Ballus (2009), Anita Henestrosa (2012), Soto (2014) and Sara Sherif (2015) and coached Alex Forsyth and Katie Brien to the first-ever ITA national singles and doubles rankings in school history in 2009.
Academics were a strength of the tennis programs during Burns' tenure at IPFW and his teams all performed extremely well in the classroom. Women’s tennis was selected as an ITA All-Academic team in 12 of his 13 seasons at IPFW, and the program had four CoSIDA All- Academic District selections (Beth Miller, Ingrid Ballus(2), and Alex Forsyth). Ballus was also named CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2011, the first tennis player in school history to receive this award.
Burns got his coaching start as an assistant coach at Franklin in 2000 and was a volunteer assistant at Anderson University in 2001. He then worked as an assistant at IPFW for one season under Roxann Krahn before taking over as head coach in 2002. He has also worked as a teaching pro at French Lick Springs Resort (1999) and with Indianapolis NJTL in 2000-2002. Burns also got experience as an assistant boys coach at Shelbyville High School in 2000, helping them to their first ever semi-state appearance.
A 1999 graduate of Franklin College, Burns was a four-year letter winner and helped lead the Grizzlies to their only Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title in school history in 1999 while capturing two individual conference titles. He graduated from Franklin with a Bachelor’s in Physical Education in 1999 and later earned his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Ball State in 2003.