SMITHFIELD, RI — Bryant University Athletics Director Bill Smith announced Nestor Bernabe as the next coach for Bryant’s men’s tennis program Wednesday afternoon.
Bernabe brings nearly 20 years of coaching experience to Smithfield and has been a mainstay of the Rhode Island tennis community.
“We are very excited to welcome Nestor as head coach to our men’s tennis program,” said Smith. “Nestor’s passion and enthusiasm came through during the interview process. He has a proven track record of identifying and developing exceptional people and tennis players. Bryant’s men’s tennis is in great hands with Nestor Bernabe.
Bernabe has spent the last 14 years as Director of Tennis at Providence Tennis Academy. During his time at Providence Tennis Academy, Bernabe worked with nine Rhode Island High School Singles champions and 10 Rhode Island High School Players of the Year. Furthermore, he was part of Jared Donaldson (former ATP Top 50) throughout his journey from junior tennis to pro.
“First, I want to thank Mr. Smith for this incredible opportunity,” said Bernabe. I am very excited to have been chosen to be the next men’s tennis coach at Bryant University. The Bryant Tennis program is like a giant family and I look forward to joining the team and taking it to the next level. This program has a great tradition and our facilities are second to none and will continue to improve. I feel very lucky to be the next manager and I’m excited to help this team accomplish great things.”
Prior to her time at Providence Tennis Academy, Bernabe spent two years at the Solaris Tennis Club in Stamford, Connecticut. He has coached over 100 USTA New England ranked players and 50 nationally ranked players.
Bryant will be Bernabe’s third collegiate training stop. He spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach for Fairfield University’s men’s and women’s tennis programs. Prior to Fairfield, Bernabe spent three years as an assistant coach and recruitment coordinator at Brown. He was part of five All-IVY selections, one ranked singles player and four ranked doubles teams. Bernabe’s 2010 recruiting class was ranked number 21 in the country by tennisrecruiting.net.
In addition to these coaching positions, Bernabe also played professionally from 2003 to 2007, earning ratings in singles and doubles. He was also a WTA Tour practice partner for Justine Henin-Hardenne at the 2004 US Open.
A 2003 graduate of Sonoma State with a BA in American Multicultural Studies, Bernabe was a four-time MVP of the Sonoma State men’s tennis team. He ended his collegiate playing career by earning first-team All-American honors as a senior in 2003. The Sonoma State University Alumni Association Athlete of the Year in 2003, Bernabe was ranked #16 in singles at the end of the year and had a US Ranking National Open #130. During his career, Bernabe was ranked #10 in singles (2002) and #4 in doubles (2001), while posting a career record of 142-49.
During college, Bernabe was also an instructor at Evert Tennis Academy and co-founder and head professional of One Love Tennis Academy. In addition, he also served as the vice chairman of the Sonoma State Student Athletes Advisory Committee during his junior and senior years.