116 Intercollegiate Athletics Building | 949-824-8366

Head Coach Mike Saunders

Mike Saunders is an alum of the UC Irvine tennis program where he competed with the Anteaters from 1986-90 and was team captain as a junior and senior.

In 1989, he helped guide the program to a No. 4 ranking in the nation including a 5-4, upset victory at home over No. 1 UCLA.

He also help the program to a win over USC, advance to the finals of the ITA National Indoors, and a ranking as high as No. 3 in the nation. He won two Big West conference singles titles at No. 6, earned Big West scholar-athlete honors, and was voted Most Inspiration Player by his coaches and teammates.

Saunders followed his collegiate career by playing professionally in satellite and challenge tournaments around the world.

He later coached Trevor Kronemann and David McPherson on the ATP tour the year the doubles duo finished No. 11 in the world.

In recent years, Saunders has worked as a private coach with WTA tour players, Division I college players, and some of the nation's best juniors.

The Saunders File

  • Coached on ATP tour, WTA tour, Division I college
  • UC Irvine team captain - 1989, 1990


Contact Coach Saunders

Email: michaes@uci.edu | Phone: 949-824-8366

Office: IAB 116

Assistant Coach Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson is in his tenth season of his second stint as an assistant coach at UC Irvine.

Nelson was the Assistant Boy's Tennis Coach at Santa Margarita Catholic High School from 1999-2006, helping the team to the CIF Playoffs in seven seasons. Santa Margarita was a four-time Serra League finalist and the 1999 Serra League champion in his time at the school.

Nelson is the Founder/CEO of National Preferred Mortgage, a residential mortgage brokerage firm in Orange County. He has worked in the mortgage industry since 1985. Nelson spent the 1991 season as the Anteaters assistant coach under Head Coach Greg Patton, helping UCI win the PCAA team championship and earn the year-end ranking of No. 17.

Nelson was a five-time PCAA Conference champion for the Anteaters from 1981-83 with two singles and three doubles titles and helped UCI to two conference championships, and a career high national ranking of No. 9. He went on to the ATP Tour in 1981, 1983-85 holding a world ranking in singles and doubles, and competed at Wimbledon in 1984.

The Nelson File

  • Five-time Big West (PCAA) Conference Champion at UC Irvine
  • Former ATP Professional

Contact Coach Nelson 

Email: renelson@uci.edu | Phone: 949-824-8366

Office: 116

Volunteer Assistant Coach Shuhei Shibahara

Shuhei Shibahara has been brought on as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2015-16 season.

Shibahara just finished off a four-year collegiate career with the Anteaters where he amassed 42 dual match singles wins and 26 dual match doubles wins.

He garnered All-Big West recognition as a senior earned honorable mention singles honors and as a freshman teaming with Fabian Matthews as an honorable mention doubles duo.

The Shibahara File

  • Two-time All-Big West honoree

Contact Coach Shibahara

 Email: | Phone: 949-824-8366


Back To Top