Saint Leo University Director of Athletics, Francis X. Reidy, announced the appointment of Chris Frusci as the head coach of the Saint Leo University men's and women's tennis programs on June 5, 2014. Frusci joins the Lions after spending four years at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), including three as the head coach.
"We are excited to welcome Chris to our staff," Reidy stated. "He is a strong recruiter and has demonstrated he can be very successful in the dual role of men's and women's coach. He has enjoyed great success on both the regional and national levels in his young career, and I believe he will continue to build our nationally ranked programs. He is very familiar with Division II and is ready for the challenges of the SSC."
In his time at NYIT, Frusci proved himself to be a contender within the competitive world of Division II Tennis, leading the Bears to national prominence in its four seasons. During the 2014 season, the Lynbrook, N.Y. native led the NYIT men's team to its second consecutive trip to the NCAA DII round of 16, all while leading the women's team to an appearance in the NCAA DII Quarterfinal round, the farthest the Bears have advanced in their short four-year history as a program.
"Words cannot express the excitement of my new appointment as the head men's and women's coach at Saint Leo University," said Frusci. "Ever since I've been traveling to Saint Leo to play during spring break over the last few years, I've always wanted to be a part of the tennis culture here. Being a part of the Sunshine State Conference is something very special and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I am also looking forward to building on a very strong returning women's team that has the potential to do very big things. As for the men's team, they lost a very talented group of seniors that will be hard to replace, but I feel that with the help of Coach Parkes, the transition will be very smooth."
The 2014 ITA Men's and Women's East Region Coach of the year and 2014 ECC Co-Coach of the Year joins the Green and Gold with a resume stacked with success. Under his tutelage, both NYIT tennis teams finished the year ranked the ITA top-20, with the women finishing at No. 11, and the men coming in at No. 15. Both the men and women clinched their second-straight ECC Championship Titles throughout the course of the 2013-14 academic year, and in his three seasons as head coach, he has led 25 ECC All-Academic selections, 20 All-ECC selections, four CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees, four ECC Rookies of the year, three ECC Players of the Year, one ECC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, one ITA Women's East Region Player to Watch, one ITA All-American, and one CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America selection.
"I want to first thank Mr. Reidy and the rest of the staff at Saint Leo for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank NYIT for giving me the resources to grow as a young head coach and allow me to find my passion. Lastly, I want to thank my family for being so supportive in this life-changing career path. I have high expectations for this program, and I can't wait to get to work."
He inherits teams that reached impressive new levels of success throughout the 2013-14 academic year. The men's team saw themselves reach the program's highest ever national ranking, coming in at No. 4 on the March 27th ITA National Rankings. Owning a record of 18-5, the men's team closed out their Spring campaign defeating Florida Southern, 5-1 in the Sunshine State Conference Quarterfinals before being bounced out by top-seeded Barry in the semifinals.
The women's squad saw the Lions earn its highest ranking in program history, as well, concluding the season ranked No. 3 in the nation after an impressive post-season run that saw the Lions become the first ever women's program to advance out of regional play to NCAA Tournament action, as well as become the first ever program for Saint Leo to advance and become national semifinalists.
Frusci received his B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Muhlenberg in 2008.