LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville Athletic Association on Friday voted to name Rodrigo da Silva, the head coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio the past four years, as its new tennis coach.
The move comes after the firing of veteran coach Rex Ecarma last month. Da Silva was an assistant to Ecarma from 2009 to 2014, a stretch in which the program won three Big Ten titles and went to five NCAA Tournaments.
"Words cannot describe how excited I am to be back in Louisville," da Silva said in a statement. "My family and I really enjoyed our time here and it feels like we are returning home to our Cardinal family. ... I can't wait to meet the team and get started."
U of L Athletic Director Vince Tyra said he met with the team on Thursday and got input from players and alumni at various points during the search.
"We are confident that we have landed a great leader," Tyra said. ". . . He's known for player development. You can see that when he was here, we had some of our greatest accomplishments. And some of those former players who reached out recognized what he did for their careers and for the program. Obviously he got the head coaching opportunity at UTSA and they've improved every year. His recruiting classes for the level have jumped into the top 10. And academically they've risen up."
Da Silva wasn't in town for the announcement, but expects to get here next week. He'll make a base salary of $105,000 per year, plus incentives and a $500 per month car allowance.
"These players, some are familiar with him, not all of them," Tyra said. "But yesterday we had a meeting with them in the afternoon. We weren't announcing who the coach would be, but where we were going with today's meeting. The tennis community is tight, so I think most were aware as we narrowed our candidates. . . . There was an air of excitement in the room yesterday."
Before he got into college coaching in 2006, da Silva was on staff at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
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