Bruce Berque watches Texas play South Florida on May, 4, 2019 at the Texas Tennis Center in Austin. Texas won 4-1. [Rodolfo Gonzalez/ for Statesman]

BEVO BEAT men's tennis

Following a national championship, Texas removes ‘interim’ from Bruce Berque’s coaching title

Posted May 23rd, 2019

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After winning a national title in just over two months on the job, Bruce Berque has earned a promotion.

Berque will be the next men’s tennis coach at Texas, athletics director Chris Del Conte announced on Thursday. Berque served as the team’s interim leader this spring after longtime coach Michael Center was fired for his involvement in the nationwide college admissions scandal. Texas went 15-2 with Berque and it beat Wake Forest this past weekend to win an NCAA championship.

“It was a no-brainer,” Del Conte said in a statement released by Texas. “We actually made the decision before we left for the National Championship. We had done our due diligence around the country, and we had the very best right in our own backyard. Sometimes you might think the grass is greener somewhere else, but with where we are right now and what Bruce has done with the program, from the time he took it over, we knew he was the right man to lead our program, the championship was just the icing on the cake.”

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This will be Berque’s second stint as a head coach. Previously, he led the men’s program at Michigan from 2005-14. Berque has also worked as an assistant at Illinois, Ohio State and Florida. He joined Center’s coaching staff at Texas in September of 2014.

When reached recently by American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, Center praised Berque effusively. Said Center: “Bruce does a great job. He’s a tremendous person and coach. He was a great asset to the program and did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of him, too.

The third head coach hired by Del Conte since his arrival in December of 2017, Berque is the first coach to be promoted from within. Del Conte had previously hired Kentucky’s Edrick Floréal and Oregon’s Mike White to direct Texas’ track and field and softball programs.

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