Mark Tjia, a veteran tennis coach with 18 years of coaching experience at multiple levels, was named UAB's head women's tennis coach on Jan. 17, 2014
Tjia joins the Blazers after spending the last three seasons as the assistant men's tennis coach at TCU. Among other accomplishments at his alma mater, the Horned Frogs most recently finished the 2012-13 season with an 18-10 overall record and ITA No. 38 national ranking.
"We are thrilled to welcome Mark Tjia to the UAB family," UAB Associate Athletics Director for Administration Matt Wildt said. "Mark brings a wealth of experience from multiple levels, both as a player and coach, to our women's tennis program. We look forward to Mark taking our program here to the next level."
A native of Gainesville, Fla., Tjia (pronounced "chia") coached three All-Big 12 players last season, while TCU player Nick Chappell garnered Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors under Tjia's guidance during the 2011-12 season.
Tjia, who was actively involved in all areas of the program, including recruiting, budgeting and travel, was named the 2012-13 ITA Texas Region Assistant Coach of the Year at TCU. He also played an instrumental role in helping the Horned Frogs to one of the top home-court advantages in the nation as TCU placed No. 1 in the ITA Fan Attendance Race.
"I am excited to be the next head coach for UAB women's tennis," Tjia said. "This has always been a passion and a goal of mine to be the head coach of a women's tennis program -- and to do it at a place like UAB that has unlimited potential is something I am extremely excited about."
Tjia joined TCU after serving as the Head Tennis Professional at the 300 Swim & Tennis Club in Gainesville, Fla., since 1997. In 2010, he was a volunteer coach for the Florida women's tennis team that reached the final round at the NCAA Team Championship. The Gators dropped a 4-3 decision to national champion Stanford in the final match.
Tjia played singles and doubles for three top-10 Horned Frog teams between 1989 and 1992, including the 1989 squad that reached the semifinal round at the NCAA Championships. Tjia played his entire college career under legendary former TCU coach Tut Bartzen. After receiving his bachelor's degree in business administration from TCU in 1992,
Tjia participated for several years on the ATP pro circuit. He achieved a high world ranking of No. 589 in singles in November 1994. After his playing days, he served as a coach on the WTA Tour and wrote and published the book "Loving the Battle!" - Tips to Improve Your Tennis Performance.
Tjia is married to the former Jenna Blythe.