Aug. 2, 2006
One of the top players in the 84-year history of the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis program, Ryan Sachire (pronounced SATCH-ur-ee) is returning to his alma mater to be an assistant coach, it was announced today by head coach Bob Bayliss. Sachire ended his professional career a year ago and was an assistant at Baylor in 2005-06, helping the Bears to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. A three-time singles All-American, he replaces Todd Doebler, who was hired last week as the head coach at Penn State University.
“I am so excited about Ryan’s joining us that I can’t wait for practices to begin!” said Bayliss. “I truly feel that we have the top assistant coach in the country and that his presence will energize our players to achieve new success this year. When Ryan enrolled at Notre Dame, he brought the same infectuous enthusiasm. On top of that, it really helps to have someone who has won professional tournaments and played at a top 300-400 ATP level out on the courts with our guys.”
“I am really excited to come back to Notre Dame,” said Sachire. “It is really special to return here as a coach after also being a student-athlete at Notre Dame. It is a dream come true for me. I have the utmost respect for Coach Bayliss, and it will be a great thrill to have the opportunity to work with him.”
Sachire was instrumental in helping Baylor to an outstanding season in 2005-06. Despite losing two NCAA singles champions (Benjamin Becker and Benedikt Dorsch) to graduation, the Bears finished 25-7 and #4 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings. Baylor advanced all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship before falling 4-3 to then-undefeated national #1 Georgia. The Bears won their fifth consecutive Big 12 Conference championship, slugging their way through a league that saw five teams finish among the national top 25. Sachire also helped several individual players to strong performances, as sophomore Lars Poerschke ascended to the national #1 ranking in singles on Jan. 10, 2006, and went on to be an All-American. Baylor ended up with three players (Poerschke #4, Michal Kokta #34, Matija Zgaga #62) and two doubles teams (Kokta/Poerschke #11, John Reckewey/Zgaga #51) in the final ITA national rankings.
“Ryan was a big part of our success this past season at Baylor,” said BU head coach Matt Knoll. “While we are sorry to lose him, we understand that he and his wife Cindy are going home to Notre Dame. The Baylor family wishes them the very best.”
Six years after graduating, Sachire remains one of the top players in Irish tennis history. He remains the only Notre Dame player ever to win 30+ singles matches in all four of his collegiate seasons and one of only two to earn four invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship. One of the three ND players ever to be a three-year All-American, he finished in the national top 40 in singles four times and on five occasions appeared at a career-high of #2 in the ITA national singles rankings (four of those instances saw him behind only Harvard’s James Blake, who is currently ranked fifth in the world). Sachire posted a 138-43 record in singles – placing him second on Notre Dame’s all-time wins list – and a 73-32 mark in doubles. In 2000, he swept the ITA’s major awards for seniors, being tabbed the Ted A. Farnsworth/ITA National Senior Player of the Year and winning the John Van Nostrand Memorial Award, which provides a stipend to the top senior player embarking on a professional career.
“The hiring of Ryan Sachire at Notre Dame is going to have an immediate and positive impact on their team,” said Harvard head coach Dave Fish. “He has played at the highest levels of the college game and had some outstanding results at the professional level. The Notre Dame players will benefit instantly from his expertise and presence on the court.”
An elite singles player throughout his career – who was 72-19 at No. 1 singles – he was a regular in the collegiate grand slams. Sachire’s best result was a trip to the title match of the 1998 ITA All-American Championships, where he lost to Blake. He also won the consolation title in the 1999 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships and reached the semis of the 1999 ITA National Clay Court Championships. He also reached the semifinals of the ITA Midwest Championships three times, including a runner-up result in 1996. Sachire three times was invited to be on the elite USTA Summer Collegiate Team that trains and plays pro tournaments together in the summer.
Sachire posted a 72-19 record at No. 1 singles for the Irish.
Sachire ranks among the top five in 13 different categories in the Irish record book. Among the notable career rankings are second in combined singles and doubles victories (211) and combined singles and doubles dual-match victories (141), third in wins at No. 1 singles and doubles dual-match victories (64), as well as fifth in singles dual-match wins (77).
He helped the Irish to a 67-33 (.670) mark during his collegiate days, as well as four consecutive finishes in the national top 35 (including 16th in 1997), four NCAA tournament bids, and the 1999 BIG EAST Conference championship. Sachire was twice tabbed the conference tournament MVP and was the ITA Midwest Region Player of the Year in 1998 and 2000 after being the region’s top rookie in ’97. He was voted the team’s MVP four times. A two-time BIG EAST Conference Academic All-Star, Sachire graduated in 2000 with a degree in economics.
Upon leaving Notre Dame, Sachire played five years of professional tennis, climbing to as high as 184th in the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) world doubles rankings and 391st in singles. He captured 16 tournament titles in doubles, 14 on the futures circuit, as well as challenger-level championships at Waco in 2002 and Atlantic City in ’03. In singles, Sachire has a pair of pro titles to his credit, winning futures events in St. Joseph, Mo., (2002) and Lachine, Quebec (2003). He was among the top 35 American players in the ATP rankings in both singles and doubles and also served as director of tennis for the Wickertree Tennis and Fitness Center in Columbus, Ohio, before joining the Baylor staff.
Born April 2, 1978, Sachire is a native of Canfield, Ohio, and a 1996 graduate of Canfield High School. He dropped just five singles matches during his entire prep career en route to capturing a pair of Ohio state singles titles. He also was ranked as high as 24th in the USTA national singles rankings in the 16-and-under division.
Sachire married the former Cindy Harding – a 1999 Notre Dame graduate and former Irish cheerleader – on June 30, 2006, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus.