July 2, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame third-year assistant men’s tennis coach Ryan Sachire has been elevated to the position of associate head coach, head men’s tennis coach Bobby Bayliss announced Wednesday.
“Notre Dame and this men’s tennis program is very lucky to have a person and coach the quality of Ryan,” said Bayliss. “He is simply one of the top coaches, head coaches included, in the country. He has made an immediate impact with our program, both on and off the court, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
“I’m thrilled that Coach Bayliss respects my abilities as a coach,” Sachire said. “The promotion to associate head coach will bring about exciting new challenges and opportunities as I journey to one day heading my own program at the collegiate level. I’m really excited about next season and our growth will show on different levels. We are more mature, more experienced and ready to compete at the highest level.”
One of the top players in the 85-year history of the Notre Dame men’s tennis program, Sachire just finished his second year at his alma mater. He ended his professional career in 2005 and was an assistant at Baylor in 2005-06, helping the Bears reach the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
A three-time All-American as a player, Sachire made an immediate effect on the Irish. In his first season with Notre Dame in 2006-07, the Irish reached the NCAA Round of 16 for the second straight year, finished with the most victories in a single season since 1980-81 and ended the campaign ranked sixth in the country (the highest ranking to close a season since being ranked third at the completion of the 1991-92 season). Sachire was also instrumental in the performance of departed senior Stephen Bass. Bass not only became the 18th All-American in Notre Dame men’s tennis history, but also captured the John Van Nostrand Memorial Award, which provides a stipend to the top senior player embarking on a professional career (an award Sachire captured in 2000).
This past season, the Irish again captured the BIG EAST title and reached the NCAA Championship for the 17th time in the past 18 years. Notre Dame did so despite the graduation of three of its top six players from 2006-07 and the inclusion of three freshmen into the six starting singles spots.
Sachire also has been a major factor in recruiting, as each of the last two recruiting classes were ranked among the top 10 in the country, including this year’s class which is ranked as high as fifth in the nation by TennisRecruiting.net.
Sachire was instrumental in helping Baylor compile 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 fourth 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.
Six years after graduating, Sachire remains one of the top players in Irish tennis history. He is the only Notre Dame player ever to win 30-plus 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 three Notre Dame 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, now 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.
An elite singles player throughout his career (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 semifinals 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 ranks among the top five in 13 different categories in the Irish record book. Among his 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 compile 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.
— ND —