The 2018-19 season will mark the 13th for head men’s tennis coach Eric Berg. Also serving as the head women’s tennis coach for the Beacons, Berg has worked tirelessly on making both squads consistent competitors in the Little East Conference.
The 2018 campaign capped off a six-year run in which the Beacons have been fighting for supremacy atop the LEC. UMass Boston won the LEC Tournament Title in 2013 and 2017 and reached the LEC Title Match five times. Over the past six seasons, UMass Boston has recorded a 56-50 record, 30-6 mark in conference play, and reached at least the LEC Semifinals in every season.
In 2018, UMass Boston won their third LEC Regular Season Title in program history by virtue of a 5-1 regular season record. The Beacons overcame a slow start to win six of their final eight regular season matches and easily dispatched #4 Rhode Island College 5-2 in the LEC Semifinal Round. UMass Boston saw it’s season come to an end in the LEC Title match, when they fell 5-1 to Salem State University.
Berg put together one of his best coaching jobs during the 2016-17 season, as the Beacons reached the top of the Little East Conference for the second time in his tenure. For his hard work and efforts, he was named the LEC Coach of the Year for the second time.
Guiding a young squad that featured three new faces and five underclassmen, Berg led the Beacons to their second-ever perfect LEC Regular Season (6-0) and the program's third LEC Tournament Title in school history. Overall, UMass Boston finished 2017 with the fourth-most wins in program history (10-8).
UMass Boston's run started thanks to a dominant 2013 season, as the Beacons claimed their first Little East Conference Title since the first year of Little East play. Berg led the squad to a program-record 14-4 record and a program-best 12-game winning streak, en route to being named the first Little East Conference Coach of the Year in Beacons’ program history.
As a team in 2013, UMass Boston finished with a spotless record in the Little East, ending the regular season 6-0 and sweeping through Bridgewater State and defending champion UMass Dartmouth in the postseason, to earn the program’s first title since 1990.
After a 1-3 trip to Florida, UMass Boston returned to New England and won every match they played (12-0), including an 8-0 mark at home, before the Beacons made their NCAA Tournament debut against regionally-ranked Skidmore College. Despite being the heavy underdog, the Beacons raced out to a 2-1 lead after doubles play, before eventually falling 5-2 to the Thoroughbreds.
The Beacons placed all six members of their lineup on the Little East All-Conference Teams, with Alex Loyer, Charles Lai and David Hernandez all earning First Team honors in both singles and doubles.
The 2012 season was perhaps one of Berg’s most memorable campaigns as he led the Beacons to a program best number three seed going into the Little East Conference tournament. It was also in that year that Berg coached the program’s first conference Rookie of the Year in David Hernandez. Hernandez and doubles partner Charles Lai would each earn All-Conference honors as well under Berg’s tutelage. The Beacons eight win season marked a career-best for Berg since taking over the program.
Overall, Berg has coached four LEC Rookie of the Year award winners, including a stretch in which the Beacons had a Rookie of the Year award honoree in three-straight season (2015-2017).
Berg has been coaching tennis for over 20 years, beginning in 1992 he moved on to the college ranks, serving as an Assistant Coach for the Men’s & Women’s Tennis teams at Division I University of Central Florida. He remained in Florida to serve as a tennis pro at the Amré Sammakia Tennis Academy, where he coached state, national and internationally-ranked junior players for four years.
He continued his tennis pro career with the Bridges Family Resort & Tennis Club in Warren, VT, where he was an assistant from 1998-2009, and taught and coordinated various programs. Berg returned to the team coaching arena with a two-year tenure as the Head Boys Coach for Edsel Ford High School in Michigan, prior to his arrival on the UMass Boston campus. He would also serve as the Assistant Pro at Oyster Harbors Club in Osterville, MA from 2012-13.
Berg competed on the USTA National Amateur circuit as well, ranking number 13 in the nation among United States amateur doubles players and 19th among US singles players in 1991 and improved to number 16 among singles players the following year. His collegiate career included a three-year stint at The Ohio State University, followed a senior campaign at the University of Central Florida where he played number-one singles and doubles.
Berg graduated from Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication in 1993 and now resides in Dorchester, MA.