Bryan Koniecko was named the UCF women’s tennis head coach on July 5, 2016. The 12th head coach in program history came to the Knights following a two-year stint as the men’s tennis head coach at Brown University.
Facing a difficult schedule with 16 ranked opponents, UCF went 11-12 in the 2023 season, reaching the AAC Tournament finals and earning its fifth-straight NCAA Tournament berth. The season started off with a bang, collecting a 4-2 upset over No. 19 Arizona State in the first match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The team would go on to collect five additional ranked wins and earn the second seed in the AAC Tournament, not dropping a set in its march to the finals. Koniecko helped guide Marie Mattel to her second consecutive NCAA Singles Championship berth and AAC All-Conference Team honors. Also collecting All-Conference honors was fellow captain Nandini Sharma, who had a solid 12-5 dual singles record.
The Knights had a successful 2022 season, earning the regular season AAC title and a bid to the NCAA tournament. With a 16-8 overall record, UCF picked up huge wins over #9 Oklahoma State, #17 Baylor, and #18 Michigan, ending the regular season on an eight-game match streak. Koniecko also helped guide Marie Mattel to her first NCAA Singles Tournament berth after being named to the AAC All-Conference Team.
UCF picked up right where they left off after a shortened 2020 campaign. After dropping the first two matches of the season, the Knights went on to win 12 of their next 13. The Knights continued to hang around the high teens and low twenties in the Oracle/ITA team rankings for the majority of the season until they crossed paths with No. 4 FSU late in the campaign. Despite losing the doubles point, the Black and Gold were able to rally from behind as Valeriya Zeleva clinched the match as the last court standing, earning UCF's first win over a top-five team in program history. The win shot the Knights up to No. 8 in the team rankings, their highest mark ever. The momentum continued from there as the Knights blew past South Florida, Houston and No. 46 Tulsa on their way to their second straight American Athletic Conference title. The Knights earned the No. 9 national seed in the NCAA Tournament and the right to host the first two rounds for the first time in program history. UCF swept Charleston Southern in the first round, leading to a rematch with No. 23 Miami, who the Knights had swept earlier in the season. After losing the doubles point, the Black and Gold won all six first sets and went on to their second consecutive Sweet 16 with a 4-1 victory. UCF's run came to an end at the hands of No. 18 Duke in the third round with a record of 20-5, achieving a 20-win season for the third time in the Koniecko era. The Black and Gold can make the claim that they're state champs after going 10-0 against seven different in-state opponents, including a pair of wins against Florida and Miami.
The Knights were on pace to continue their upward trajectory in 2020 thanks to Koniecko and staff. After a tremendous win over No. 22 Baylor on the road and just before a home match against No. 4 Texas, the season was canceled due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. The team was ranked at No. 13 in the preseason Oracle/ITA poll before climbing to No. 12 a few weeks later, the highest ranking in program history.
UCF finished the 2019-20 season with a record of 10-3 in dual match play. The fall season saw success as well, as Marie Mattel and Rebeka Stolmar earned the doubles title at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships. Nandini Sharma won the Bedford Cup while Stolmar earned the consolation crown at ITA All-Americans.
Koniecko guided the Knights to their best season in program history in 2019. The team earned a record 24 victories during the spring and reached a then-record ranking of No. 18 in the Oracle/ITA poll after the team’s first-ever win over Florida on College MatchDay and earned their first conference title since 2002. The Knights swept Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before defeating No. 11 FSU for the first time ever to punch UCF’s first ticket to the Sweet 16. Koniecko became the fastest coach in program history to 50 wins on March 24, 2019, with a 4-1 victory over No. 34 Illinois.
Koniecko has earned back-to-back American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Awards (‘18 & ‘19). Koniecko isn’t the only one who took home honors in the 2019 season, as Marie Mattel took home Freshman of the Year award and Valeriya Zeleva was named conference Player of the Year. Zeleva, Ksenia Kuznetsova and Rebeka Stolmar were named to the All-Conference squad.
Doubles team Valeriya Zeleva and Ksenia Kuznetsova became the second tandem in program history to earn a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championships. Zeleva also earned a spot in the NCAA Singles Championships. The nod for UCF’s top duo earned Kuznetsova her second straight trip to the tournament, as she had made it in 2018 with Maria Martinez.
Koniecko encouraged his players to compete in ITF events throughout the years and played a vital role in encouraging Monica Matias to represent Puerto Rico in the Fed Cup, where she helped Puerto Rico to its first promotion to Americas Group I since 2010. Matias was named a Fed Cup MVP, one of five in the world. She was also tabbed as The American’s Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second time in her career.
In his inaugural campaign with the Black and Gold in 2017, Koniecko guided the Knights to a 13-9 record and a spot at the American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinals. Junior Monica Matias garnered All-Conference honors and was named The American Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The team took a huge jump in his second season at the helm of the Black and Gold as they climbed to a then-record ranking of No. 19 in the Oracle/ITA poll. The Knights defeated six out of seven ranked opponents, including a 4-3 victory against No. 15 South Carolina in the season opener and a 5-2 decision at No. 16 Baylor.
The UCF women’s tennis team received public recognition from the NCAA for its Academic Progress Rate in all three seasons of the Koniecko era to this point (17-19).
A strong recruiter, Koniecko brought three international players that held ITF Top 50 rankings to Ohio State, helping the women’s squad jump from No. 73 to No. 35 in the ITA rankings. In his first of two stints at Brown from 2010-12, Koniecko helped guide a previously unranked Bears men’s squad to a top 50 ranking as an assistant coach.
As the Brown head men’s coach from 2014-16, he aided a pair of Bears in Peter Tarid (First Team, 2016) and Justin To (Second Team, 2015) to All-Ivy League singles honors. The squad totaled 24 dual-match victories and garnered ITA All-Academic accolades following both campaigns.
Koniecko returned to his alma mater, Ohio State, in 2012 and was promoted to associate head coach during the 2013-14 campaign. During that season, he guided Ohio State to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009, a national ranking of 35 and an undefeated mark at home.
A five-time All-American at Ohio State, Koniecko led his team to four Big Ten regular season and tournament titles during his four years at Ohio State. He earned consecutive Big Ten Athlete of the Year accolades in 2008 and 2009, and was named league’s Freshman of the Year in 2006.
As a captain his senior year, Koniecko won the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Singles Title and was ranked No. 1 in the country individually. Ohio State was also ranked No. 1 in the country during his final campaign and finished as the national runner-up.
After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in 2009, Koniecko continued to play at the professional level where he reached an ATP career-high ranking of 651. He earned his first professional title in 2007, winning the ITF professional futures event in Ecuador. In 2008, he was also a runner-up in the ITF professional futures event in Peoria, Ill. The Long Island, N.Y., native also had the opportunity to compete in the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Open qualifying.
Koniecko traveled to over 17 countries to compete in tournaments such as the Junior Australian Open and Wimbledon. He was ranked as high as No. 45 in the ITF world junior rankings with a win over Marin Cilic and was ranked Top 10 nationally in the Boy’s 16s and 18s.
COACHING RECORD AT UCF
|YEAR||OVERALL RECORD||CONFERENCE RECORD||HOME RECORD||NCAA APPEARANCE|
|2019||24-4||6-0 / AAC CHAMPS||15-0||Sweet 16|
|2021||20-5||3-0 / AAC CHAMPS||16-1||Sweet 16|
|OVERALL||114-46 (.747)||20-6 (.769)||77-17 (.819)|