The 2017-18 season will mark the 12th 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.
Berg put together one of his best coaching jobs this past spring, 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).
The 2017 campaign caps off a five-year run in which the Beacons have been fighting for supremacy atop the LEC. After winning the LEC Tournament Title in 2013, the Beacons reached the LEC Championship Match in 2014 and 2016, only to fall just short. Over the past five years, UMass Boston has recorded a 47-44 record, 25-5 mark in conference play, and reached at least the LEC Semifinals in every season.
UMass Boston's five-year 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.
UMass Boston reached the LEC Semifinal Round for a third-straight season in 2015, as the Beacons enjoyed a 4-2 mark during the LEC Regular Season, before falling 5-4 to UMass Dartmouth in the semifinals.
The Beacons followed up their strong 2013 with another big campaign in 2014, as they finished 9-9 and made it to their second consecutive Little East Conference Tournament Title Match. After a rough 0-5 start against difficult non-conference opponents, the Beacons strung together wins in nine of their next 12 matches, including a 5-1 regular season mark against Little East Conference competition.
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.
Quick to make changes, Berg led the tennis program to their highest win total to date in just his second season at the Harbor Campus. Their finish in the Little East Conference marked one of the best in three seasons.
He would go on to coach the Beacons’ number one player to the Little East Conference Flight One Singles championship, while directing UMass Boston’s number three doubles tandem to a LEC Flight Three Doubles crown.
Berg has been coaching tennis for over 20 years, beginning in 1991 where he was an Assistant Coach for the Churchill High School Boys team in his home state of Michigan. Berg 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 for the fall and spring campaigns and 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 has been as an assistant since 1998 and taught and coordinated various programs. The well-respected resort has consistently been recognized in the top 50 tennis resorts by Tennis Magazine. 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.
Prior to his ascension to the coaching ranks, Berg was nothing short of an outstanding tennis player, competing at the collegiate level for The Ohio State University, where he compiled a 64% winning percentage in nearly 50 matches and then took his game to University of Central Florida, where he starred as the squad’s number one singles player as a senior in 1992.
Berg has competed on the Amateur circuit as well, ranking number 13 in the nation among United State amateur doubles players and 19th among US singles players in 1991 and improved to number 16 among singles players the following year. He was also a quarterfinalist in both singles and doubles play at the US National Amateur Indoor Championships in 1991.
Berg graduated from Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication in 1993 and now resides in Dorchester, MA.