VALDOSTA, Ga. – Arkansas men’s tennis assistant coach Eduardo Rincon was honored by his alma mater, Valdosta State, this past weekend by being inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. Rincon is a member of the 15th class to be honored by the Valdosta State Athletic Hall of Fame, and one of six recipients of the prestigious honor last week.
"Being inducted into the Valdosta State University’s Hall of Fame is the biggest honor I have ever received," said Eduardo Rincon. "My time as a student athlete there was crucial in my development as a person and as a coach." A three-time All-American for Valdosta State, Eduardo dominated on the tennis courts in 2004 and 2005 while leading VSU to the Gulf South Conference championship his first year. Rincon was also awarded the Mid-South Conference Player of the Year honor in 2002. He was named to the All-Gulf South Conference team during his seasons with the Blazers while tallying 20 wins against just nine losses in doubles action and 15 victories against six losses in singles play while playing No. 1 during the 2004 season.
As a senior in 2005, he went 14-3 in singles and 18-1 in doubles for a career record of 29 wins against nine losses in singles and 39 victories versus 10 losses in doubles play. He finished with top-five rankings in both singles and doubles and won the 2004 ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. He reached No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles at different points during his career. For his accomplishments on and off the court, Rincon was also named the 2004 Male Athlete of the Year at Valdosta State.
Following his playing career, he went into coaching with his first stop at the University of Alabama as the assistant coach to the women’s tennis team. During his three seasons at Alabama, Rincon was instrumental in guiding the Crimson Tide to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and a top-40 final season ranking. He helped guide the team to a berth in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, a year in which the team finished the season with a No. 39 national ranking. He also coached several ranked players during his stay at Alabama.
Under Rincon’s tutelage, Alabama’s Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley earned first-team All-SEC honors, while Mari Muller was named to the all-conference second team in 2006. Robinson received an invitation to the 2006 NCAA Singles Championship and she teamed with Bentley to earn a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championship that same season. Stephenson finished the year with a No. 24 singles ranking, while she and Bentley were No. 18 in the final ITA doubles rankings.
Subsequently after his position at Alabama, Rincon joined the Razorbacks as the assistant coach for men’s tennis in the summer of 2008. He has made an impact on the program and is highly respected among colleges and coaches. His experience and expertise make him a key factor to the success of the Razorback program. At Arkansas, he’s helped coach two All-Southeastern Conference selections in Blake Strode and Chris Nott, and one All-American (Strode). Strode advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA individual championship in 2009.
"It was great seeing my former coach, John Hansen, and some of my professors and friends," said Rincon. Most importantly, I was happy to once again be able to thank everybody for what they have done for me." The ceremony was held Saturday in the Valdosta State Student Union Ballroom, where Rincon was honored and inducted into the School’s Athletic Hall of Fame.