After fifteen seasons at the helm of the women’s tennis team, where in six of those seasons he also coached the men’s tennis team, Director of Tennis, Jeff Trivette resigned his position as the head coach for the women’s tennis team over the summer. As Trivette keeps his position as head coach of the men’s team, as well as Director of Tennis, he also had the responsibility of selecting his replacement for the women’s program. In picking his new coach, Trivette did not exactly have to go across state lines to find an instructor. Or even outside the city of Greensboro. He actually did not even have to leave the floor of his office in the Coleman Building.
On August 6, it was announced that assistant coach and former UNCG tennis player, Alejandra Guerra, would take the reins as the head coach of the women’s tennis team. Guerra has been a part of UNCG athletics since 2007, when she was a standout player for the tennis squad. From 2007-09, the native from Tampico, Mexico was the best player on the tennis team, finishing her career with 84 total victories (47 from singles, 37 from doubles), two selections to the Southern Conference (SoCon) first team, a Conference’s Player of the Year Award in 2008, and a ranking as the 12th best player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association during her career. As a student, Guerra at her time at UNCG earned a Bachelor’s of International Business and Economics. In 2012, as a graduate student for the university, she worked as an assistant coach under Trivette while achieving a Masters of Liberal Arts. Last season, she was promoted to associate head coach.
Talking to newly promoted coach Ale Guerra, she talked about her background, working her way up the tennis program as a coach. “Coaching in [tennis is] something I have been wanting to do for a while, as it is the one thing I have been truly passionate about” Guerra said. “Being under his (Jeff Trivette’s) wing really pushed me to pursuit the position and when the opportunity presented itself, he said if you want it, it’s yours.” Guerra also explained how important coaching has helped her following her playing career. “Since I graduated from college. I love being a part of [tennis] and the only way to continue to be a part of [tennis] and working to pursue goals was through coaching” she explained.“My playing career was over and I was not ready to give up the sport of tennis so I became a part of this.”
Since coming to the university, Guerra has always been mentored by Jeff Trivette. She talked about the impact that he has had on her life both on and off the court. “Of course he is my boss, but he has been more of a mentor throughout all these years” Guerra said. She added, “moving away from my family in Mexico, he has definitely been a role model for me. I looked up to him, on and off the court, we have a relationship further than just tennis…”
Now as the head coach of the women’s tennis team, Guerra admits that her coaching style will have to change since her days as an assistant. “Jeff used to be the bad guy while I would break it down easy to the girls. I guess I have to be the bad guy now” Guerra said with a chuckle.
“I think I have to be more strict, they have been used to seeing me as the assistant and they respected me on and off the court, but now, running my own program will make things a little bit different” she concluded. Outside of changing as a coach, Coach Guerra talked about her personal change since arriving at Greensboro eight years earlier. “I have grown up a lot. When your watching tennis on the sidelines, you see things you do not see as a player and that has helped me grow as a coach and person.
And with her first season about to begin, like most coaches, veteran or first year, Coach Guerra already has high goals for what she wants her team to accomplish this season.
“Win a Conference title, that is why we work all year” Guerra said when asked about her team’s goals. “We have some great kids and if we work hard and we all come together, we will be competing for that championship.”
WIth the team working out in their off-season, coach Guerra has more than enough time to gain experience as head coach while working to improve her team for the season in the spring.