LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech women's tennis assistant Melissa Kopinski has been elevated to the position of associate head coach, Lady Raider head coach Todd Petty announced on Friday.
"We are so fortunate to have Coach Kopinski," Petty said. "She has been a proven winner from her playing days through her coaching career. She is a huge piece of our continued success."
Kopinski wrapped up her fifth overall season in Lubbock in 2021, helping guide the Lady Raiders to the program's ninth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and a 16-9 overall record with a 6-3 Big 12 mark which was good for third place in the conference.
She helped coach junior Kaitlin Staines to Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors in 2021, while also assisting in overseeing the development of 2021 All-Big 12 picks Staines, Lisa Mays and Margarita Skriabina.
In her first season as the assistant coach at Tech in 2018-19, Kopinski helped coach Lady Raider Felicity Maltby to All-America honors as the senior became the first player in program history to reach the NCAA quarterfinals. Maltby was also the Big 12 Player of the Year that season, as Texas Tech earned its eighth-straight NCAA bid and advanced to the Big 12 semifinals as the No. 4 seed.
Kopinski is in her second stint with the Lady Raiders, returning to Lubbock on Oct. 11, 2018, after spending one season at her alma mater, Illinois, as an assistant coach. From 2015-17, Kopinski was the volunteer coach at Tech.
During her time as an assistant at Illinois, Kopinski helped the Fighting Illini to a 22-6 record and the first NCAA Round of 32 appearance in nine years.
During her playing career at Illinois, Kopinski racked up a combined 162 victories highlighted by 88 doubles wins which ranks third all-time . She secured a trio of All-Big Ten selections while playing primarily at the No. 1 doubles position and either at the No. 2 or No. 3 singles slot for the Fighting Illini.
Kopinski earned ITA All-American honors in doubles with partner Rachael White in 2013. The pair advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals en route to 28 victories which checks in as the seventh-most in program history for a single season. They ended the season ranked No. 15 in the nation and No. 2 in the Midwest Region. Previously, the last time Illinois had an ITA All-American was in 1993.
Off the court, Kopinski was a Midwest Region ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award recipient. She also was named an ITA Scholar Athlete, Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree during her career.
Kopinski earned her Bachelor of Science degree in community health with a concentration in health planning and administration in 2015. Her twin brother, Tim, also was an ITA All-American tennis player at Illinois from 2012-15.