Matt Brothers enters his tenth season as the head coach of the DePaul men's tennis team in 2016-17 and has made a positive impact on the program since he began his tenure with the Blue Demons.
Putting together a challenging schedule has been a staple since Brothers came to Lincoln Park in August of 2007. His teams routinely compete against some of the toughest programs and tournaments in the country. He has tutored five All-BIG EAST Conference selections and two all-BIG EAST Championship team honorees.
Brothers has put together an 116-115 record in nine seasons, including 22 BIG EAST wins. He has led the Blue Demons to four top-four finishes as the BIG EAST Championships, including second place finishes in both 2009 and 2014.
With an emphasis on building character and success in the classroom as well as on the court, Brothers has tutored 25 All-BIG EAST Academic selections while six of his teams have been honored by the ITA for recording a cumulative team GPA above 3.2. In addition, several of his student-athletes have been named ITA Scholar Athletes for having an individual GPA above 3.5.
The Blue Demons 2015-16 season concluded with a semifinal finish in the BIG EAST Championship. DePaul finished with a 10-15 overall and 4-1 conference record. Seniors Sten Leusink and Jan Willem-Feilzer were named to the All-BIG EAST Team while seven of Brothers nine players were named ITA Scholar Athletes.
DePaul ended 2014-15 with a .500 season, the squads first since 2011. DePaul began the dual campaign strong, embarking on a 5-0 record before falling to Tulane in February. A testament to Brothers challenging schedule, the Blue Demons took down No. 51 Purdue at home, sending the Boilmakers back to Indiana with a 5-2 decision. Alex Galoustian and Nathan de Veer were named to the All-BIG EAST team, while Galoustian was also named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. Tim Corwin, Jan-Willem Feilzer, Paul John, Sten Leusink and Max Renke were all named ITA Scholar Athletes for earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
In 2013-14, DePaul shook off a sluggish start to earn the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament, where the team placed second, losing to No. 1 St. John's in the conference finals, 4-1. Three players were named to the All-Conference squad, including Filip Dzanko, Sten Leusink and David Vieyra.
The 2011-12 Blue Demons finished their season 11-15 and played 12 ranked teams during one of the program's toughest schedules to date. DePaul ranked as high as No. 66 in the Campbell's/ITA Team rankings while the team tallied 119 singles victories.
Brothers' 2010-11 team finished ranked No. 67 in the Campbell's/ITA Team Poll after spending 14 weeks in poll and reached as high as No. 47 on March 8. The Blue Demons defeated two ranked teams during their season while seven ranked teams appeared on their schedule. DePaul capped off its season by taking fifth place at the BIG EAST Conference Championship -- with wins over Connecticut and Marquette.
Under Brothers' tutelage, Sven Kasper became the first Blue Demon since the 2002 season to be named the Conference Tennis Player of the Week . Kasper's 2011 honor was also the program's first since DePaul joined the BIG EAST in 2005-06.
The 2009-10 edition of the Blue Demons faced 12 ranked opponents, including a stretch when they played five ranked teams in a row. The 2009-10 season was highlighted by defeating BIG EAST Conference foe Marquette in consecutive duals.
The Blue Demons closed out their regular season by topping the Golden Eagles, 4-3 on their home court and repeated that same performance in the opening round of the BIG EAST Championship six days later. With the win, DePaul advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive season, but fell to eventual Champion, No. 15 Louisville. Following DePaul's run at the Conference title, Vanja Grgec became the fourth men's tennis student-athlete to earn all-conference honors since the Blue Demons joined the league in 2005-06.
During the 2008-09 season, the Blue Demons capped off a fantastic run in the BIG EAST Conference Championship with a program-best second place finish. Entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed, the Blue Demons first eliminated the fourth-seeded Marquette before upsetting then-No. 23 and top-seeded Louisville for the second year in a row. Senior Jose Moncada was a unanimous selection for the BIG EAST All-Conference team.
DePaul entered the ITA rankings on March 24 after defeating then-No. 43 SMU, 5-2. The Blue Demons would reach a program-best ranking of No. 50 while ending the season at No. 74 and No. 11 in the Midwest Region. Austin Doerner and Ben Hartman spent six weeks on the national doubles poll, and reached as high as No. 38. The Blue Demons finished the 2008-09 season with a 17-10 record which included three (Louisville, SMU and Drake) wins over nationally ranked teams.
In addition to the success on the court, the 2008-09 team earned the 2009 ITA Team Academic Award while individually Alasdair Graetz, Vanja Grgec, and Matija Palinic were named ITA Scholar-Athletes. Eight Blue Demons earned All-BIG EAST Academic team accolades while those same eight were named to the Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll.
The 2007-08 campaign saw the team make huge strides in Brothers' first year at the helm of the program. The young Blue Demon team improved upon their sixth place BIG EAST finish from a year ago, to upset No. 38 Louisville in the consolation finals to take third. In addition, Moncada and Alasdair Graetz were named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament team. Coach Brothers ended his first season with a 16-10 dual team record.
Additionally, five student-athletes including Doerner, Graetz, Vanja Grgec, Hartman, and Bartosz Jozwiak were awarded BIG EAST All-Academic Team honors.
Brothers came to DePaul after spending five seasons as the assistant coach of the University of Iowa men's tennis program. He made an immediate impact with the Hawkeyes, helping them achieve both individual and team national rankings four out of five years. Brothers also helped mentor three-time Big Ten Conference standout Stuart Waters in his transition to professional tennis, where he earned ATP rankings in both singles and doubles.
While at Iowa, Brothers also gained invaluable experience under head coach and 27-year veteran of the Big Ten, Steve Houghton.
"From Steve, I learned what college tennis is truly about; not just making our student-athletes better tennis players, but making them better citizens and helping to provide them with an overall successful and memorable university experience."
It is this tradition of excellence, both on and off the court that Brothers intends to instill in his program here at DePaul.
Prior to coaching at Iowa, Brothers traveled throughout the United States and Europe for four years, competing in professional futures, satellites and challengers. It was during this time that he learned the discipline and intensity necessary to compete at the highest levels of the game.
Brothers got his first taste of collegiate coaching while at Marquette University, where he served as a graduate assistant while finishing his degree in 1997. As a collegiate player, Brothers was a team leader both on and off the court. While playing No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles for Marquette, he served as team captain, helped his team earn a top-10 ITA regional ranking and was honored with the Senior Leadership Award.
Before transferring to Marquette in his junior year, Brothers played No. 1 singles and doubles at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where, as a freshman, he was awarded the Mid Continent Conference "Rookie" of the year award and was picked first team all-conference both freshman and sophomore years.
Matt resides in Chicago with his wife Jennifer, their daughter, Grace, and son Charlie.