When Texas A&M newly hired head coach Howard Joffe was searching for an assistant coach in July 2011, he didn’t have to look far and long to find the right person for the job. It was obvious that Mark Weaver, who had recently completed a fourth season as the Aggie women’s assistant coach and was a former standout on the Texas A&M men’s tennis team, was the right person for the job.
"I am delighted and very fortunate to have managed to retain Mark as our assistant coach at A&M," Joffe said when announcing his decision. "Mark not only is one of the finest players to have played at Texas A&M, but he is also a bright, diligent and talented coach. I am confident that with Mark we will be able to elevate our women's team to new heights."
Reaching new heights is exactly what the Aggies have done, and after only his second season as head coach, Joffe promptly promoted Weaver to associate head coach following a historical 2013 season in which Texas A&M reached the NCAA championship finals for the first time in program history and received an all-time high No. 3 final ranking. Previously, the Aggies had only once reached the round of 16, and the prior highest final ranking was a No. 15 showing in 1986.
“Mark being named associate head coach really just formalizes what anyone close to our program already knows: he is a great coach, a top-class person and an integral part of our team’s success,” Joffe said upon announcing the promotion. “Our partnership over the past two years has been good for the school and our students, and it has also allowed me to learn and improve my craft.”
Texas A&M finished its 2013 campaign 26-4, marking the most wins in school history. In addition, the women’s tennis team captured A&M’s first Southeastern Conference regular season championship in any sport after going 12-1. Highlighting the Aggies’ maiden voyage in the league was a stunning 4-3 victory over two-time defending national champion and fourth-ranked Florida, marking the highest ranked win in program history.
The Aggies had also produced numerous highlights in the inaugural season with Joffe and Weaver at the helm, and it was only a sign of things to come. After a narrow 4-3 season-opening loss to Ole Miss, the team responded with a school-record 13 consecutive victories, obliterating the previous record of nine straight wins. The Aggies would later defeat No. 6 Texas (April 17, 2012), marking A&M’s then highest ranked win since defeating No. 5 USC in 2004, when Joffe was as an assistant for the Women of Troy.
The Aggies went on to tie for second in the Big 12 Conference behind the stellar play of junior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, who went 9-0 in conference matches and 24-1 in dual matches all at the No. 1 line and became the first player in Big 12 history to garner both Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors in the same season. The Spaniard, who became the highest ranked player in Texas A&M history when she received a No. 4 singles ranking on Feb. 28, 2012, would go on to become the coaching tandem’s first player to earn ITA All-America honors after receiving a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship. She would also become only the second player in Texas A&M history to reach the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament.
Texas A&M made its 13th consecutive NCAA appearance, and after narrowly falling at No. 15 Michigan, 4-3, in the NCAA second round, the Aggies finished the 2012 season 19-6 and ranked No. 17 in the final ITA rankings. It was A&M's first top-20 final ranking since tying for 16th in 2004 and its then-third highest final ranking in school history.
Before Joffe was hired in the summer of 2011, Weaver had served as the women's assistant coach the previous four years under former head coach Bobby Kleinecke and helped direct the Aggies to NCAA tournament appearances every season. Prior to his hiring in the fall of 2007, Weaver had served as a volunteer assistant coach for the women's team for six seasons, including 2003 and 2004 when A&M won a Big 12 Conference regular season title and a Big 12 tournament title.
Weaver’s time at A&M officially began when he was a four-year letterwinner and starter for the Aggies from 1990-94 under former men’s coach David Kent. Weaver completed his illustrious A&M career with a .805 winning percentage in doubles, which still stands as the A&M all-time record. Weaver, who posted a 66-16 doubles record, also went 65-31 (.677) in singles during his career.
As a senior, Weaver capped his stellar A&M playing career by winning the 1994 Southwest Conference No. 1 doubles title with partner Bernardo Martinez and helping lead the Aggies to their first Southwest Conference championship, tying Texas and TCU for the league title. A&M went on to go 23-4 (.852) and record the winningest season in school history in terms of winning percentage.
Weaver finished the season ranked No. 14 in doubles and No. 30 in singles after advancing to the NCAA doubles and singles championships for the second consecutive year.
As a junior, the Shreveport, La., native was the 1993 SWC No. 1 singles champion and was voted the Southwest Conference Co-Player of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association.
In his inaugural season, Weaver was tabbed the Southwest Region Rookie Player of the Year after compiling a 34-12 singles record and teaming with Scott Phillips to win the SWC No. 3 doubles title.
Weaver graduated from A&M in May 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He then spent four years playing on the Futures and Challengers circuits and won 10 doubles championships.
Weaver served as a senior staff manager and director of tennis at Briarcrest Country Club in Bryan, Texas, from January 1999 to June 2006. He was responsible for organizing tournaments and social events and conducting private and group lessons, as well as operating the tennis shop.
Weaver went completely into private coaching in 2006, and one of his protégés, Austin Klores, became a four-time high school state champion, was ranked as high as No. 1 in the USTA Boys 18's and received a scholarship to play for the Texas A&M men’s tennis team.
Weaver, who enjoys going to the movies, playing basketball, and working out in the gym during his spare time, is married to the former Stephanie Wooley, a 2005 Texas A&M honor graduate. They have a daughter, Natalie Lynn, born in April 20, 2012.