Wednesday, September 25, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (September 25, 2002) - East Tennessee State head men's tennis coach Dave Mullins announced that former standout player Yaser Zaatini, originally from Maracay, Venezuela, will be joining the Buccaneer program as Mullins' assistant coach. Zaatini, who is originally from Maracay, Venezuela, became a member of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) after graduating from ETSU. He was ranked as high as 305 by the ATP and has defeated numerous highly ranked touring professionals. Zaatini also made appearances in the 1994 and 1995 Davis Cup tournaments as a representative of Venezuela. Zaatini is the founder of the Zaatini Tennis Academy in his hometown of Maracay and has served as the director for the last six years where he has taught nationally and internationally ranked juniors and professionals alike. During the summers, Zaatini has come back to Johnson City to assist Mullins with the Buccaneer tennis camps and helped manage the annual Little Caesars Tennis Championships, which is a large fundraiser for the ETSU tennis programs and an ITA/USTA sanctioned tournament with hundreds of participants, including junior and adult divisions. "It's great to have Yaser back as a part of our program," Mullins said. "He made a major contribution here as a player and helped bring East Tennessee State to the national spotlight. I look forward to working with him and he will play a major role in the development of our student-athletes and the recruiting of our future players." As a player, Zaatini was the first ETSU tennis player to compete in the NCAA Championships and is the only four-time Southern Conference champion in No. 1 singles. In 1992, he was ranked as high as four in the nation in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, the highest ever for a Buccaneer tennis player. Zaatini is also a two-time All-American (1992, 1993), the only All-American in ETSU tennis history.
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