Western Kentucky names Youngstown assistant Jonatan Berhane head coach
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Western Kentucky has named Jonatan Berhane its new head coach, director of athletics Todd Stewart announced Thursday. Berhane is a decorated player and has had immediate success in his previous coaching stops.
Berhane comes to WKU after one season as an assistant coach for the 2014 Horizon League champion Youngstown State squad. Berhane joined the YSU program in January 2014 after two seasons at East Tennessee State, and he helped make an immediate impact with the Penguins.
"Tennis is my passion, and we have high goals and want to establish WKU women's tennis in the conference and nationally," Berhane said.
Last season, the women's program at YSU became the first Horizon League squad other than Illinois-Chicago to win the conference title since 1996. At the Horizon League Championships in April, the Penguins knocked off Wright State, second-seeded Milwaukee and top-seeded Cleveland State to claim the crown. YSU participated in the Charlottesville Regional against No. 3 seed Virginia.
The men's team had a strong showing in the conference tournament. YSU defeated third-seeded Wright State in the quarterfinals in a 4-3 thriller. The Penguins won the doubles point and clinched the win when Rodrigo Campos won in three sets. In the semifinals against Cleveland State, YSU dropped a hard-fought 4-2 decision to the Vikings.
Before arriving at YSU, Berhane spent two seasons as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State. ETSU won the regular-season championship in 2013, beating two ranked opponents, and many of the student-athletes Berhane helped recruit powered ETSU to the 2014 conference tournament title.
His other coaching experiences include the New York Shelter Island Camp and at the Colorado Athletic Club Monaco in Denver.
Berhane came to ETSU after graduating from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewistown, Idaho. In his time at LCSC, Berhane was ranked a top-15 NAIA singles player and was also ranked in the top-10 in doubles. During his senior year, Berhane was given the honor of being selected as the Warriors' team captain.
In August of 2009, Berhane was honored with the Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. The award recognizes one outstanding male and female player from each level of competition for exhibiting outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Before transferring to LCSC, Berhane attended Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia., helping his team to a top-five NAIA ranking.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Berhane achieved a No. 10 Swedish ranking and was a finalist for the Swedish Championship Doubles. He earned his MBA and master's degree in sport management at ETSU. Berhane speaks four languages -- Swedish, English, Tigrinya and Norwegian.