Aug. 7, 2008
Tuscaloosa, Ala. -
University of Alabama women's tennis coach Jenny Mainz announced today the appointment of Rahim Esmail as an assistant coach. Esmail, who played collegiately at the University of Kentucky from 2001-04 before pursuing a career on the professional circuit, recently completed work on a master's degree in Sports Administration at the University of Eastern Kentucky where he returned to complete his studies after several years on the professional tour as a player. Esmail served as an assistant coach at EKU last year after two years on the professional tennis circuit.
"We are thrilled to have Rahim joining the Crimson Tide family," said Mainz. "Rahim possesses qualities that will help us attract top student-athletes to play at the Capstone. He has a tremendous passion for collegiate tennis and had a great career at Kentucky that springboarded into playing on the ATP Tour. Rahim's experience as a player in the SEC will be of tremendous help to our players. I'm confident that Rahim will help take our program to the next level."
"I am thrilled to be joining the Crimson Tide," Esmail said. "Having admired the pride Alabama takes in athletics from my playing days at Kentucky, I am excited to have the opportunity to help Coach Mainz bring Crimson Tide tennis back to contention in the SEC."
Esmail brings extensive tennis experience from the collegiate and professional ranks to his post at Alabama. A former touring professional on the ATP Tour from 2005-07, Esmail began his coaching career when his playing days ended, serving as an assistant for both the women's and men's teams at Eastern Kentucky from August of 2007 until his appointment at Alabama this summer. While at EKU, Esmail was responsible for on-court coaching, recruiting and numerous administrative tasks.
During his professional career on the ATP Tour, Esmail reached the finals of three professional tournaments, once in singles and twice in doubles. He posted wins over top ATP Tour players such as Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez and John Isner. As a player at the University of Kentucky from 2001-04, Esmail was a fixture at No. 4 singles and No. 1 doubles for the Wildcats. In 2002, he went 31-4 in singles and 23-2 in doubles to help Kentucky climb to No. 4 in the national rankings, serving as a team captain for the Wildcats in his junior and senior seasons. He was ranked as high as No. 54 nationally in singles at Kentucky and attained a doubles rank as high as No. 8. As a junior player, Esmail was a six-time Canadian National singles finalist, a three-time junior Davis Cup team member, and won the 1998 national doubles championship. In 1999, Esmail competed in both the junior French Open and the junior U.S. Open.
A native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, born April 7, 1981, Esmail is the son of Brenda and Karim Esmail. He graduated from Fraser Valley High School of Distance Education in Vancouver, B.C., in 2000. Esmail is a 2005 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of arts degree in Foreign Language (French) & International Economics.