Tallahassee – Ryler DeHeart, a five-year ATP professional and four-year assistant at the University of Alabama, was named the men’s tennis Associate Head Coach Tuesday morning, Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist announced.
“I was impressed with Ryler through our entire hiring process,” Hultquist said. “He checked all the boxes in what we expect from our associate head coach – high character guy with a strong playing background, college coaching experience and the ability to develop our student-athletes. We’re excited to have Ryler, Megan and their growing family joining us.”
“Megan and I are excited for this amazing opportunity that presented itself at Florida State,” DeHeart said. “Growing up in Tampa, it was appealing to be back in Florida and closer to home. Florida State has been a consistently strong program since Dwayne took over and I’m excited about the chance to work with him and the players on this team. I enjoyed my time with George [Husack] at Alabama. I learned a lot and I’m excited about this new adventure at FSU.”
During his time at Alabama (2013-16), DeHeart helped lead the Crimson Tide to the NCAA Tournament his first year and coached four All-Americans during his tenure, including the No. 6 doubles team of Korey Lovett and Mazen Osama last season.
DeHeart played four years collegiately at the University of Illinois, helping lead the Illini to an NCAA Championship as a freshman in 2003. A two-time All-American, he continues to hold the all-time singles wins record for the Illini, with 138, and is second and fourth on the single-season wins list with 42 in 2005 and 39 in 2006.
Graduating with a degree in psychology with a premed focus, DeHeart won the ITA Indoor Championship in 2005 and 2006 and was ranked No. 1 in the country in each of those seasons. DeHeart was also named the 2006 ITA Midwest Region Player of the Year, the 2005 and 2006 Big Ten Player of the Year, and was a three-time All-Big Ten selection.
After playing at Illinois, the Kauai, Hawai’i, native played professionally for five years, including an appearance in each of the four Grand Slams. He reached a career-high ranking of 174 in singles and 120 in doubles, and faced the top-ranked player in the world, Rafael Nadal, in the second round of the 2008 US Open.
DeHeart and his wife, Megan, founded the RD Tennis high performance program in Tampa before his stint with the Crimson Tide. The pair have one daughter, Lily.
For more information on Florida State tennis, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_MTennis), Facebook (/FSUMTennis), and Instagram (@FSU_MTennis).