Brian Kalbas is still flying under the Carolina blue radar.
A couple of years ago, I ran into a very nice woman at an event out in Fearrington Village. Since I was there to speak about Carolina sports, she just happened to mention that her son-in-law coached the Tar Heels women tennis team.
“Brian Kalbas?” I said with raised eyebrows. “He is a superstar coach, you know that, right?”
She smiled and replied that she knew and that she attends every Carolina match she can. When I saw that Kalbas’ team won a fourth ITA National Indoor Championship last week, I looked up his record to see just what a superstar coach he is. He is right up there with Anson Dorrance, Karen Shelton and Jenny Levy in UNC’s Olympic coaching Hall of Fame.
To win so much in any sport at any level, you need great players. And Kalbas has managed to recruit enough of them to make UNC women’s tennis one of the elite programs in the country over his 17 years at the helm.
How about this resume:
- Most wins of any coach in ACC women’s tennis history with a 431-87 record at Carolina. That is a winning percentage of almost 82. Including 11 years at Williams & Mary, Kalbas has the second-most Division I wins among active coaches in his sport.
- Carolina’s latest ITA National Indoor Championship was his fourth, including titles in 2013, 2015 and 2018. His players have reached three NCAA Team Championship semifinals (2010, ’14, ’19), won an NCAA doubles title in 2007 and an NCAA singles crown in 2015 by All-American Jamie Loeb.
- UNC has advanced to the NCAA tournament all 16 years under Kalbas’ leadership and is obviously headed there again this season with a 10-0 record so far.
- Additionally, he has won five ACC Championships, including four straight from 2016-19, and has been named ACC Coach of the Year five times.
Plus, there is much more that time and space don’t allow to make any mother-in-law proud, wouldn’t you say?
Photo via Go Heels.