SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Evangel University director of athletics Dr. Dennis McDonald announced the hiring of Mirko Bjelica to serve as the head coach for men's and women's tennis starting in 2020.
Evangel announced the reinstatement of men's and women's tennis on September 3. Both programs will start competition during the fall 2020 season. Bjelica will begin his duties immediately and start recruiting both men's and women's teams for the 2020-21 season.
"We are extremely excited to have Mirko come aboard and lead our men's and women's tennis programs," said McDonald. "Mirko has great knowledge and passion for the game as well as a good mix of international and collegiate experience that I believe will help him be successful at Evangel."
Bjelica comes to Evangel after three seasons as the head women's coach at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. During the 2016-17 season, he helped turn around a Leathernecks team that was in the midst of a 34-conference match losing streak to finish 9-14 and 3-3 in the Summit League. He also saw Natalia Bravo earn Summit League Newcomer of the Year honors.
Prior to his time at WIU, Bjelica spent two seasons at Tennessee Tech where the men's team won the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship.
Before arriving at Tennessee Tech, he spent five years as the head coach of the Montenegro national team where he prepared several junior and adult players for national and international competition. During his tenure, he led the team to a combined 18-12 record.
With more than 20-years of coaching experience, Bjelica has also served as a private head coach for several professional clubs both domestically and internationally.
A 1993 graduate of Georgia State, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in finance and a Bachelor of Science in education. He was a member of the tennis team and served as team captain during his senior season.
Bjelica and his wife Margaret have five children, Mary, Ana, Lidia, Sara, and Luke.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.
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