Aleke Tsoubanos - Women's Tennis - Vanderbilt University Athletics

Aleke Tsoubanos

Head Coach

Vanderbilt named Aleke Tsoubanos as women’s tennis head coach in July 2020, the eighth head coach in program history. A Vanderbilt alumna and 2015 Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, she was a three-time All-American as a student-athlete from 2000-04. She also served as an assistant coach under Geoff Macdonald from 2008-20.

In her first season as head coach, Tsoubanos led the Commodores to the NCAA Division I Championships for the 26th consecutive season, defeating four ranked SEC opponents along the way. The Commodores advanced to the second round and finished the season ranked No. 29 in the ITA national rankings. Tsoubanos then helped All-American Christina Rosca reach the Elite Eight in the women’s singles championship.

In 2022, the Commodores reached the Sweet 16 and finished the season ranked No. 26. And in 2023, Vanderbilt reached at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in as many seasons under Tsoubanos. Seven Commodores were honored as ITA Scholar-Athletes in 2023, the third season in a row with at least six Scholar-Athletes.

As an assistant under Macdonald, Tsoubanos helped women’s tennis win Vanderbilt’s third national championship across all sports and played an essential role in bringing in some of the nation’s top recruiting classes to Music City. From 2015 to 2018, she helped guide Vanderbilt to three SEC Tournament titles, back-to-back regular-season titles in 2017 and 2018, four consecutive trips to the Final Four and opportunities to play for the national title in 2015 and 2018. The run was highlighted by the 2015 national championship, when Vanderbilt upset top-seeded USC in the semifinals and defeated UCLA in the final.

Across the four-year run, Vanderbilt went 99-22 while finishing no lower than second in the conference and fifth in the nation. Since Tsoubanos joined the coaching staff in 2008, the Commodores have never finished outside the top 30 in the final national rankings.

Tsoubanos was a three-time ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year honoree and also earned the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year Award in 2015.

As a student-athlete, the St. Louis native was a three-time ITA All-American (2002-04), first-team All-NCAA selection and first-team All-SEC selection in both singles and doubles. She was the first player to win the ITA All-American Riviera doubles championship in back-to-back years with different partners. She also earned All-SEC Academic Team accolades.

Inducted into the Vanderbilt Hall of Fame in 2015, Tsoubanos still holds four school records. In 2004, she partnered with Kelly Schmandt to win 15 consecutive doubles matches, and she owns the highest career doubles winning percentage: 82 percent. She also has the most career doubles victories (119) and a single-season record 32 doubles victories with Sarah Riske (2003) and Schmandt (2004). She was part of teams that reached three Elite Eights, two Final Fours and played for the national championship in 2000.

Before returning to her alma mater as a coach, Tsoubanos enjoyed success in the professional ranks. She won four professional doubles titles, reached 23 semifinals and was ranked as high as No. 126 on the International Tennis Federation circuit.

Tsoubanos also played World Team Tennis for her hometown St. Louis Aces, scoring doubles wins over players like Anna Kournikova and Meghann Shaughnessy.

Tsoubanos resides in Nashville with her husband, Dr. Jason Valentine, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and their three children: Andrew, Evie, and Lia.