Assistant Strength Coach (Men's Tennis, Cross Country)
Emil Iankov, who joined the Commodore strength program as the associate strength and conditioning coach in 2014, has made an immediate impact on each of the programs he has trained.
In 2014-15 alone, Iankov helped usher the women’s tennis program to its first SEC and NCAA tournament titles, the women’s cross-country team to a regional championship, track and field’s Simone Charley to a bronze medal in the triple jump, and women’s golf to another NCAA Regional.
But it is not the hardware in the trophy case that drives Emil to push his student-athletes everyday in the weight room.
Like most who work in Vanderbilt University’s athletic department, he does it for the betterment of the student-athletes, and the relationships that are formed every day when they walk through his door.
Emil has always had a competitive drive of his own, one that was harnessed in his home country of Bulgaria in the military, as well as a national champion weight lifter in 1977, 1981 and 1982.
When one watches the track, tennis, or cross-country teams work out with Iankov, it isn’t 15 athletes at the squat rack doing militaristic drills. Emil tries to examine each of his student-athletes individually or in groups of three to four, and puts them through exercises designed specifically for their sport.
Iankov came to Vanderbilt after spending over 20 year in Austin, Texas, working in a variety of roles around the city, with his last stop coming at the Austin Tennis Academy.
Before his arrival in Austin in 1993, Iankov served as an Olympic weightlifting coach for the Junior National Team at the Bulgarian Olympic Training Center.