QUINCY, Mass.- Cristian Popa has announced his resignation as head men's and women's tennis coach at Eastern Nazarene College after 17 years to become the next head tennis coach at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.
Popa has spent 17 years as the head men's tennis coach, 13 years as the head women's tennis coach, and also served as the head cross country coach at ENC for two years during his tenure with the Lions.
A four-time Commonwealth Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Popa guided the Eastern Nazarene men's tennis team to the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. He also led the Lions' women's tennis squad to its first-ever GNAC championship in 2019.
An alumnus of Eastern Nazarene, Popa amassed a combined career record of 223-264 in his time with the Lions.
Under Popa's tutelage, student-athletes racked up 76 all-conference honors while three individuals earned conference Player of the Year accolades. He has guided Eastern Nazarene to 14 postseason appearances, including nine-straight playoff berths with the men's team and three-straight trips with the women's program.
"While I am happy that Cris has this new opportunity, it is hard to see him leave ENC. Cris has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to build a successful tennis program, culminating in the recent conference championships for both men's tennis in Spring 2019 and women's tennis in Fall 2019. We wish Cris nothing but the best and are thankful for his time at ENC," commented Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Zarges.
A national search for Popa's successor will begin immediately.