Staff
Head Women's Coach
DJ Gurule

D.J. Gurule is entering his 15th year as the head coach of the Gonzaga University women’s tennis program.

Gurule has overseen the profound growth of GU women’s tennis. The Zags have won double-digit matches in eight seasons under Gurule, including five of the six highest win totals in the last 20 years.
The last three seasons have been the some of the program’s best ever. The Bulldogs finished in second place in each of the last three West Coast Conference regular season standings, a feat that has never been done before. In 2017, the Zags reached the final match of the WCC Championships for the first time ever, one year after reaching the program’s first semifinal. In 2018, the Bulldogs once again reached the conference tournament semifinals. In the past three seasons under Gurule, program records have been broken in team winning percentage, individual singles wins, doubles pairs wins and more.

After nearly a three-year hiatus from the national polls, Gonzaga began the 2018 dual season with its highest ranking ever at No. 41 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll. The 2017-18 slate featured several program firsts: during the tournament season, Sophie Whittle became the first ever Bulldog to participate in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, and the Bulldogs were part of the 2018 ITA Kick-Off Weekend, taking on both Michigan and Brown in their first appearance in the tournament.

After the 17-4 season in 2017, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 5 in the Northwest Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the highest regional ranking in program history. In 2014, Gurule led the team to a national ITA ranking for the first time ever, and the Zags returned to the national poll a year later.

In addition to the strong WCC showing, the 2015-16 campaign also included an 11-match win streak – another program record – and single-season individual wins highs in both singles (25; Domonique Garley) and doubles play (25; Samantha Polayes and Sophie Whittle).

During this rise, Gurule has coached 40 All-West Coast Conference honorees, including the Zags’ first-ever First Team All-WCC Singles winner (Katie Edwards, 2015), Doubles pair (Polayes and Whittle, 2016), and Second Team All-WCC honoree (Agalya Kokurina, 2008). Additionally, Gurule has coached most of the players on the Gonzaga career wins lists.

Success hasn’t just come on the court; Gurule’s teams have also achieved highly in the classroom. The Zags have earned numerous ITA All-Academic honors as a team, and 24 student-athletes have been recognized individually at ITA Scholar Athletes. The West Coast Conference has also recognized 25 of Gurule’s student-athletes with WCC All-Academic honors.

In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Gurule has spent time working in tennis clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. He’s served as co-director of the Spokane Racquet Club and also spent time at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon, and Broken Top in Bend, Oregon. He got his start in coaching at Bend’s Mountain View High School.

Gurule played collegiate tennis at Pacific Lutheran University, earning four letters for the Lutes. He and his wife Katie reside in Spokane with their two daughters.

Head Men's Tennis Coach
Jonas Piibor

Jonas Piibor became the fifth head coach in program history on July 5, 2018 following a successful 10 seasons as associate head coach at Oregon.

In his time at Oregon, Piibor helped the Ducks to their most successful stretch in 30 years, posting a 153-96 overall record in the last 10 seasons. Most recently in 2018, Piibor guided the Ducks to an 18-10 overall record, marking the seventh-straight season UO has recorded 15 or more wins and a program record nine-straight seasons with a .500 win percentage or higher.

Piibor was instrumental in Oregon’s growth into a perennial national competitor. In his final three seasons with the Ducks, Piibor helped navigate UO to a program record three-straight NCAA Tournament opening-round victories in addition to two-straight fourth place finishes in the Pac-12, also a program record. In Oregon’s 2016 NCAA Tournament appearance, the Ducks defeated Tulsa in the opening round to advance to the second round for the first time in program history. UO also found its place among the elite programs in the country as the Ducks finished the 2018 and 2017 seasons inside the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) top 50, finishing 2018 ranked No. 32 bested only by a No. 24 ranking in 2017, the highest ever season-end ranking. 2017 saw another program first for the Ducks as they were ranked inside the ITA top 25 each of the final 12 rankings marking the longest streak in program history. In 2016, Oregon eclipsed another milestone as the Ducks cracked the ITA top 20 for the first time in program history; UO was placed at No. 20 on the ITA Team Rankings on Feb. 22, 2016.

Piibor helped to cement UO’s status as a growing national program in 2014, as the Ducks made their first ever Pac-12 Championship semifinal appearance as well as their first NCAA Championship appearance in 10 years. That season, the Ducks posted a 17-10 overall record with six wins over nationally ranked opponents and numerous milestone victories. Among the most prestigious of those milestones was Oregon’s first ever ITA top 25 national ranking, which was achieved on March 16, 2014 with a No. 24 ranking.

In addition to climbing the national ranks, Oregon also saw multiple first-time program wins under Piibor’s guidance. In 2018, the Ducks defeated Cal for the first time in program history, downing the Golden Bears in back-to-back matches in April. In 2013, Piibor helped Oregon to its first-ever win over Stanford, defeating the No. 15 Cardinal 4-3 in Eugene on April 6 to match the highest-ranked win in program history. In 2014, the Ducks ended a 10-season skid to Washington, defeating the Huskies 4-1 on March 1, 2014 to kick start a five-match win streak over UW in the last five seasons.

In 10 seasons at Oregon, Piibor coached student-athletes to six of the top seven singles seasons in program history and all four of the top doubles seasons. He also coached Oregon’s all-time winningest player, Jayson Amos, who graduated in 2017 with the program record for singles wins (93). Also in 2017, then-sophomore Thomas Laurent won 30 matches to shatter the previous UO single-season record.
Under Piibor’s guidance, Oregon saw 10 players earn all-conference recognition, led by Laurent who became only the second player in UO history to earn back-to-back All-Pac-12 First Team honors, claiming the honor in both 2017 and 2018. Two Ducks were named All-Pac-12 Second Team (Robin Cambier; 2014 and Daan Maasland; 2015, 2016), while five picked up Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors (Kevin Farin, 2014; Simon Stevens, 2015; Thomas Laurent, 2016; Jayson Amos, 2017; Akihiro Tanaka, 2017).

Prior to his time at Oregon, Piibor spent a combined five seasons at Indiana State, with his first two seasons spent as an assistant coach before taking over as head coach for the 2005-08 seasons. During his time with Sycamores, ISU saw steady growth, finishing the 2007-08 season with an 11-13 overall mark including a 4-2 Missouri Valley Conference record, the best conference mark in years. Piibor also improved the program’s academic standing, and in his last five semesters posted a team GPA of 3.0 or above. Two players were named ITA Scholar-Athlete All-Americans as well as Missouri Valley Conference First Team Scholar Athletes under his guidance.

Piibor also played collegiately for Indiana State, carrying the Sycamores to three straight NCAA tournaments. He was a two-time NCAA Individual Championship qualifier (2000, 2001), and over the course of his career was ranked 28th nationally in singles, 50th in doubles, was the top ranked player in the Central Region in singles, ranked fourth in doubles in the Central Region, was elected the ITA Central Region Senior Player of the Year in 2001, and was named ITA Region V Player to Watch in 2000.

Piibor graduated from Indiana State in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in fitness and exercise science and received his master’s degree in adult fitness from ISU in 2005.

Assistant Coach
Breanna Bachini

Breanna Bachini enters her first season as assistant coach at Gonzaga after being hired in September 2018.

Bachini arrived in Spokane following three seasons as assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Colgate from 2015-18. In her final season with the Raiders, Bachini helped the men’s program to 15 wins, the most since the 1998 season, and a conference tournament semifinal appearance. On the women’s side, the program picked up its first postseason win in five years.

In her three seasons at Colgate, Bachini coached a combined eight Patriot League all-conference selections and two academic selections.

Prior to beginning her coaching career at Colgate, Bachini was a four-year member of the Syracuse Orange women’s tennis team where she competed primarily at No. 4 singles. She helped the Orange to wins over ranked opponents No. 35 Princeton, No. 39 USF, No. 60 Harvard and No. 69 DePaul. During her senior season in 2015, Bachini and Syracuse were ranked as high as No. 35 nationally, the highest national ranking in program history.

Off the court, Bachini was recognized by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports in 2013 for achieving excellence in academics and athletics while making significant contributions to the community. Bachini was a 2013-14 ACC Academic Honor Roll selection and a 2011-12 Big East All-Academic Team selection.

Before her collegiate career, Bachini was a five-star recruit and was ranked in the top 40 in the country and No. 8 in the state of California by TennisRecruiting.net. In addition, she was the No. 1 ranked player in each age division in Northern California. Bachini participated in the junior Fed Cup in Northern California, and she was also a two-time competitor in the Peter Herb Cup.

Bachini is a native of Roseville, Calif., and graduated from Syracuse in 2015 with a B.S. in communications and rhetorical studies. Bachini is also certified in Etcheberry, a tennis-specific strength and conditioning program.