The year before Pierre Pilote took over the Stetson men’s tennis program the Hatters went just 4-23. Since his second season at the helm, when Pilote led Stetson to a 17-10 campaign in 1994-95, the Hatters have won at least 15 matches in a season, every year except one.
Over the course of his 21-year career, Pilote has turned the Stetson men’s tennis team into one of the most successful programs at the University, and has consistently led the Hatters to high levels of success both on and off the court.
During his tenure, the Stetson men’s tennis team has averaged close to 19 wins per season, resulting in a 394-134 career mark for Pilote. Both his 394 victories and the .746 winning percentage are program records. From 2006 to 2011 Pilote led the Hatters to six straight Atlantic Sun Conference Title matches.
In 2014 he guided the Stetson women to a banner season, setting the program record consecutive wins (10), while beating four opponents for the very first time en route to an 18-6 record and an appearance in the A-Sun Championship Finals.
As Director of Tennis at Stetson University, a title earned prior to the 2011-12 season, Pilote supervises both the men’s and women’s teams. He earned his 300th career victory with the men’s squad in March of 2009, he picked up his 350th win in April of 2011, and recently garnered his 400th combined victory with both men’s and women’s tennis in March of 2012.
Since breaking into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Rankings in 2007, Stetson men’s tennis has been ranked by the ITA in six out of the last seven seasons under Pilote. The Hatters achieved their highest ever ranking of 53rd in 2008.
Pilote has guided many student-athletes to individual success as well. In fact, Hatters have been named to the A-Sun All-Conference Teams 38 times, including 19 First Team selections. Additionally, 22 have earned All-Freshman Team honors since the award’s inception in 2002.
In just the last seven season, four Hatters have been named A-Sun Player of the Year under Pilote’s tutelage; Marcus Echtler (2006), Hicham Laalej (2007), and Maksim Levanovich (2012) on the men's side, while Diana Bukajeva (2014) became the first Stetson woman to receive that distinction.
Two have also earned the honor of A-Sun Freshman of the Year; Laalej (2007) and Simon Julin (2013). Echtler, who reached a national ranking of 61 in 2007, became the first Stetson player to be selected for the NCAA Individual Championships in 2006. Stetson also saw another program first in 2014 as its doubles pairing of Laurynas Antropikas and Chester Espie were given a No. 78 ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The success of the Hatters certainly hasn’t only been on the court. The Stetson tennis programs have excelled in the classroom as well under Pilote. The men’s team has been named an ITA All-Academic Team nine times, including each of the last six seasons, while the women’s team has earned the honor seven times, including each of the last three seasons.
A total of 65 men and 44 women have been named an ITA Scholar-Athlete for achieving a GPA of 3.50 or higher the season under Pilote. In only two years of existence, the A-Sun Academic All-Conference Team – recognizing success on and off the court – has been home to four Hatters; Njal Stene (2012), Maksim Levanovich (2012), Chester Espie (2013, 2014) and Diana Bukajeva (2014).
Levanovic added A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year to his list of honors in 2012. For his efforts, Levanovich earned post-graduate scholarships from both the A-Sun and the NCAA.
Before joining the Stetson coaching staff, Pilote served as the tennis director of the Pine Meadows Country Club in Eustis, Fla. While at Pine Meadows Pilote coached Ty Braswell, who was among the top 10 players 18 years of age and under in the country at the time. Pilote also served as the head tennis coach at Eustis High School from 1989-91.
Prior to his appointment at Pine Meadows, Pilote worked as the tennis professional at Club De Tennis, Tennisport, Inc., in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada from 1985-86. He also spent time as a tennis professional at the Gray Rock Inn at St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada in 1985.
Pilote was selected as one of the clinicians for the 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Youth Education through Sports (YES) Clinic. As a clinician, he participated in instructional lessons, submitted a sport skill tip for a participant handout, and provided a student-athlete to act as a group leader and mentor during sessions, along with other assigned duties. In 2005 and 2007, Pilote was selected as an NCAA representative for the first two rounds of the tennis championship hosted by the University of Florida.
In the summer of 2013, Pilote was selected to be a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee. The committee is responsible for the administration of the NCAA Tennis Championships, as well as the selection of tournament participants.
A certified teaching professional by the U.S.P.T.R., Pilote is a 1985 graduate of the University of Sherbrooke. Pilote is a graduate of the USA Tennis High Performance coaching program.
Pilote is the proud father of an 19-year old daughter, Isabelle, a sophomore at DePaul.
Pierre Pilote Year-by-Year (Men's)
Pierre Pilote Year-by-Year (Women's)