By: Troy Baranik, Sports Information
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. –NC Wesleyan College Head Men's & Women's Tennis Coach Albie Brice hired two new assistants this summer in preparation for his upcoming season. He brought in former NC Wesleyan player Mark Sokolov and Barton's Daniel Dinu.
"I am thrilled to have Mark and Daniel join our coaching staff! These two young men possess some excellent skill sets that I believe will enhance the experience and performance of our student-athletes," stated Coach Brice. "Plus, it is an added bonus to have one of my former players, Mark Sokolov, join me as a fellow coach."
Dinu, a native of Petrosani, Romania, is a Barton College (N.C.) Alumni, and was a regular starter as #5 and #6 singles and #3 doubles. He has over 1 year of coaching experience with multiple levels, including of the top 50 nationally ranked 16-year-old players.
Dinu graduated from Barton with a B.S. in Psychology in 2016 and a Masters Degree in Sport Psychology with focus in Performance Routines and Transfer of Life Skills from athletics to academics and vice versa.
He also completed a graduate assistantship in teaching classes such as weight training and tennis while at Barton.
"I am excited to work in collaboration with such a successful tennis team and prepare the players not only physically, but also give them a mental performance edge. I would like to thank the current tennis coaches for trusting me and giving me this opportunity," said Dinu.
Sokolov, a native of Donetsk, Ukraine, graduated from NC Wesleyan in 2018 and played under Coach Brice for four seasons from anywhere as a #1 player to a #6 in singles.
Sokolov was named Academic All-Conference in all four years at NCWC from 2015-2018 as well as being named to the second team all-conference in 2016 and honorable mention team in the USA South. He also served as the Men's Tennis Team Captain of the 2017-18 season and helped the team qualify for the NCAA Tournament in every season and go undefeated in conference matches as a team.
At Wesleyan, Sokolov was named as the school's Scholar Athlete in 2015 and 2016 while he also made the NCWC President's Honors List from 2015 through 2018.
Sokolov double majored in Mathematics and Chemistry at Wesleyan and has been the student assistant tennis coach to Coach Brice since 2016. Sokolov was also a tennis coach for the high school Chinese Exchange Students Program since August of 2017 where it has increased his passion for coaching and given Mark insight into coaching high level juniors.
Sokolov was also named the "Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine" in 2010 while finishing runner-up of the Ukrainian Championship Under-16 tournament.
Sokolov is also fluent in Russian, Ukrainian and English languages.