Mariana Cobra has been named the head women's tennis coach at the University of Northern Iowa, as announced by Director of Athletics Troy Dannen. Cobra becomes the 10th head coach in UNI's women's tennis history.
Cobra returns to her alma mater where earned her bachelor's degree from UNI in 2008 (physical education - exercise science and sport psychology) as well as her master's degree from UNI in 2010 (sport psychology).
"We welcome Mariana back to the Panther family," Dannen said. "The experiences she has gained since leaving UNI, along with her existing knowledge of the University, are great assets for our tennis program. Her commitment to player development and her passion uniting the program with the Cedar Valley community will offer opportunities for our women's tennis team to thrive."
As a player at UNI, Cobra was a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete. She ranks third in school history with a .698 career singles winning percentage with an overall record of 65-28. As a sophomore in 2004-05, she posted a mark of 26-7 -giving her the sixth-best single-season winning percentage (.788) in UNI history.
"Cedar Falls will always be my home away from home and I have developed and maintained connections in the Cedar Valley that will make a difference to this program," Cobra said. "The work ethic, ethical practice and education I can provide to the student-athletes at UNI will provide them with a foundation to succeed while in college and throughout life."
Cobra served as an assistant coach at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 2011-2012 season. She helped lead the men's squad to one of the best seasons in team history. The Spartans were 15-8 overall with national rankings as high as No. 17 the Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls - the best in team history. The Spartans matched the best UAA finish (third) in their history and produced the UAA Rookie of the Year as well as qualifiers for both the singles and doubles portion of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. All three feats were program firsts. The team, ranked No. 18 in the final ITA poll of the year, also featured the No. 37 singles player in the nation and the No. 13 doubles tandem. In the ITA Central Region, the Spartans ranked No. 3 with the No. 6 and No. 25 singles players along with the No. 4 and No. 22 doubles teams.
The CWR women's squad also turned in one of the best seasons in its program history with an 18-6 overall record and only its second All-UAA selection since 1994. In the final ITA rankings of the year, the Spartans finished at No. 7 in the Central Region - the highest ranking in team history. The Spartan women also produced the No. 7 singles player and No. 8 doubles tandem in the region.
Upon finishing her graduate course work at UNI, Cobra took a position as the tennis pro at the Ames Racquet Club and was a volunteer coach with the Iowa State Cyclones' women's team before joining the staff at Middle Tennessee State.
At Middle Tennessee State, Cobra served as an assistant coach during the 2010-2011 season. She recruited in the United States and in South America while at MTSU. She helped secure two top international recruits in the fall of 2011. She conducted sport psychology training sessions with the student-athletes on a weekly basis, while also arranging team travel and scheduling meets.
Cobra is a native of Sao Paolo, Brazil.