The Northwestern State tennis team begins a new chapter in 2024, and it didn’t have look far to find the person to lead the way.
Marcos Morelli, who has been an assistant coach for the past two seasons, has been promoted to become head coach Wednesday, replacing Jonas Brobeck, who resigned his position to take the head coaching position at Rhode Island.
“I am very excited to become the new head coach,” Morelli said. “It is a big responsibility and I have big shoes to fill with the standards being so high here with all the success we have had.
“I cannot express into words how grateful I am to everyone for giving me this opportunity. I am thankful for (Director of Athletics) Kevin Bostian and (Deputy Athletic Director) Patric DuBois for giving me this chance and showing their faith in me. I am going to work my tail off to continue the success this program has had.”
In his first season, Morelli, who came to NSU in the fall of 2021, was a vital part in guiding the Lady Demons to their first Southland Conference regular season championship since 2014.
During his two seasons with the program, he has helped lead the Lady Demons to a 28-14 mark and trips to the Southland Conference Tournament semifinals in each season.
“Continuity has been a key piece to the success of Northwestern State tennis,” Bostian said. “Jonas did a phenomenal job continuing what Patric DuBois established as one of the Southland Conference’s top programs.
“By virtue of spending the past two years on staff, Marcos has integrated himself into that culture of success. He is young, but this program has enjoyed some of its best moments at the direction of younger coaches. We appreciate what Jonas did for our program and wish him the best in his new endeavor, and we are eager to see Marcos maintain the program’s lineage of success on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
In his first season with the Lady Demons, Morelli oversaw the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots as an in-match coach, helping Viktorie Wojcikova earn an All-Southland Conference First Team selection, as she posted a 6-0 league record in singles and 15-3 overall in both doubles and singles.
In addition to in-match coaching at No. 5 and 6 singles, he assisted in practice planning as the assistant with NSU.
Like Brobeck, he was hired as the person to lead the program after spending two seasons as an assistant with the Lady Demons.
During Brobeck’s tenure, the Lady Demons compiled a 35-23 record overall and 15-8 in league play, including leading the program to its first regular season title in eight years.
“It’s very bittersweet to be leaving NSU,” Brobeck said. “I have been given the opportunity to pursue my career in an area which allows me to be closer to my family and girlfriend, who I have been far away from for a long time now.
“I am beyond grateful to Northwestern State and the Natchitoches community for allowing me to do what I love over the last five years. From the moment I started as an assistant for the Lady Demons, I have been so welcomed and supported by the players, athletic department and community as a whole. It will be hard to replicate that feeling anywhere else.”
During the summer in 2022 and 2023, Morelli worked at the Metropolis Country Club as the head tennis professional, where he ran tennis clinics and held private and semi-private lessons to kids and adults. Morelli also assisted in club events, such as open tennis or Pro-Ams.
Previously, Morelli coached at the middle and high school levels in Buenos Aires, Argentina, coaching players from 12-18 years old.
Morelli worked at the Las Liebres Country Club in his home country of Argentina with high-level youth players.
He is thankful for having Brobeck as a mentor and is prepared to carry on the strong tradition.
“Jonas was a great boss,” Morelli said. “He treated me like an equal and valued my opinion. Having him as my boss and learning from him and Patric will make this an easier transition for me.”
As a player, Morelli saw action in one season at UT Chattanooga, posting a 6-3 singles mark and 4-4 doubles record in the fall of 2013, including winning his final three singles matches of the season against student-athletes from Winthrop.
Morelli was a standout in high school, he was an U16 South American doubles finalist and was ranked as high as the No. 4 player in Argentina.
“What makes the move a little easier is knowing that the program is in fantastic hands,” Brobeck said. “Marcos has been an integral part of the program and its growth over the past two years. With him at the helm, I know the Lady Demons culture of hard work and success will continue for years to come.”