Carlos Vargas begins his fifth season at the helm of the NM State men’s tennis program. He also spent 18 years as an assistant at NM State before becoming head coach.
The 2013-14 season was punctuated by the men’s tennis team reaching the championship match of the WAC Tournament that was held at the NM State Tennis Center. The Aggies would eventually lose to WAC champion Idaho.
NM State had a 12-11 overall record during the 2013-14 season, including going 3-0 in WAC play during the spring season. At the end of the season, Aggie Strahinja Trecakov was named to the All-WAC first team while his teammate Naveen Manivannan earned All-WAC second team honors. In doubles, Manivannan and Marc Westgate made the All-WAC first team while the duo of Paul Denele and Patrick Pfister earned second team All-WAC honors.
Off the court, NM State was once again named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team and a WAC-leading eight Aggies were named ITA Scholar Athletes.
Vargas coached the 2012-13 team to a 14-9 season record and a 3-2 conference record. The Aggies’ season was highlighted by WAC Player of the Year Daniel Fernandez’s 12-4 singles finish and Marc Westgate and Luis Ramirez’s second team All-WAC accolades.
Ramirez was named second team all-conference for singles play, while he and Westgate teamed up for the second team doubles honor. The duo went 10-4 in doubles play.
The team went on a three-game win streak late in the season that included a 4-0 win over Utah State in the first round of the 2013 WAC Tournament. The team was seeded fourth going into the tournament and claimed the win over USU, which was seeded No. 5. NM State ended the season with a 1-4 loss to top-seeded Denver.
Vargas led the 2011-12 Aggies to a season overall finish of 8-15 with a fourth seed in the Aggie-hosted WAC tournament in 2012. After beating Nevada 4-3 during the regular season, the Wolfpack knocked NM State out of the tournament in the first round, 4-2.
Early in the spring season, Vargas coached the Aggies to a 5-2 win over 54th-ranked UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. Struggling through most of mid season, NM State came back to win four of its last five matches before the conference tournament.
Under Vargas’ direction, senior Matej Stakne earned first team All-WAC honors in singles, while his Aggie teammates, junior Luis Ramirez and sophomore Marc Westgate, claimed second team All-WAC honors in doubles for their work in 2012.
Vargas guided the Aggies to a 15-8 overall record in 2012. His team advanced to the program’s first Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship match, resulting in a second-place finish - the best for NM State since joining the conference in 2005-06.
Under Vargas, the Aggies finished the season ranked No. 50 in the Intercollegiate Tennis
Association (ITA) final poll of 2011. NM State spent 15 weeks in the polls over the
course of the season.
Senior Arthur Surreaux also advanced to the NCAA Singles Championships, representing
NM State and the WAC. Surreaux earned All-WAC second team honors for singles.
Fellow senior Jim Brouleau was also named to the All-WAC second team for singles and also earned All-WAC second team recognition in doubles. Junior Matej Stakne gained All-WAC second team distinction for doubles. Sophomore Orlando Superlano was also named to the All-WAC second team for singles.
Prior to 2011, Vargas spent the previous 18 seasons as an assistant coach for the NM State tennis programs. Vargas dedicated his time towards assisting former head coach Don Ball with the men’s tennis team. Working primarily with the men’s team during his coaching tenure, Vargas coached 12 different singles players to all-conference accolades and nine of his doubles teams received all-league honors.
In 2010, Brouleau was named second team All-WAC and Roman Stoisavljevic and Eduardo Salas were named to the All-WAC first team in doubles.
Vargas guided the Aggies to a breakthrough season in 2009, one in which they got back into the national rankings for the first time since 2004. NM State spent a total of six weeks in the ITA polls and was ranked as high as No. 64 on March 17, the seventh-highest ranking in program history.
In recognition of NM State’s success in 2009, Vargas was named the 2009 ITA Mountain
Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Gustave Diep earned second team All-WAC recognition in 2007 and 2008 and was named the ITA Mountain Region Player of the Year in 2007. Diep is also a two-time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VI selection under Vargas’ tutelage and became the program’s first academic All-American in 2009, as he was named to the ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-America second team.
Finishing the 2009 season with a 13-11 record, Vargas led the Aggies to 10 or more victories for the 13th time in the last 15 seasons. NM State advanced to the semis of the 2009 WAC Championships for the third time in four years and, on Feb. 7, the Aggies defeated their first ranked opponent (No. 72 UNLV) since 2004.
In the 1999 season, Vargas led the Aggies to a program-record 17 dual-match victories and was named the Region Seven Assistant Coach of the Year.
Vargas has twice led the Aggies into the NCAA Tournament, first in 1997 and again in 2000.
In addition to his coaching duties, Vargas also served as an instructor in the NM State School of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and gave lessons to Las Cruces area tennis players at the NM State Tennis Center.
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Vargas came to the United States in 1980 to play tennis at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M. As a sophomore at NMMI, he was named the Broncos’ Most Valuable Player when he played at No. 3 singles.
After two years with the Broncos, Vargas accepted a scholarship at Arkansas State. There he played both No. 1 singles and doubles for two seasons. He graduated from Arkansas State in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Vargas resides in Las Cruces and has two sons, Emilio and Estefano.