Teaching Pros

The LTC is home to some of the best teaching pros in Albuquerque!  Many of these pros have played and/or coached Division I college tennis here at the University of New Mexico or elsewhere.  Many are trained as USPTA professionals, while others have picked up their skills learning from other great pros.  

Johnny Kowalski

Johnny Kowalski is the Director of the LTC.  Johnny hails from Carlsbad, NM and was a key member of the UNM Men's Tennis Team for four years garnering two Conference Championships.  He has been teaching tennis since finishing college in 2002.  Johnny works with some of the top juniors in the Southwest as the Director of LPTA.  

Vicky Maes

Vicky Maes has been at UNM since the summer of 2018. She was appointed as the head coach of the Women’s Tennis program in March 2019. Prior to coming to UNM, Maes spent 17 years as the head coach at The University of Arizona. In all, coach Maes has over 20 years of Division 1 coaching experience yet is also extremely passionate about teaching individuals and groups of all levels and ages. Maes is a USPTA certified professional, level 1, and is eager to share her knowledge and experience with you. 

Bob Scott

Bob Scott has worked all around the country as a tennis coach and teaching pro, both at country clubs and as a collegiate coach.  Having retired from Director of the LTC, you might see Bob around the club teaching group and private lessons.  Bob's Superdrills give players a chance to take advantage of his lifetime of tennis knowledge.  



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Nico Prieto

Nicolas "Nico" Prieto was born in Medellin, Colombia and grew up in Bogota, Colombia and Florida.  As a junior tennis player he was ranked in the top 400 in the junior world rankings, and third in the Under 18 age group in Colombia.  He has competed in both men’s open and ATP events.  He came to UNM in 2018 as a freshman for the UNM Men’s Tennis Team and competed from 2018-2022.  Nico graduated from UNM in 2022 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance.  He works with junior tennis players as part of the Lobo Performance Tennis Academy and is available for clinics and private lessons with juniors and adults.     

Roy Cañada

Roy Cañada came to Albuquerque from Mexico to play for the UNM Men's Tennis Team, and achieved All-American status during his time playing for the Lobos.  Roy was the UNM Women's Assistant and Head Tennis Coach for a combined 16 years.  Roy does group and individual lessons for all levels and all ages.

Yue Lin "Polly" Chen

Polly was born in Yunlin, Taiwan and grew up in Taiwan until coming to UNM as a freshman in 2017.  She competed for the UNM Women’s Tennis Team from 2017 to 2022.  In 2021 and 2022 Polly was named to the Mountain West Women’s Tennis Singles All-Conference Team.  In 2021 she received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration.  Polly is currently working on her Masters of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2023.  Polly has taught in the UNM summer tennis camps for juniors and has worked with all ages of adults.  Polly is available for clinics or private lessons with all levels of juniors and adults and looks forward to designing a program to meet the needs of the student. 

Sarah O'Connor

Sarah O’Connor is from Dublin, Ireland.  She started playing tennis when she was only 4 years old.  As a junior Sarah was consistently ranked top two in Ireland.  She came to UNM in the fall of 2021 as a freshman and played singles and doubles.  Sarah has experience coaching junior tennis players of all levels and ages back in Ireland and will be working the UNM summer camps.  She looks forward to working with all levels of juniors and adults in both clinics and private lessons at Lobo Tennis Club.

Rafa Abdulsalam

Rafael “Rafa” Abdulsalam is from Carabobo and Valencia, Venezuela.  He ended his junior tennis career in 2019 as the number 1 ranked junior in Venezuela and reached his best International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking of 182.  He competed in many international singles and doubles championships winning in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.  Rafa came to UNM as a freshman in 2020.  He is the captain of the UNM Men’s Tennis team and is a top singles and doubles player.  He aspires to represent his country in the Davis Cup and build a professional tennis career.  Rafa is available for group clinics or private lessons with all levels of juniors and adults.  He specializes in teaching adults wishing to improve their game as well as junior players working to play in college or pro tennis in the future.