The men’s tennis coach at Winthrop University has stepped down from his position after just one season due to “issues with his immigration status,” the school revealed Friday.
South Carolina Radio Network coverage partner WRHI reported the news Thursday.
Winthrop’s athletics department announced in a release Thursday that Sergey Belov had resigned earlier in the week despite a successful inaugural season. The school named volunteer assistant John Collins as interim head coach.
Belov is Russian, but had earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Winthrop. He led the Eagles to the 2015 Big South Conference championship and an appearance in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The release did not explain Belov’s immigration issue.
As a player and former team captain, Belov helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 Big South Conference title and a NCAA Tournament appearance. He was voted the 2011 Big South Conference Player of the Year.
Belov remained with the team as a student assistant coach in 2011-12 and spent the next two years as a graduate assistant for the Winthrop women’s team, helping direct it to the 2013 and 2014 Big South championships and back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament.
Collins served as a volunteer assistant in the men’s tennis program this past season after serving as the women’s tennis graduate assistant coach in 2013-14. He has also served as a volunteer assistant at Elon and as a student assistant at Tennessee.