11 months ago Triangle 0
Written by: Jonathan Ecarma, staff writer
It was a balmy February day in the Philippines, as Rex Ecarma and his family fled from the corrupt dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos and immigrated to the United States of America.
Rex Ecarma was born in Cebu City, Philippines to Dr. Romeo and Jacinta Ecarma. He’s the youngest of four siblings, including Desiree, Reginald and Roehl. At the age of five, Ecarma and his family moved from the tropics to the cold climate of Chicago, Ill. He saw his first snowflake later that year.
At 10, Ecarma began playing tennis. “I started playing because my brothers and dad were playing and I was tired of them leaving me at home by myself.” The professional tennis player Michael Chang was Ecarma’s role model because: “He was an outspoken ‘born-again’ Christian.”
Ecarma practiced with his brothers, but Reginald coached him. Rex and Reginald set records at Doss High School and the University of Louisville. At the University of Louisville, Reginald made history with the best record–only to be surpassed by Rex. Ecarma has the second best career doubles wins, at 92. He graduated from college in 1988.
In 1990, Ecarma became the Head coach for the division one tennis team, the Louisville Cardinals. Ecarma loves to coach, he said “Making a positive impact to all my tennis students” is his favorite thing about coaching. Ecarma recalled how proud he was when Sebastian Stiefelmeyer was victorious over the NCAA favorite from the University of Southern California. Counting players that Ecarma has coached in private clubs, tennis camps and at the University of Louisville, Ecarma has coached close to 3,000 players. Ecarma has more than 450 wins, and has coached for over 25 years.
Ecarma is now in the top 20 active division one coaches in all-time wins with 451. In 2011, Ecarma led his team to the top 10 in the country, and to victory at the ITA indoor Regional and NCAA outdoor Regionals.
Ecarma married Melissa Guess in 1996. Rex and Melissa have two sons and a daughter, (from youngest to oldest) Landon, Xavier and Alexis. Landon who is 12 years old, is among the top tennis players in his age group. Xavier is currently 16 years old. In Kentucky he’s ranked #1 in his age group. At the University of Louisville, Alexis is a freshman, majoring in political science. Ecarma and his family are professing Christians.
After a difficult transition to America, Rex Ecarma went from a shy timid boy, afraid to say a word in his school, to setting records at the University of Louisville, and becoming the youngest NCAA division one tennis coach.
Jonathan Ecarma is a dual-enrollment student who is apart of the PC Master Race.