NEWARK, New Jersey — The final week of 2017 included a pair of exciting moments for Andres Bustani.
On Dec. 27, he celebrated his one-year wedding anniversary.
On Dec. 28, he signed a contract to become the head men’s tennis coach for Rutgers-Newark.
“It feels great — a little surreal to have my first actual college job as a head coach,” said Bustani, who came out publicly as gay in a 2015 Outsports article. “I’m really excited, and I’m just hoping that I can come in and make a change on the team and do good things.”
Bustani achieved becoming a college head coach after setting that as a goal his sophomore year at Lewis-Clark State College, an NAIA school in Lewiston, Idaho, where Bustani was a four-year member of the men’s tennis team.
During his senior year at Lewis-Clark, Bustani worked as an assistant coach for the Warriors’ women’s tennis team, and he points to Lewis-Clark tennis coach Kai Fong as a role model for him taking over a program.
“That gave me an insight into what is going on in practices and how to run things,” Bustani said.
The 24-year-old Bustani takes over an NCAA Division III program that went 7-5 last spring. He said the roster currently has eight players, and he plans to start practices shortly after the spring semester begins Jan. 16.
“I’m a little anxious, obviously, but I just kind of want to get it started,” Bustani said. “I know the team previously hasn’t done great, so I don’t know what to expect.”
Bustani said he has not given much thought to discussing his sexuality with his team. He realizes pictures of him and his husband, Adam Ziering, are prominent on his social media, so it won’t be a secret.
“If people look me up, it will be right there in their faces,” said Bustani, a native of Mexico City. “I’m not too worried. Rutgers is a very diverse campus.”
Bustani and his husband have lived in New Jersey for about a year, and he said it will be about a 20-minute commute for him from Montclair, New Jersey, to Rutgers-Newark. The 5-foot-10, 145-pound Bustani will also continue to work as a tennis instructor at Westfield Indoor Tennis Club in Westfield, New Jersey.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity,” Bustani said. “It’s mostly, really, going to come down to recruiting. I need to do a good job of recruiting players.”
Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT. Results are from competitions that took place Dec. 11, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2018.
Taylor Emery (junior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) scored 22 points in Sunday’s 89-58 win against Boston College for her seventh 20-point game of the season. She also had 25 points in an 84-34 win against Monmouth on Dec. 12. The Hokies (12-3 overall) went 3-1 the last three weeks. Emery had 16 points, five assists and four rebounds in an 86-63 win against High Point on Dec. 16 while also battling through an abdominal injury, according to Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks. He said in a press release, “They did what they can do to subside the pain, and we didn’t even know if she was going to play before the game, and she did a great job.”
Scott Frantz (redshirt sophomore, Kansas State football) started at left tackle in the Wildcats’ Cactus Bowl victory against UCLA on Dec. 26. Kansas State finished the year 8-5 overall.
Dylan Geick (freshman, Columbia wrestling) did not compete at the South Beach Duals on Friday and Saturday.
Bree Horrocks (redshirt junior, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) and Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) saw the Commodores (4-11 overall) go 1-4 the last three weeks. Horrocks did not play in the two most recent games after playing an average of 10 minutes in the three preceding games. Horrocks’ best game in this stretch came Dec. 16 against Memphis, against whom she had four points, two rebounds, and one steal. Vanderbilt’s game at Tennessee on Jan. 7 is scheduled to be broadcast on the SEC Network at noon ET, and the team’s game against Kentucky on Jan. 15 is also set to be on the SEC Network at 7 p.m. ET.
Jesse Moore (assistant coach, Northwestern women’s swimming) saw his Wildcats defeat Florida Gulf Coast 111.5-93.5 on Dec. 17 at Fort Myers, Florida. The meet ended a one-week training trip in Florida for the team.
Austin Olivares (assistant coach, Lindenwood men’s and women’s swimming) missed seeing the team’s most recent meet, which took place Dec. 16-19 in Cleveland, Mississippi. Olivares missed the meet because he was walking at graduation ceremonies. Lindenwood’s women won the meet, and the men took second place.
DJ Slifer (assistant coach, Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball) saw the Javelinas (3-9 overall) go 0-2 the last three weeks.
Lexie Gerson (assistant coach, Harcum women’s basketball) saw the Bears (7-9 overall) go 2-2 the past three weeks. Harcum picked up an 81-45 win Dec. 12 against Raritan Valley, and it won 76-50 on Saturday against Tohono O’odham.
Layne Ingram (head coach, Lansing women’s basketball) guided the Stars (7-4 overall) to a 1-1 record the last three weeks.