Entering her ninth season as an assistant coach for the University of Oklahoma women's tennis program is Raluca Gheorghe. Gheorghe, a native of Bucharest, Romania, is no stranger to OU tennis as she is considered among the all-time great tennis players to wear the crimson and cream.
Not only does Gheorghe tend to the programs daily administrative duties, but she also splits her time on the international recruiting circuit and on-court coaching for OU. Her success on the recruiting circuit landed former Sooner standout Anda Perianu, the 2003 ITA National Indoor Singles runner-up, two-time Big 12 Player of the Year and three-time NCAA Championships qualifier and current Sooner standout Gabby Baker.
With Gheorghe on staff, the Sooners have gone 114-83, hosted two NCAA Regionals and the 2004 Big 12 Championships and had three players qualify for postseason action.
The former two-year letterwinner became OU's second NCAA singles qualifier and fifth tennis player to ever participate in an NCAA Championship event. Gheorghe earned this honor after being named the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year and ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year in 1998. She was also proudly a part of two ITA Academic All-American teams.
She finished second at the 1999 Big 12 Tournament, earned All-Big 12 second team honors and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 team as a senior. Gheorghe was also considered the sixth best best player in the region and ranked among the top 100 singles players in the nation as a senior. She concluded her collegiate career with an overall singles record of 44-21 (.677) and doubles mark of 36-12 (.750).
Gheorghe completed her bachelor's degree from OU in English along with a minor in communications in December of 1999. She then completed her master's in human relations from OU in spring 2005.
Gheorghe is married to Matei Popovici, and the couple resides in Norman and have two children, a daughter Ana and a son Luca.