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Former Corona del Mar tennis star Bjorn Hoffmann headed to UC Irvine

Corona del Mar High graduate Bjorn Hoffmann plans to play his final year of college tennis at UC Irvine next spring.
Corona del Mar High School graduate Bjorn Hoffmann, shown playing for the Sea Kings in 2016, plans to play his final year of college tennis at UC Irvine next spring.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Bjorn Hoffmann has returned home to Orange County after graduating from UC Berkeley.

The former Corona del Mar High School tennis star earned his degree in legal studies. He has been trying to keep busy since the coronavirus pandemic wiped out his senior season for the Cal men’s tennis team.

Hoffmann, however, is not done with college tennis just yet.

He is enrolling in UC Irvine’s Master of Finance program, he said Wednesday. He plans to compete for the Anteaters next spring with his fifth year of eligibility.

Hoffmann’s family has a rich history with the UC Irvine program. His father, Carsten, and mother, Biljana Longman, both played for the Anteaters, as did his uncle, Zoran Korac.

“UCI was an easy starting point for me in my search for schools, just because we’ve got a long history with UCI,” Bjorn Hoffmann said. “I know the coach [Mike Saunders], and I know the team. I started talking with the coach a little bit, and he got me really excited about the idea of going over there.

“To really be close to home, have my parents come to every match pretty easily and do that Master of Finance program really just checked a lot of boxes. I thought it would be a great way for me to wrap up my athletic career.”

Hoffmann was 9-5 in singles and 13-6 in doubles his senior year for Cal, before COVID-19 hit. In four seasons with the Golden Bears, he was 67-34 in singles and 39-28 in doubles.

Hoffmann had a decorated prep career at CdM that included three years at No. 1 singles. He won the 2016 CIF Southern Section Individuals Singles Championship as a senior, and was a two-time finalist at the prestigious Ojai tournament.

Now he is headed to a place that his family already calls home.

“We’ve been joking that if it wasn’t going to be me [playing tennis for UCI], it was going to be [my brother] Niels,” Hoffmann said. “We definitely feel like we were destined for someone to go and play over there. I’m definitely excited to carry on the Anteater tradition. Obviously my parents are super-stoked on it as well and I know my uncle is ... and I know the coach is really stoked that he gets another local guy who has a lot of connections there.”

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