"Evan was one of our top players and played an integral part on teams that were all ranked in the top 15 in the country. He is one of the best players and one of the best people that we've had come out of our program. I've followed his coaching career progress since he left Kentucky with a lot of anticipation of him getting a job where he can really compete on the national level. Certainly Fresno State is a place that he can do that."
Kentucky Head Coach Dennis Emery
Aug. 1, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh announced Wednesday that two-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year Evan Austin has been hired as the new head coach of the Bulldog men's tennis program.
Austin becomes the seventh head coach in the history of the program and replaces Jay Udwadia, who guided the Bulldogs for the past eight seasons. Austin was the head coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for the last two seasons where he posted a 45-6 (.882) overall record, won two MVC championships and coached two different conference Players of the Year.
"We are very pleased to bring in a coach with Evan's expertise to build upon the recent success of our men's tennis program," Boeh said. "Evan demonstrated to be a prodigious coach and a person of high character and integrity. His commitment to the student-athletes along with his passion and energy makes him an ideal fit for Fresno State."
Last year at Drake, Austin's Bulldogs went 24-3 and finished the year ranked No. 47 in the ITA national rankings. In 2011, Austin guided Drake to a 21-3 record and a No. 62 ranking in the final poll. The Bulldogs reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament both seasons he was at Drake.
"I'm thrilled to accept the head men's tennis coaching position and am looking forward to getting to work immediately," said Austin, whose 2012 squad at Drake had a 3.3 team GPA. "This program has a great deal of tradition and I plan on working tirelessly to recruit high character student-athletes who have aspirations of playing at the elite levels of collegiate tennis and beyond. I want to thank Thomas Boeh and Betsy Mosher along with the entire search committee for this opportunity and I can't wait to get started."
In his collegiate coaching career, which includes four seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2006-10), Austin has coached five players that were selected to play in the NCAA Singles Championships, seven All-Big Ten players, seven All-MVC honorees and one Big Ten Freshman of the Year since 2006.
"Fresno State should be absolutely thrilled about hiring coach Evan Austin, He's played and coached at the highest level as a junior, a college player, and a college coach. He's the complete package. He's got a great work ethic and reputation in college tennis. I am very excited for him and wish him all the best is his next coaching phase.
Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Van Emburgh
While at Wisconsin, Austin helped lead the Badgers to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2010, Austin's last year at Wisconsin, the Badgers reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history with wins over Notre Dame and Illinois and finished 21-9 overall with a year-end ranking of No. 23.
The 20-plus win season was only the sixth in program history and the first since 1990.
Prior to his tenure at Wisconsin, Austin was the head tennis professional at Bay Colony Tennis Club in his hometown of Naples, Fla. from 2004-06.
Austin played collegiately at Kentucky where he earned a career-best ITA singles ranking of No. 65 in 2002 and he held an ATP ranking from 2000-03. A three-year letterwinner, Austin was a co-captain of the 2003-04 Wildcat squad that finished the season ranked No. 14 nationally.
He was a three-time Academic All-SEC honoree and earned a spot on Kentucky's AD Honor Roll in the fall of 2003.
As a junior player in 2000, Austin was ranked No. 4 in the U.S. in the 18-and-under division where he had victories over ATP professionals Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Joachim Johansson and Mario Ancic.
Austin, 30, earned a bachelor's degree from Kentucky in business administration in 2004.
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