Source: CVDaily Feed
LOGAN, Utah – James Wilson has been named the head men’s tennis coach at Utah State University, as announced by Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell on Friday. Wilson replaces Clancy Shields, who was appointed the head coach at Arizona after leading the Aggies to the 2016 Mountain West title.
“James brings great passion and an impressive pedigree as a player and coach to our program,” said Hartwell. “He has played a major role in building one of the premier tennis programs in the west and has a clear vision for what he can do at USU. We are excited to make him part of our Aggie family.”
Wilson comes to Utah State after three years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, helping the Red Raiders to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a national ranking as high as No. 6 last season. During his time in Lubbock, Texas Tech compiled a dual match record of 60-26 and had numerous student-athletes in national rankings, including the No. 19-ranked singles player Felipe Soares and the No.12-ranked doubles tandem of Soares and Hugo Dojas, last season. Soares was ranked as high as No. 8 in singles during the year and won the ITA National Indoors doubles title with Dojas in November, 2015.
“It’s an honor to lead the Utah State Aggies and I am extremely grateful for John Hartwell for giving me the opportunity. Also, I’d like to thank Jana Doggett and Jake Garlock for accommodating me and making my transition very smooth,” Wilson said. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that USU was a special place, where the attitude and vision is about winning Mountain West Conference titles. Clancy Shields did an excellent job of building and developing a nationally ranked team. My goal is build on the success and hopefully take this team to new heights.”
Prior to his three-year tenure at Texas Tech, Wilson was an assistant coach at UNLV during the 2012-13 season, helping lead the Rebels to a 17-7 dual match record, which was a 10-match improvement from the previous season when UNLV went 7-16. Wilson was also an assistant coach at William & Mary during the 2011-12 season, helping the Tribe to victories over such teams as Georgetown, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
Wilson began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the men’s and women’s teams at Texas Tech, following his three years as a student-athlete with the Red Raiders. Wilson was a two-year team captain at Texas Tech and the Red Raiders were 47-28 overall and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments during his collegiate career.
Wilson earned his degree in psychology from Texas Tech in 2009 and worked toward his master’s degree in exercise and sports psychology, while serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the Red Raiders’ tennis programs. He was a member of the President’s honor list, the National Scholastic Honor Society, Big 12 Honor Roll and the Commissioner’s Honor Roll during his collegiate career.
Wilson inherits a team that finished the 2015-16 season ranked No. 60 in the nation in the final Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The Aggies set new program standards, winning a school-record 21 matches and securing the first Mountain West championship in school history.
Individually, Utah State had six players post 20 or more victories in singles, including a team-best 24 victories by sophomore Jaime Barajas, who was named the Mountain West Player of the Year. Junior Jack Swindells and freshman Jonas Maier were right behind with 23 singles wins, with Swindells earning all-Mountain West honors at the end of the season.
Fans can follow USU’s men’s tennis team on Twitter @USUMensTennis, on Facebook at UtahStateMensTennis or on Instagram at USUTennis. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.