TENNIS

Former Razorback Jay Udwadia named men’s tennis head coach

ADVERTISEMENT


ADVERTISEMENT

Fayetteville, Ark. – Former Razorback men’s tennis star Jay Udwadia has been named head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Arkansas. Udwadia returns to his alma mater to lead the men’s program after successful stints as head coach at Oklahoma State, Fresno State and Drake.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jay Udwadia back to the University of Arkansas as the senior men’s tennis coach,” said Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek. “Jay is an experienced collegiate head coach, who has demonstrated the ability to lead multiple programs with lasting success. As a former Razorback student-athlete, he has a tremendous passion for this university and our program. Jay is committed to creating a national-caliber, competitive men’s tennis program at the University of Arkansas.

During his last tenure as head coach at Oklahoma State, Udwadia posted a 137-71 record in nine seasons and led the Cowboys to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including an appearance at the NCAA Sweet Sixteen Tournament in 2016. During his tenure, OSU was ranked inside the top 25 in the Division I rankings for eight consecutive years, including three years in the top 10. OSU reached No. 4 in the national rankings in during his term.

“I want to thank Hunter Yurachek and (men’s tennis sport administrator) Rick Thorpe for trusting me with their men’s tennis program,” Udwadia said. “It’s not every day that someone gets the chance to coach at their alma mater. Arkansas has a rich tennis tradition. I am grateful to have the opportunity to build and be part of Razorback history as a player and now as a head coach. My family and are very excited and can’t wait to get there!”

In his 19 college coaching seasons, Udwadia’s teams have won at least 15 games in all but four seasons, those in his freshman season and his pandemic-shortened final season at the University. ‘OSU and his first two years at Fresno State.

Oklahoma State has posted seven consecutive winning campaigns and has been selected to play in the NCAA Tournament for the past six full seasons under Udwadia’s tutelage. During his time at OSU, nine players earned ITA All-American status, while four singles players and six doubles tandems earned All-Big 12 honors.

Before beginning the turnaround at Oklahoma State, Udwadia served eight seasons as men’s tennis coach at Fresno State and spent the previous year as head coach at Drake. His 257-132 overall record includes a Missouri Valley championship in 2004 and back-to-back Western Athletic Conference titles in 2011 and 2012.

After launching his coaching career at Drake with a 17-6 season in 2004, Udwadia returned to the program at Fresno State. He led the Bulldogs from a 10-11 record in his freshman year to seven straight winning seasons from 2006 to 2012. Udwadia took Fresno State to the conference championship game in six of those seven years and has won the league title twice during this period. His teams have always been well regarded in the ITA national rankings, reaching 14th place in 2012.

Udwadia, who was named WAC Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012, guided three Bulldogs to WAC Player of the Year honors, including Jakub Cech in 2006, Rudolf Siwy in 2008 and Remi Boutillier in 2012. He guided 12 singles players and 11 doubles tandems to All-WAC honors during his time at FSU.

Outside of the college circuit, Udwadia coached the New York Buzz of the World Tennis Team League from 2008 to 2010. The WTT is a professional tennis league founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King. In 2008, he guided the Buzz to their first and only World Tag Team Tennis Championship.

During her time with WTT, Udwadia coached five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis. He also coached the USTA Boys 18 National Team event, representing the NorCal section.

Prior to coaching at Drake, Udwadia was an assistant coach at Northwestern for four seasons. There, he helped lead the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten in 2002 with a No. 45 national ranking. Northwestern entered the NCAA Tournament in 2000 and 2002 under Udwadia.

Before beginning his career as a college tennis coach, Udwadia spent a year on the ATP Tour, earning 26 ATP points in doubles and winning an ITF title in doubles. He participated in tournaments organized by the French Tennis Federation and also played club tennis in Australia.

Udwadia, a native of Williamsville, NY, was a four-year winner under Arkansas head coach Robert Cox at the University of Arkansas and served as team captain during his last year.

While in Arkansas, he helped lead the Razorbacks to three NCAA tournament appearances and a National Top 25 finish before graduating from college in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Udwadia and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, Dash (7) and Fynn (5), and a daughter, Raya (1).

Udwadia becomes the fourth former Razorback tennis letter winner to be named head coach of the men’s tennis program, joining Jay Dickey, Jr. (1962-63), Ron Hightower (1985-86) and Robert Cox (1988- 2013).

ADVERTISEMENT