Evan Austin, an assistant coach the last four seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named head men’s tennis coach at Drake University, Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb announced today.
The Badgers concluded the 2010 season with a 21-9 overall record and a No. 23 national ranking en route to the program’s fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Wisconsin reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history with victories over Notre Dame and Illinois.
The Badgers’ 21 wins marked only the sixth 20-win season in program history and the first since 1990. Wisconsin was just one win shy of the program-record 22 wins set in 1977 and 1978.
During his tenure at Wisconsin, Austin spearheaded recruiting, planning team travel, managed NCAA compliance, oversaw budget management, coordinated fundraising and oversaw the strength and conditioning program.
“We are very pleased to have Coach Austin lead our men’s tennis program and join the Bulldog Athletic family,” said Drake Associate Athletic Director Dennis Francois, who chaired the search committee. “During his time at Wisconsin, he developed a reputation as a great recruiter and player’s coach. I’m confident he will use these same skills to recruit and develop the quality of student-athletes that fans have been accustomed to at Drake University.”
“I’m extremely excited to join the Drake family and begin working with the team,” Austin said. “I know Drake has an incredible history of success in the Missouri Valley Conference and I look
forward to continuing that tradition. We have a great group of guys with high expectations for this season and I’m looking forward to helping them achieve their goals and a bright future here at Drake.”
During his last four years at Wisconsin, Austin helped lead the Badgers to a 71-41 (.634) record, including four NCAA Tournament appearances, five NCAA Tournament individual singles’ selections and seven All-Big Ten honorees.
“I am really excited for Evan and his new opportunity as a head coach,” Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Van Emburgh said. “Selfishly, I would like to keep him around longer, but most every assistant is looking to eventually be a head coach. I am grateful for the time and dedication he spent working with me to make the men’s tennis program successful here at Wisconsin. We will miss him and wish him all the best in his new position at Drake.”
Austin, 28, came to Wisconsin after spending two years at Bay Colony Tennis Club in Naples, Fla., where he served as the head tennis professional.
A Naples, Fla., native, Austin played collegiate tennis at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a earned a career-best ITA singles ranking of 65th in 2002 and held an ATP ranking from 2000-03. A three-year letterwinner, Austin was a co-captain on the 2003-04 Wildcat squad that finished the season ranked No. 14 in the final ITA rankings.
Austin’s success extended into the classroom, receiving Academic All-SEC honors three times and also earned a spot on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in the fall of 2003. Austin was inducted into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character in March of 2004.
As a junior player in 2000, Austin was ranked No. 4 in the U.S. in the 18-and-under division. As a junior, he defeated current ATP top 100 touring professionals Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Joachim Johansson and Mario Ancic.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kentucky in 2004.