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Men’s Tennis: Jeffrey New Coach

View larger Courtesy: RaginCajuns.com

 

LAFAYETTE- Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns promoted Mark Jeffrey to head men’s tennis coach on Friday.  Jeffrey had been with the Cajuns in the capacity of assistant tennis coach since the fall of 2007.
 
Kati Gyulai, who had been serving as both head men’s and women’s coach, will now work exclusively with the women’s program.
“Coach Jeffrey has had an outstanding career as both a player and a coach,” said senior associate director of athletics Scott Farmer.  “He knows tennis and should help our program grow.
“I’m very happy that now both our male and female tennis student-athletes will receive more individual attention from their respective head coach,” added Farmer. “Coach Gyulai and Coach Jeffrey make an excellent team.”
Last season, under both Gyulai and Jeffrey, the Cajuns men’s team was 4-2 at home, but struggled away from Cajun Courts, finishing with a 7-12 record.  Jeffrey tutored Piotrek Banas to an All-Sun Belt Conference performance and a national ranking of 108 in singles. Banas ended the 2008 season with a singles record of 7-3. Four of his seven wins came at No. 1.
The sophomore from Poland was named first team All-Louisiana as a freshman and ended the 2007 season with a record of 14-6 in singles. He won 12 of those matches at the No. 1 position.
Jeffrey began his coaching career on the WTA Tour working with Catherine Barclay, a former Junior Wimbledon doubles champion.  During their time together, Barclay improved her ranking from No. 180 in the world to a top-50 ranking on the Professional Women’s Tour. This included a doubles win over the third- ranked team of Pam Shriver and Liz Smylie. 
Jeffrey then worked at the Hong Kong Sports Institute where he worked solely with the National Junior Team. He traveled to the Australian, U.S. and Wimbledon Juniors helping John Hui move from a Top-200 ranking into the ITF Top 40. Jeffrey then coached at William Carey College where he served as head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams. He led the men’s team to a national ranking of No. 4 and guided the women’s team to No. 14. Jeffrey has coached six All-Americans. 
Jeffrey’s playing career is equally as impressive. He garnered All-America honors at Mississippi State and was an All-SEC selection three times. Jeffrey also consistently ranked in the Top 20 nationally in singles and Top 5 in doubles. He is listed as one of the top three winningest players in Mississippi State men’s tennis history. 
In 2005, Jeffrey was inducted into the Mississippi State Hall of Fame.  As a professional, Jeffrey has played in the U.S. and Australian Opens, while also qualifying for the Australian Indoors.  Jeffrey achieved a weekly high ranking in the Top 350 in singles and Top 350 in doubles on the ATP Tour.  He has career wins over Johnathon Stark, Darren Cahill, Mark Kratzman, Ellis Ferreira, Murphy Jensen, Byron Talbot, Shelby Cannon, Cyril Suk and David McPherson – all were ranked in the world’s top 20 in doubles.
Jeffrey earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in marketing and a Master’s of Science degree in sports administration from Mississippi State University. 
Jeffrey, originally from Sydney, Australia, is a naturalized U.S. citizen and resides in Lafayette.