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Men's Tennis: Mark Jeffrey Resigns as Men’s Tennis Head Coach

LAFAYETTE – Men's Tennis head coach Mark Jeffrey has resigned from his position to pursue other opportunities, the Louisiana Department of Athletics announced on Tuesday.

Jeffrey joined the program in 2009 and finished his tenure at the helm of the program with a 191-127 overall record.

A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.

 

Mark Jeffrey enters his 13th season as the head coach of Louisiana’s men’s tennis program, compiling a 180-116 record during his tenure. His win total ranks second all-time among Louisiana tennis coaches.

Jeffrey has had the Cajuns inside the top 75 nationally seven different times during his tenure, reaching a high of 47th nationally in 2012, 70th in 2013 and 61st in 2014 when they won the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Louisiana also obtained a ranking of 66th in 2015, 70th nationally in 2018 and 66th nationally in 2019 and 2020.

Louisiana has played in three NCAA national championships, two indoor and one outdoor, and have have taken down 10 nationally ranked teams in dual-match play.

Jeffrey has also coached 12 men to Sun Belt All-Conference honors in singles and 19 men have achieved all-conference honors in doubles.

During the 2020 spring season, the Ragin’ Cajuns amassed a 13-3 (.812) record, the third-highest win percentage in program history dating back to 1973.

The 2019-20 campaign was highlighted by Ivailo Keremedchiev reaching the quarterfinals of then main draw $15,000 USTA Future at Fayettville, Arkansas.

Louisiana also defeated defending Southland Conference Champion Texas A&M Corpus Christi twice, Conference USA foe Rice University and 2019 Big Sky Champion Northern Arizona.

The Ragin’ Cajuns also beat Boise State, who is regarded as one of the toughest mid-majors programs year in and year out, on the road. When the season came to an end, the Cajuns were ranked among the top two programs in the Sun Belt Conference.

Following the great start, Jan Galka earned First Team All-Louisiana honors while Keremedchiev was selected as an All-Louisiana Honorable Mention.


Recent Recruiting
The Ragin’ Cajuns had one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory under Jeffrey. The 2019-20 recruiting class was ranked the third-best recruiting haul in the nation among all mid-major programs by tennisrecruiting.net. Similar to this past season’s haul, the Cajuns earned the fifth-best recruiting class in 2018-19 and recorded the highest aggregate of all mid-majors over those two years.

Jeffrey played a major role in bringing Oriol Fillat Gimenez and Alejandro Sanchez Gonzalez to the Cajuns. Fillat and Gonzalez both have established ATP rankings at 1600 and 1700, respectively.

Alejo Ferrer Chueca is another strong addition to the Cajuns’ 2020 roster, ranking as the 106th-best player from Spain. Grant Landreth and Stefan Milenkovic will also join the 2020 recruiting class. Landreth was rated a four-star recruit from St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, while Milenkovic hails from Melbourne, Australia.

Xandy Hammitt, a transfer from Drexel University, rounds out the group and join the 2020 team.


Personal
As a player, Jeffrey was one of the most decorated players in program history at Mississippi State. Jeffrey arrived in Starkville, Miss., in 1988 when the Bulldogs had not achieved a national ranking since 1967. Jeffrey helped vault Mississippi State into the national top 25 each year from 1988-91.

Jeffrey still holds several records at Mississippi State, including the most single-season singles wins, ranking second in career wins in singles and doubles, first in career doubles winning percentage with a minimum of 50 matches, and fourth all-time in career dual-match wins. Even more impressive is the fact that he attained his marks while playing his entire career at both number one and two singles and doubles.

Jeffrey also achieved All-American and All-SEC status multiple times and ranked as high as fifth nationally for doubles and 17th in singles. He also qualified for the NCAA Tournament all four years as a singles and doubles player. He defeated the top-ranked player in the nation twice in his career.

As a professional, Jeffrey’s career was highlighted by playing in four grand slams – three Australian Opens and one U.S. Open – and reached a ranking as high as 373 ATP for singles and 363 ATP for doubles.

Ranking as one of the top 20 ITF junior players in the world, Jeffrey made it to the semifinals of the Junior Grand Slam Australian Open and to the finals and semifinals of several Grade 1 and Grade 2 ITF Tournaments.

Some of Jeffrey’s notable wins throughout his career: Jonathon Stark (1 ATP doubles, top 36 singles ATP), Darren Cahill (22 ATP singles, 10 ATP doubles), Mark Kratzmann (50 ATP singles, 5 ATP Doubles), David McPherson (11 ATP Doubles), Ellis Fereira (2 ATP doubles), Trevor Kronemann (19 ATP doubles), Byron Talbot (20 ATP doubles), Des Tyson (71 ATP doubles), Jorgen Windahl (108 ATP singles, 69 ATP doubles), Michael Kures (107 ATP singles), Chris Johnston (97 ATP singles), Bruce Derlin (115 ATP singles 83 Doubles), Tim Pawsat (21 ATP doubles).



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