July 3, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s tennis head coach Jay Louderback and his family were honored recently as the United States Tennis Association Tennis Family of the Year for 2002. The annual honor is presented to one family consisting of USTA members and volunteers who have excelled in advancing the USTA’s mission to promote and grow the game of tennis both on and off the court.
“The Louderbacks are the classic definition of a dedicated tennis family,” says Lee Hamilton, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “They truly share a passion and commitment to community, using tennis as the means.”
Members of the Louderback family were presented the award at the USTA Annual Meeting on April 15 in La Quinta, Calif. and featured in the most recent issue of USTA Magazine, which is sent to the organization’s members.
“It’s wonderful to see a whole family incorporate tennis as a central focal point in their lives,” said Rose Hobson, USTA Awards Committee Chair. “(A family of) three generations of volunteers, players and coaches is quite remarkable … and a tribute to the sport’s benefits.”
Ready to begin his 15th season under the Golden Dome this fall, Louderback owns a superb 255-124 (.673) record, with a 459-302 (.603) overall mark in 24 years of collegiate coaching. Louderback’s Irish have finished in the national top 30 in each of the last 11 seasons, have won 11 conference titles and registered 20 or more victories five times in the last eight seasons. After taking over a program looking for its first NCAA tournament appearance, Louderback has helped Notre Dame to the NCAAs 10 times in the last 11 years, including five appearances in the round of 16 and a 1996 quarterfinal finish. His teams also have been ranked in every set of national rankings for an 11-year span from the beginning of the 1992-93 season to the present. On March 8, 2003, Louderback became just the fifth active NCAA Division I women’s coach to win 450 career collegiate matches.
A four-time Midwest Region Coach of the Year, Louderback has been honored as his conference’s top coach on eight occasions, including five times in eight years in the BIG EAST. In his time at Notre Dame, Louderback’s players have earned All-America honors 13 times, won three national ITA awards, and earned 18 invitations to the NCAA singles championship and 10 to the NCAA doubles tournament. His players also have dominated the university awards, leading all sports in both Byron V. Kanaley awards (five) and Francis Patrick O’Connor awards (five). The Arkansas City, Kan., native, and 1976 graduate of Wichita State arrived at Notre Dame prior to the 1990 season after coaching for seven years at his alma mater and three years (men and women) at Iowa State.
Louderback’s father, J.C., has been involved with the game for over 46 years. From 1957 to 1993, he served as boys’ tennis head coach at Arkansas City High School, winning three team championships and mentoring 16 individual state champions. He is a two-time recipient of the National High School Regional Tennis Coach of the Year award and a four-time winner of the Kansas State High School Tennis Coach of the Year award.
Brad Louderback, brother of the Notre Dame mentor, previously served as head coach at Illinois and Oklahoma State. A Big 8 Conference singles champion while playing at the latter, he also was a coach of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team in the 1980’s, working with players such as Patrick McEnroe and Luke Jenson.
Louderback’s sister, Jan Krisik, serves as girls’ tennis head coach at Arkansas City High School, while also teaching sixth-grade reading in the district. She has one team state championship to her credit, while also helping her players to a singles state title and eight in doubles.
Five of the youngest generation of Louderbacks are active in tennis. Bailey, daughter of Jay, graduated from Penn High School last month after playing No. 1 singles for the Kingsmen tennis team. In addition, Jan’s daughter, Kali Krisik, won the Kansas 5A state championship in 2002 as a freshman at Arkansas City High School, compiling an overall record of 31-0. She is currently listed 42nd in the USTA Girls 14s national rankings.
The United States Tennis Association is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and is a non-profit organization with more than 670,000 members. It owns and operates the U.S. Open and selects the teams that compete in Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It invests all its resources to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels.
Louderback is looking forward to the 2003-04 season with an Irish team returning six of the top seven players from the ’02-03 squad, which was 16-9, advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament and finished ranked 21st in the nation.