Cris James begins his first season as volunteer assistant coach for the University of Notre Dame men's tennis team in 2013-14. James comes to Notre Dame after a six-year stint as the head coach of Illinois State University's men's tennis team.
Under James' charge, the Redbirds appeared in the national rankings (2010) for the first time since 2001. The year culminated in James being named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year after leading the squad to the regular season championship.
Before leading the ISU program, James got his college coaching start as an assistant tennis coach at his alma mater, Purdue University.
As a player at the collegiate level, James was a three-time all-Big Ten and academic all-Big Ten performer and a three-time team MVP. A team captain, James reached a high of No. 26 nationally in singles and No. 7 in doubles. He won three professional futures doubles tournaments and earned professional rankings in both singles and doubles.
He owns two degrees from Purdue, a Bachelor of Science in political science in 1999 and a Master of Science in sports management in 2007.
Following graduation, James served as the assistant tennis professional at the University of Alberta Tennis Center for seven years before returning to Purdue.
James will reside in the South Bend area with his wife, Emily, and their son, Jack.