Notre Dame Highlights
- 23 NCAA Championship Berths
- 21 Consecutive NCAA Championship Appearances (1996-2016)
- 3 NCAA Quarterfinal Appearances (1996, 2006, 2007)
- 2 NCAA Semifinal Appearances (2009, 2010)
- 28 All-America Honors (13 Different Players, as of 2016)
- 32 NCAA Singles Championship Invitations (14 Different Players, as of 2016)
- 20 NCAA Doubles Championship Invitations (19 Different Players, as of 2016)
- 6 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Championships
- 13 BIG EAST Conference Championships
- 24 All-Conference Selections (12 Different Players, as of 2016)
- 19 ITA All-Academic Team Awards (Since 1996)
- 2006 ITA National Coach of the Year
- 4-Time ITA Midwest Region Coach Of The Year
- 11-Time BIG EAST Coach Of The Year
- 3-Time Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach Of The Year
- 7 Francis Patrick O’Connor Award Winners
- 12 Byron V. Kanaley Award Winners
- 2003 USTA Tennis Family Of The Year (Louderback Family)
- 1998 Honorary Monogram Recipient
When Jay Louderback took over as women's tennis head coach at Notre Dame in the fall of 1989, he inherited a program that had competed on the Division I level for just four years and had never participated in the NCAA tournament or earned a national ranking. In the time since, Louderback has turned Notre Dame into one of the premier women's tennis programs in the nation.
The Irish have made 23 NCAA Championship appearances in Louderback’s tenure (as of 2016), including 21 consecutive berths from 1996-2016. Notre Dame has captured 19 conference titles during Louderback's time at the helm and has reached the Round of 16 or further in the NCAA tournament on nine occasions, including three appearances in the quarterfinals (1996, 2006, 2007) and two consecutive trips to the semifinals (2009, 2010). The Courtney Tennis Center also has served as host of the 1998 NCAA Championships, largely due to his efforts.
Louderback's players have enjoyed great success under his tutelage, both on the court and in the classroom. He has overseen 28 All-America seasons by 13 different players, as well as 32 singles and 20 doubles NCAA Championship appearances. The Irish have also garnered 19 ITA All-Academic Team awards since 1996, second only to Western Michigan, which has earned the recognition each season since the award was created. Louderback has also produced a pair of Academic All-Americans.
Louderback also has been decorated with 14 conference coach-of-the-year awards, and seven times he has been named Midwest Region Coach of the Year. He was awarded the Wilson/ ITA National Coach of the Year in 2006.
In 35 years of coaching, Louderback holds a 719-409 (.637) record, including a 674-378 (.641) mark coaching women's tennis. At Notre Dame, he is 515-233 (.689), making him the winningest coach in program history. After guiding Notre Dame to a 17-8 record during his first year with the Irish in 1990, Louderback led the Irish to their first-ever national ranking the following season, finishing the year at 23rd after a 16-9 campaign. In individual action, Melissa Harris advanced to the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship, becoming the first player in school history to accomplish the feat.
The remainder of the 1990s saw Louderback establish Notre Dame as a fixture among the nation's elite. Louderback and the Irish won conference championships on nine occasions in the decade (six Midwestern Collegiate Conference and three BIG EAST) as well as earning a spot in the NCAA Championship on six occasions.
Seven times in the ‘90s Louderback's teams also found themselves ranked in the final ITA top 25 rankings, capped off by the 1995-96 season where the team posted a record of 23-7 and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time in program history. That year's team also became the first under Louderback's tutelage to finish ranked in the top 10, completing the season as the sixth-best team nationally.
The Irish have reached the 20-win mark eight times since the turn of the century, reaching the NCAA Championship quarterfinals on four occasions and the national semifinals twice. The Irish have also finished the season ranked in the top 10 on five occasions since the 1999-2000 season. Additionally, the Irish were either BIG EAST Champions or runners-up in each of their seasons in the conference from 1995-96 to 2012-13.
In 2001, Michelle Dasso became the first Irish player to be named the ITA National Senior Player of the Year and qualified for the NCAA singles tournament for the fourth time. She capped off the season for an Irish women’s tennis player when she reach at least the semifinals in three of the four ITA grand slam events. She became the first Notre Dame player to reach a grand slam final at the now-defunct National Clay Court Championships and made it to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship.
The 2004-05 campaign was marked by the outstanding play of sophomore twins Catrina and Christian Thompson, who reached the title match of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships and the semis of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships en route to being the first squad in Irish history to reach the national No. 1 ranking in doubles. The Thompsons captured the program’s first ever ITA national championship at the 2005 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships and went on to earn two more doubles All-America honors in 2005-06 and 2007-08.
In 2007, Brook Buck and Kelcy Tefft captured the program's second-ever title in an ITA national championship following their triumph at the ITA National Indoors in November. Buck and Tefft went on to earn All-America status and even reached the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship — the furthest that any Notre Dame duo has advanced in the program's history.
The 2008 dual season saw the Irish post a 22-9 record, capture their third BIG EAST title in four years, and make their 13th straight NCAA tournament appearance. For his efforts, Louderback took home 2008 BIG EAST Coach-of-the-Year honors for the seventh time overall and second time in three seasons.
The Irish made program history in 2009 when they advanced to the NCAA tournament semifinals, then repeated the feat in 2010. They finished fifth in the team rankings after both season. They also advanced to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships in those years, making the semifinal round in 2009.
Kelcy Tefft and Kristy Frilling opened the 2009 season as the nation's top-ranked doubles duo before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Doubles Championship and earning All-America honors. Tefft was named the ITA National Player of the Year and the BIG EAST Player of the Year, while Frilling earned ITA National Player to Watch billing and BIG EAST Freshman of the Year honors.
Frilling would go on to win two more BIG EAST Player of the Year honors (2010, 2011) while racking up five total All-America scrolls. Her five ITA All-America citations are the most in Irish history.
During the 2014 season, Louderback led the Irish to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships after upsetting No. 16 Northwestern, 4-2. Sophomore Quinn Gleason earned a bid to the NCAA Singles Championships and advanced to the round of 32 and played in the doubles tournament with senior Britney Sanders. Gleason went on to earn two more NCAA tournament bids, entering the 2015 bracket with teammate Monica Robinson and participating in the 2016 singles event.
THE IOWA STATE & WICHITA STATE YEARS
Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Louderback headed the men's and women's tennis programs at Iowa State for three years. He led the men's squad to a 45-33 mark and the women's team to a 37-51 record from 1986-89. In his final season with the Cyclones, Louderback's men's team finished fourth in the Big Eight, Iowa State's highest conference finish in 25 years.
Wichita State Highlights (1979-86)
- 2-Time Gateway Conference Championships (1984, 1986)
- 1982 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
- 1982 Region IV Champions
- 1982 Region IV Coach Of The Year
- 10 Postseason Qualifiers
Wichita State women's program in just its fifth year of competition. He guided the Shockers to a 122-94 record in seven years, including two Gateway Conference championships (1984 and 1986) and a Missouri Valley Conference title (1982). Five of his seven teams either won a conference championship or finished as runners-up. During his tenure, the Shockers won 14 or more matches each season while 10 of his players qualified for postseason competition. Two of his players qualified for the NCAA Championships in both the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons.
The 1980-81 Shockers set a school record with 21 wins, as the team earned its first postseason berth. The 21-win plateau was reached again the following season when Wichita State captured the MVC and Region IV championships. Louderback was voted 1982 Region IV Coach of the Year for his team's outstanding accomplishments.
PERSONAL AND COLLEGIATE CAREER
Wichita State Playing Highlights (1972-76)
- 1976 Missouri Valley Conference Singles Champion
- 1976 Wichita State Team MVP
A native of Arkansas City, Kansas, Louderback was an assistant tennis professional at the Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita, Kansas, and head tennis professional at the Y Tennis Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, before taking the coaching position at Wichita State.
Louderback, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Wichita State in 1976, won a Missouri Valley Conference title at No. 3 singles during his senior year. For his efforts that season, Louderback was voted most valuable player by his teammates.
In April 2003, the Louderback family was honored by the USTA with the Tennis Family of the Year Award, 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. He and his wife, Denise, have one daughter, Bailey, who earned four monograms with the Irish tennis team and graduated in May 2008.
Jay Louderback: The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together