FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has hired former Florida and Mississippi State coach Andy Jackson to lead its men’s tennis program.
Jackson, 51, comes to Arkansas after spending 11 years (2002-12) with the Gators, where he resigned after the 2012 season. He also has coached both the men’s (1989-2001) and women’s (1985-89) programs at Mississippi State.
Jackson — who is 496-234 in his coaching career — has guided his teams into the NCAA Tournament for 22 straight seasons.
“Coach Jackson has demonstrated the ability to lead nationally competitive tennis programs within the Southeastern Conference,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a news release. “His record of sustained success, first at Mississippi State and then at Florida, is confirmation that he knows what it takes to compete and win in the nation’s most challenging men’s tennis conference.
“Andy also has a tremendous record of developing student-athletes on and off the court. I am confident that under his leadership, our men’s tennis program will return to national prominence while competing for both individual and team championships. We are excited to welcome Andy to Razorback Athletics.”
Jackson replaces Robert Cox, who stepped last month after leading the Arkansas tennis program for 26 years.
He won two Southeastern Conference championships while at Florida (2003, 2005), one at Mississippi State (1993) and has led teams to the NCAA Tournament semifinals three times (Mississippi State in 1994, 1998; Florida in 2005).
Jackson is an Oneida, Kent., native. He graduated from Kentucky, where he also lettered twice for the Wildcats’ tennis team.
“I am honored to be the new head coach at the University of Arkansas and appreciate the opportunity Jeff Long has given me to help lead this program back to a place as a consistent national contender in men’s tennis,” Jackson said in a news release. “As a coach in the SEC for nearly 30 years, I know the challenges of competing in this league. At the University of Arkansas, I am confident we can build a program that will compete successfully not only in the SEC, but nationally.
“We will focus our efforts on the development of our student-athletes not just on the court, but in the classroom and in all aspects of their lives. I have tremendous respect for this program’s history and for the commitment the University of Arkansas has made to men’s tennis. I am excited to begin working with our student-athletes and investing in the future success of Razorback Tennis.”