Clarksville, Ark.-University of the Ozarks has announced Ryan Spencer as the new head women's and men's tennis coach, it was released Tuesday (October 29) by Athletics Director Jimmy Clark.
Spencer, a native of Katy, Texas, starred at University of Texas-Tyler leading the Patriots to a pair of American Southwest Conference (ASC) championships while earning multiple First Team All-Conference honors in singles and doubles. In 2012, he qualified for the NCAA Division III national tournament in doubles. Following his playing career, Spencer served as a graduate assistant at Mississippi College for two seasons. During his tenure there, he helped the women's program to the semi-finals of the National Christian College Athletic Association Tournament and the men's program to the finals. He followed his success at Mississippi College by serving as the interim women's and men's assistant coach at UT-Tyler helping the men's program to a conference title. Additionally, Spencer served as a teaching pro at Cascades Golf and Country Club.
"Ryan has won as a player and a coach," said Clark. "We are thrilled to add him to our athletic staff. He brings a winning mentality. He has outstanding character and is a great fit for the University. Having coached and played in the ASC, he understands the landscape of the league and its competitiveness."
During his standout career, he served as team Co-Captain, earned ASC All-Tournament Team honors and was twice named the ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. He also played one season at NCAA I Kennesaw State University where he was named to the conference All-Freshman Team. He owns a combined collegiate singles and doubles record of 134-54.
"I'm excited to begin at University of the Ozarks," said Spencer. "First and foremost, my goal is to be a positive role model. I want my student-athletes to build character for their future endeavors while building for an ASC Championship. Ozarks is located in a beautiful part of the country. The University has a strong reputation for athletics and its academics. The student-athletes are supported both on and off court. My wife and I are anxious to become part of the community."
Spencer is thrilled to be able to coach in the new Alexander-Boreham Tennis Center.
"This is a top notch facility and one of the best in the country," he said. "Our student-athletes have a tremendous technological advantage with PlaySight. A player can utilize PlaySight's tools to analyze, measure and improve play. It provides extensive data to look at a player's game from another angle. Overall, the technology is advantageous to a player here."
Spencer will emphasize a strong balance between academics and athletics within his program.
"I want student-athletes who want to develop as a whole person and want to take advantage of the small school environment where multiple people know your name," he said. "This is a very welcoming campus. I want students who are serious about their academics and athletics and want to become future leaders."
Spencer received his bachelor's degree in history from UT-Tyler and his master's degree from Mississippi College in athletic administration.
He and his wife Janae are the parents of two children.