Coach Spotlight: Jay Evans


Photo by: Ainara Eizaguirre Irastorza

Jay Evans joins the staff at FMU as new head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

After living up north for three years, Jay Evans, former head men’s and women’s tennis coach of West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) moved seven hours south as he recently became FMU’s new head tennis coach last month.  

“My goal for us is to be competitive in our new conference,” Evans said, “ideally finishing top four in the regular season and competing deep in the conference tournament.”   

Despite only having five years of coaching experience under his belt, Evans is entering the program with a successful resume. After working at WVWC for less than a year, Evans led the men’s team to a 7-6 record during their season last year, attaining runner-up status in their conference and making their 12th NCAA appearance. The WVWC men’s team also ranked fourth in the region during his time as head coach, with the women’s team performing well alongside them, going 3-6 in the season.  

Coach Evans is succeeding Garth Thompson, an All-American player during his time at FMU and former professional player in the Davis Cup. As a coach, Thompson won more than 700 matches combined. Because of this, Evans said he has big shoes to fill, but he is up for the challenge.   

“I feel that I bring a lot of energy and passion to our program, and my mentality will help revitalize a program that has declined a bit from historical success,” Evans said.  

Although he found success as a coach at his previous two schools, Evans arrived on the tennis scene later than most in his life.  

“I came to tennis at age 14, much later than my peers, so I had to rely on passion and heart to become the player I was,” Evans said. “I like to think this mentality has carried over into my coaching career.”   

Evans believes this passion is what propelled him to success as a collegiate tennis player at Piedmont University.  

The recent hire has high expectations for his athletes during his first season as head coach of the Patriots.   

“I’m passionate about bringing a lot of positive but real energy to my program,” Evans said. “There are certain values I expect my players to follow, but also maintain a strong competitive spirit.”  

Evans highlighted some of the things he learned throughout his time coaching.   

“I’ve always tried to improve my ‘practice coaching’ and become more organized and less of a player’s coach,” Evans said. “Coaching is so enjoyable for me because of the relationships I build and the impact I can have on people’s lives.”  

You can see new head coach Jay Evans and the Patriots tennis team in action this spring on the John Kassab tennis courts located behind the Smith University Center.