University of Nebraska women’s tennis head coach Scott Jacobson announced Wednesday that former Husker student-athlete and Washington State Head Coach Lisa Hart has been named the new associate head coach for the Husker program. Hart replaces Jeremy Bayon, who accepted a head coaching position for the men’s tennis program at Georgia Southern.
“We are incredibly grateful to have Lisa rejoining our Husker Family,” Jacobson said. “She is a phenomenal coach, was a phenomenal player, and is simply an incredible human being. This is truly a dream hire for our program.”
“I would like to thank Scott Jacobson and Keith Zimmer for giving me the opportunity to coach at the University of Nebraska,” Hart said. “Coach Jacobson is a proven winner on the court, deeply cares about his players and is just a wonderful person. Being able to coach at my alma mater with the coach I played for is a dream come true. I am excited and eager to help our players have a positive and transformational student-athlete experience and cannot wait to get started.”
Prior to joining the Husker coaching staff, Hart served as the head coach at Washington State for 18 seasons from 2003 to 2021. She led the Cougars to 246 wins and NCAA Championship appearances in 2008, 2012 and 2019. Hart has also coached four players who have reached the NCAA Singles Championships.
During her time at WSU, Hart’s teams saw success in the classroom and put an emphasis on community service. In each of the last 14 seasons, the Cougars received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team award. Hart was also a six-time winner of the Community Service Award by the United States Tennis Association and ITA for her significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs and was named the national winner of the USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award in 2008.
On the court, Hart’s teams have posted 12 or more victories in 13 seasons with the Cougars, including a program-record 21 victories in 2018. The following season was also successful with the team reaching the NCAA Championships for the seventh time in program history. Additionally, both a singles player and doubles team made it to the tournament for the first time since 2002.
Hart’s best season at the time came in 2012, when she led the Cougars to a 19-7 record, tying for the most wins in school history, and a second-round showing at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship. That season included six wins over nationally ranked teams, a first-round victory over No. 36 Florida State at the NCAA Championship, and a weekend sweep over No. 26 Arizona and No. 27 Arizona State.
Hart capped the 2012 season by being named the Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year, the 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Region Coach of the Year and the 2012 United States Professional Tennis Association/Pacific Northwest Division College Coach of the Year.
During her WSU tenure, Hart has coached 39 players who received ITA All-Academic awards, two CoSIDA First Team All-District VIII recipients, seven Cissie Leary Sportsmanship and six Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship award winners.
Hart was a tennis standout at Nebraska, finishing her career as one of the most successful women’s tennis players in school history. She was the 1995 Big Eight Freshman of the Year, recorded 74 career singles victories, and won the Big 12 Conference No. 2 singles title as a senior in 1998.
Her dedication and excellence on the court was matched in the classroom as Hart was a three-time academic all-conference selection, earning first-team academic All-Big 12 honors as a senior. She was selected by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as the Central Region’s Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award winner. As a senior, Hart also received the Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship and Leadership Award.
A native of Sunnyside, Wash., Hart earned All-America honors as a high school sophomore. Hart earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Nebraska in 1998, and also holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education and sports studies from Nebraska.