247report: Arkansas’s Second Man Has Been Promoted To Head Coach Associate

247report: Arkansas’s Second Man Has Been Promoted To Head Coach Associate

Hunter Nicholas Elevated to Associate Head Coach | Arkansas Razorbacks


Arkansas’s FAYETTEVILLE Men’s tennis head coach Jay Udwadia announced that assistant coach Hunter Nicholas has been elevated to associate head coach after helping guide Arkansas to its most wins in a season since 1986.

Throughout the past two seasons, Hunter has played a crucial role in our program’s development. Head coach Jay Udwadia stated, “He has demonstrated amazing leadership and has earned the promotion to associate head coach.” “I think he will keep improving both professionally and personally because our program is currently seeing an increasing amount of excitement. We are thrilled that he and his family will remain members of Razorback Nation.

A nine-win improvement from the 2023 season, the program’s first NCAA Tournament trip since 2021, and the most wins in a season since 1986 (21) are just a few of the significant achievements that Nicholas helped the Razorbacks achieve recently. This is his third season as a staff member. The Hogs defeated 11 teams that were ranked in the final ITA top-75 team rankings and reached a season-high ITA team rating of No. 28. At the end of the year, Arkansas’s ITA team ranking (No. 31) was the highest it had been since 2016.

In addition to coaching the program’s first two All-Americans since 2018, Božo Barun and Jared Horwood, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2024 NCAA Doubles Championship, earned ITA Doubles All-American honors under Nicholas’s guidance as assistant coach. Nicholas also coached All-SEC Second Team honoree Gerard Planelles Ripoll.

Planelles Ripoll concluded this season with a year-end singles ranking of No. 96 and was named SEC Player of the Week in April 2024 under Nicholas. Barun and Horwood finished the season ranked No. 28, which was a season high in doubles. Connor Smillie, who won SEC Freshman of the Week in February 2024, owes a lot to Nicholas for his success.

Before moving to Arkansas, Nicholas was the volunteer assistant coach for the Cowboys in 2018–19 while working with Udwadia at Oklahoma State. Nicholas, a native of Park City, Utah, assisted in leading Oklahoma State to a 16-12 dual-match record in the 2018–19 campaign. The Cowboys defeated rated opponents Ole Miss in the NCAA Championship round as well as teams California, NC State, Memphis, Texas Tech, and TCU.

Hunter Nicholas | Arkansas Razorbacks

After leaving Stillwater, Nicholas worked as Utah State’s assistant coach. The Aggies finished 3-4 in Mountain West play in 2021 with an overall record of 12-8. Felipe Acosta and Sergiu Bucur were both selected to the league’s singles team, and Acosta and Javier Ruiz won doubles awards. These three Aggies were recognized as All-Mountain West players. The Aggies finished 3-11 in the 2019–20 season before the COVID-19 epidemic forced the season’s cancellation. Bucur went 8-10 overall, including 7-7 in dual match play, to win All-MWC singles accolades.

Nicholas played professional tennis as a main draw member of the ATP/WTA Tour and ITF Pro Circuit, going 43–20 in doubles competition before beginning his coaching career. Nicholas had a career-high rating of 953 in singles and as high as 345 in doubles rankings.

Nicholas excelled as a student-athlete at San Diego State from 2010 until 2014. In doubles play, he was an All-MWC pick for four years, and in 2013, he assisted the Aztecs in winning the MWC regular season championship. As a senior, he led his fellow student athletes as President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was also selected all-league in singles play.

Hunter Nicholas | Arkansas Razorbacks

Hunter is an avid outdoor enthusiast when he is not playing tennis. His interests include fly fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking in the hills of Northwest Arkansas, golfing with his spouse, and backcountry skiing. Along with their excursions, Hunter and his wife, Amy, love to take their dog, Penny, on frequent outings.

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