Long-Time OSU Tennis Coach To Retire

Thursday, January 26th 2012, 1:18 pm
By: News 9

Long-time Oklahoma State tennis coach James Wadley announced Thursday he will retire at the end of the 2012 season.

"It has been a pleasure working with OSU athletes, administrators, staff and coaches for the last 39-plus years," said Wadley in a press release. "I will take with me many fond memories from the nearly 1,000 matches that I have coached. Just to be in the same athletic department with the great coaches that I have had the privilege to know and admire will always be the highlight of my career."

Wadley has served for more than 40 years as the head coach of the men's tennis team making him the longest tenured coach in Oklahoma State athletics history.

He has won more than 650 duals in his career which ranks him in the top five among all active coaches. After winning last week's season opener, his record stands at 658-320.

In his 39 seasons in Stillwater, Coach Wadley has made 17 NCAA tournament appearances and won 12 conference titles.

He has been named the regional coach of the year and a national finalist for coach of the year on 11 occasions and has been honored as the conference coach of the year 13 times.

Coach Wadley first came to Stillwater in 1972 and restructured the Cowboy tennis program on and off the court. Among his early contributions was the creation of a study hall program, as well as a fall season.

After opening his career with a 16-14 mark in 1972, the Cowboys reeled off three consecutive 20-win seasons. In addition, the OSU earned three-straight Big Eight runner-up finishes, serving as proof a solid foundation had taken hold and the program was turning the corner.

What followed has been termed the "Decade of Dominance" as Wadley elevated the Cowboys into a Big Eight power.

The 1977 season was a breakthrough for the Cowboy program after winning 18 matches and capturing the first of five consecutive conference crowns.

From 1978-1987, Wadley's squad posted a 65-2 mark against league opponents, including a 31-0 mark over the final five years of that stretch.

After joining the Big 12 Conference in 1996, Wadley led the Cowboys to another NCAA appearance the following season after posting an 18-7 mark.

The Cowboys earned a return trip to the postseason the following year after a 17-win campaign.

Wadley coached Pavel Kudrnac to three national titles in 1997-98. Kudrnac won the ITA National Clay Court Championship in 1997 and was named the Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year that season. He won the Indoor Singles Championship in 1998, as well as a doubles title at the event with Martin Dvoracek. In the final, the duo defeated Stanford's Mike and Bob Bryan, who are widely considered the best doubles team in the world today. Wadley also coached Fran Krepelka and Matt Prentice to the World Team Tennis National Title in 2001.

The 2008-09 season saw one of Wadley's pupils produce the most decorated season by a Cowboy in school history. Oleksandr Nedovyesov was named the 2009 Campbell/ITA National Player of the year after finishing the season as the top-ranked player in the country and was recognized as OSU's student-athlete of the year.

In the past 21 seasons, Wadley has guided two athletes to the honor of ITA National Player of the Year.

Wadley, who has been inducted into the Southeastern Oklahoma State Hall of Fame, Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame, began his playing career in McAlester, Okla., where he was a two-time state champion. He went on to play collegiately at Southeastern Oklahoma State and was a two-time All-American at the NAIA level. He helped lead his team to four-straight conference titles and four consecutive appearances in the NAIA Tournament.