"It was great to be able to hear from someone that went straight from being a student-athlete to coach."
- Logan Griffin
"She shared great insight on making the transition from student-athlete to coach. The thing that stuck with me was be adaptable."
- Connor Inmel
Transition from Student-Athlete to Coach
Head Women's Tennis Coach
Washington State University
Lisa Hart is in her 14th season as the Washington State head women’s tennis coach, having accumulated 171 victories and trips to the NCAA Championships in 2008 and 2012. Throughout her tenure Hart’s teams have achieved success on the court and in the classroom, posting 10 seasons with 12 or more victories. Each Hart-coached team has been ranked nationally at some point during all 13 seasons, and each of the last 10 seasons WSU has garnered the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team award.
Since 2004 the Cougars have finished the season in the national rankings eight times, including No. 32 to end the 2012 and No. 43 in 2008. The Cougars have also been ranked in the Northwest Region every year under Hart, including a high of No. 3 in 2012.
During her WSU tenure Hart has mentored three players to the NCAA Singles Championships, all of whom finished the year nationally ranked and all ended their careers as WSU’s Conference Medal recipients, given to the WSU’s top senior student-athlete. She has also guided five players to a total of eight all-conference honors. Hart-coached players have accumulated 40 Pac-12 All-Academic honors, 30 ITA All-Academic awards, two ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-District VIII First Team recipients, five Cissie Leary ITA Northwest Region Sportsmanship Award winners and four ITA Northwest Region Arthur Ashe Award recipients.
Prior to WSU, Hart spent three seasons at Virginia Tech where she guided the Hokies to a 45-36 record. Hart served as the assistant women’s tennis coach at the University of Nebraska for two years prior to Virginia Tech.
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, winning the Big 12 Conference No. 2 singles title as a senior. A native of Sunnyside, Wash., Hart had an outstanding high school career at Sunnyside High where she was a three-time State champion. She also earned All-America honors as a high school sophomore. Hart earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Nebraska and also holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education and sports studies from Nebraska.
Hart resides in Pullman with her daughter, Mary Beth and son, Paul.
Photo and Bio Courtesy of Washington State University Athletics