Brasington leads UST into varsity tennis debut
The University of St. Thomas announced it hired former professional tennis player Jack Brasington III as the head coach of the school’s varsity men and women tennis teams, which will take to the court in the fall of 2019. This is the first time in its 71-year history that UST has fielded a men or women’s tennis team.
“We want to welcome Coach Jack Brasington to St. Thomas and the Celt athletic family,” Athletic Director Todd Smith said. “We are fortunate someone with Jack’s pedigree, reputation and experience will lead UST’s first tennis team. He will be the leader who builds the foundation of a terrific tennis program. Houston has a big and active tennis community, which we will work with, and draw from, as we grow Celt tennis. Jack’s expertise and network will benefit our tennis program and our student-athletes.”
Before he turned professional, Brasington, a former standout at University of Texas at Austin, set and still holds the Longhorns’ career record for singles wins (121) when he graduated in 2000. While there, he achieved a singles high ranking of seventh in the nation, which also contributed to the team’s top 10 national ranking. He earned a B.S. in corporate communications.
Brasington played on the Association of Tennis Professionals tour from 2000-04 advancing as high as #125 in singles (July 2002) and #315 in doubles (June, 2003) and captured four tournament titles.
In 2002, he consecutively qualified for all four major grand slam tournaments in a row. An accomplishment he shares with friend and former ATP player Michael Russell. Former world-ranked #1 and winner of four grand slams Jim Courier called Brasington “Captain Q.”
Brasington also advanced to the second round of the main draw of both the French and US Opens.
Brasington retired from the tour in 2004 and began his coaching career at the University of Maryland as the men’s assistant tennis coach under Jim Latta.
He returned to Houston in 2006 to become the tennis coach at the Houston Racquet Club and then moved to the Jewish Community Center in 2009 as Director of Excellence. Brasington returned to the HRC in 2013 as the High Performance Coach. In addition, he joined Rice University men’s tennis staff in the fall of 2017 as a volunteer assistant coach for the men’s team.
Brasington will bring his passion for the game of tennis along with his top-ranked experience at the collegiate and professional level to the University of St. Thomas.
“I am thrilled to join St. Thomas’s family, and excited to build a wonderful men and women’s tennis program for its students and community,” said Brasington. “My competitive spirit keeps me pushing for personal bests and high levels of success.”
The UST Athletics Program was re-established in 2006. The program has recently been approved for exploratory membership in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for the 2018-2019 academic year. The University also accepted membership in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), becoming the league’s 10th member institution.
Membership requirements of the SCAC and NCAA Division III include sponsorship and participation in at least 12 intercollegiate sports, 6 men’s sports and 6 women’s sports. The 2018-2019 year will see UST introduce men’s and women’s cross country, baseball and men’s and women’s tennis. The five sports debuting this year will join UST’s varsity programs in women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s golf.