Jared and Christy Ward Named Professionals at Jayhawk Tennis Center
LAWRENCE, Kan.—Jared and Christy Ward have been appointed tennis professionals at the Jayhawk Tennis Center (JTC) in Lawrence.
The Wards have been certified as U.S. Professional Tennis Association Elite teaching professionals since 2002. They come to Lawrence from the Ozark Tennis Academy (OTA), which they founded in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2006.
The husband-and-wife team has an impressive teaching record, not only at OTA, but also at Arrowhead Country Club in South Dakota (as Junior Tennis Directors), and then as Head Pros for Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. At both those facilities, the programs tripled in size during their time there.
Over 40 of their students have been ranked in the top 10 in the state of Arkansas, and 14 have cracked the top 100 in the Southern Section. They have also coached over 20 individual state champions.
“We are very excited to have Jared and Christy joining our Jayhawk Tennis family,” said Kyle Markham, director of the Jayhawk Tennis Center. “To have two coaches of their caliber working with our juniors and adults will be great for the tennis community here in Lawrence.”
Jared, a native of Newton, Kansas, will become the high performance coach at JTC. He played tennis at Bethel College, where he was voted All-Conference and Conference MVP all four years. His team was ranked in the top 25 in the nation (NAIA) three separate times, and he was the first Bethel player ever to attain a national ranking (No. 50 in singles, No. 25 in doubles). In 2014, he became the first male tennis player inducted into the Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame. He was named the USPTA Arkansas Pro of the Year in 2005, and served as Arkansas Junior Davis Cup coach from 2007-11 and 2013-15.
Christy, from Bella Vista, Arkansas, will become the adult director and 10-and-under coordinator at JTC. She was one of the best high school players in Arkansas. As a part of two state championship teams for Bentonville High School, she won state doubles titles her sophomore and junior years, and was a singles finalist as a senior. In USTA play she was ranked No. 1 in the state for three consecutive years in doubles and never lower than third in singles. She reached top 60 in the south her last year of junior tennis. She played tennis at Austin Peay University, where she competed at No. 1 singles and doubles as a sophomore. She then transferred to the University of North Texas to concentrate on her art degree.
“Joining the Jayhawk Tennis Center team is like a homecoming for me,” Jared said. “It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to work at what will be one of the premier tennis facilities in the country. Christy and I look forward to helping to continue to grow the game of tennis in the Lawrence community, and our entire family is looking forward to cheering on the KU team at every home match!”
Jared will begin working at JTC Monday, February 22. Christy, along with their eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter, will join Jared in Lawrence in May.
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