After nearly six months of looking, Brigham Young University announced Saturday that it has a new tennis coach - Jim Osborne.
Osborne replaces Larry Hall, who announced his resignation in February to accept a full-time teaching post at the school. The new coach will take over coaching duties at the beginning of the school year.This will actually be Osborne's second tennis teaching post at the Provo school. In 1981, he was an assistant under Ann Valentine, coach of the women's team.
When first approached about the head coaching job, Osborne said he hadn't given it much consideration.
"But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted it. I think, since my college days, I've wanted to coach, to give other players the opportunities and benefits I had.
"Around here (Utah) there aren't a lot of opportunities. Now I'm looking forward to this, especially after spending some time around the program recently. Tennis doesn't seem like a minor sport there," he said.
Osborne was also an assistant under Utah Coach Harry James for three years.
In talking about his plans, Osborne, 43, said he hopes to build a program at the Y. "similar to the one at Georgia, with a couple of local players, a couple of top U.S. players and a couple of international players . . . a program that is well rounded."
"I'm sure a lot of people are going to be surprised about this, but they shouldn't be. There'll always be the BYU-Utah rivalry. The important thing is not what side you're on, but the rivalry itself."
Osborne has been a familiar name in Utah tennis for over 30 years. As a promising young junior, he left his home in Honolulu, Hawaii, to play for the University of Utah. There he became a three-time all-America and played for both the junior and regular Davis Cup teams. In 1967, he played on the U.S. team that won the Davis Cup back from Australia. During his younger playing days he was ranked in the top 10 players 11 times.
He returned to Salt Lake City in 1974 to become head tennis professional at the newly opened Canyon Racquet Club. Since 1978, he has been head pro at the Fort Douglas Club. He plans to split his duties between the Fort Douglas Club and BYU.