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ISU hires Maja Kovacek as head coach of women’s tennis program

Archive Photo: Kovacek, a former head coach at Oregon, looks forward to joining the Redbirds.

Archive Photo:
Kovacek, a former head coach at Oregon, looks forward to joining the Redbirds.

Josh Tolentino

Sports Reporter

Monday, ISU athletics director Larry Lyons announced the hiring of new head coach of the Illinois State women’s tennis program, Maja Kovacek.

“We are very pleased that Maja will lead our women’s tennis program,” Lyons told The Pantagraph. “She is committed to individual player development and team success on and off the court.”

Kovacek leaves her current stint as an assistant coach at Univeristy of Oregon to take the reigns of the Redbird program. She spent seven years coaching at Oregon leading the team to dual match wins over 12 opponents.

A Croatia native, Kovacek graduated from the University of New Mexico with Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and sociology in 2006.

In addition to being a top student, she was also a star on the tennis court, earning All-American honors in 2004 and 2006 along with being a three-year NCAA qualifier.

Kovacek was the Mountain West Conference (MWC) Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005 and the MWC Student-Athlete of the Year in 2006. After graduating from New Mexico, she moved on to help the coaching staff of Oregon for seven years.

Former head coach at Oregon and supervisor of Kovacek, Paul Reber has nothing but best wishes for her as she continues her coaching career at ISU.

“She was an outstanding player at New Mexico, and in the last seven years, she was a fantastic assistant coach at Oregon,” Reber said. “She worked with the players to help them grow significantly. Maja also put in the time as an assistant to become a better coach. Illinois State made a great hire.”

Kovacek’s decorated history and uplifting spirit promise a bright future for the ISU women’s tennis program both on and off the court.

“I am excited and honored to be a part of this athletics department, and I am ready to lead the women’s tennis team toward success on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Kovacek said.

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