Entering his 12th season at Delta State University, Head Men's and Women's tennis coach Asa Atkinson has established himself as a mainstay in both the local and statewide tennis community.
After high school Atkinson, who hails from Shaw, Mississippi, attended Mississippi State University where he played varsity tennis one season for the Bulldogs.
After graduating from Mississippi State University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science, Atkinson attended graduate school at Delta State, earning his Masters of Education degree in Guidance Counseling in 1967.
Shortly after finishing graduate school, Atkinson began teaching and coaching tennis. He became a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association (U.S.P.T.A.) in 1974 and has been a member ever since. Among his accolades, Atkinson was named the U.S.P.T.A. Mississippi Professional of the Year in 2000, and last year he was named the U.S.P.T.A. Southern Division Coach of the Year.
Atkinson, who has also served as the Head Tennis Pro at the Cleveland Country Club since 1974, has also achieved a Pro 1 rating by the U.S.P.T.A., the second-highest rating in the organization.
Atkinson began his career at DSU in 1990 as head coach for the Lady Statesmen. Over the years, his teams have enjoyed success and last season the Lady Statesmen reached the NCAA South Regional Tournament and ended the season with a 19-8 record. The Lady Statesmen also reached a milestone last season, producing the first two All-American players in school history.
Atkinson also took over the men's program last season, replacing Assistant Athletics Director Ray Bridges. In his first season as skipper of the Statesmen, Atkinson led the team to a 12-8 record and a berth in the NCAA South Regionals.
Atkinson and his wife Nancy have two children, Asa II, who played four seasons of varsity tennis while at Samford University, and daughter Betsy.