Mark Beckham has been elevated to the head women’s coaching position for the University of Louisville tennis team. The Louisville native and former Cardinal has been an assistant coach, primarily for the men’s team, at U of L for the past 13 years.
"We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to promote an individual from within whom we believe will position us for national contention," said U of L senior associate athletic director Julie Hermann. "Mark is a great teacher of the game and a highly respected coach. He will be a great program leader."
Beckham inherits a Cardinal team that lost just one letterwinner last year and finished third in the BIG EAST. The Cardinals were ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Top 75 for the majority of the season after a program-high preseason ranking of No. 70. U of L has notched 20 or more wins in four of the past five seasons. Top returners include All-BIG EAST selection and No. 1 player Lauren Imre and her No. 1 doubles partner and Manual High School product, Robyn White.
Beckham’s responsibilities as an assistant with the men’s program have included helping with individual workouts, recruiting, match coaching, practices and camps. He was instrumental in the Cardinals’ success, including a program-high No. 12 team ranking, two conference championships and five NCAA appearances.
"I feel fortunate to get the opportunity," said Beckham. "I have been working with one of the top coaches in college tennis in Rex Ecarma and I am ready to take on the leadership as the head coach for the women. My main goal is to continue to work on making the Cardinals successful, respected and competitive on the national level as a quality program."
Beckham brings with him a wealth of experience as a player and a coach. Beckham, a four-year letterwinner at U of L, finished his playing career for Ecarma in 1992. He continued his association with the Cardinal program by signing on as a part-time assistant coach in the fall of 1992.
"I am eager and excited to start working with the present team members," said Beckham. "I think they are eager to be put in a situation where they are challenged to max out and enjoy the experience."
A Louisville native and former high school All-American at Eastern High School, Beckham was ranked second in the state of Kentucky in singles as a junior. He began playing tennis in Louisville’s Chickasaw Park program under the oversight of Arthur Johnson, who is in the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame. Beckham completed his degree in middle school education at U of L in the spring of 1994. He has served as the assistant tennis pro at the Louisville Country Club.
In 1997, Beckham played No. 1 doubles on Team Kentucky, which qualified for the National Adult Tennis Championships. Mark and his wife, Christina have a son, Ashton and a daughter Alaina.