OXFORD, Miss. – As players begin trickling in this week for the start of a new year, Ole Miss women’s tennis head coach Mark Beyers announced the promotion of assistant coach Jason Ontog to associate head coach, Monday.
Since Ontog joined the program in 2009, the Rebels have made five consecutive NCAA appearances, including the Sweet Sixteen, achieved a final top 25 ranking three of the five years, and won an SEC Western Division title. Ontog has also been named the ITA Southern Region Assistant Coach of the Year twice (2010, 2012).
“In the five years that Jason’s been part of our program he’s made a tremendous impact,” Beyers said. “As noted, we’ve made the NCAA Tournament every year, reaching the round of 16 in 2010. Jason has a great tennis mind and relates very well to the players. I look forward to continuing to work with him to take the program to even greater heights.”
In Ontog’s first season with Ole Miss (2009), the Rebels ended the year ranked No. 21 in the nation and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships.
In 2010, the team enjoyed its best season in several years, with their NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance and SEC West title. The Rebels ended the year ranked No. 17 in the nation, posted their best finish in the SEC (2nd) since 1999 and their best league record (8-3) since 2000.
The 2012 season saw the Rebels earn their third top 25 final ranking in four years, as they ended the year ranked No. 18. The Rebels (18-9) hosted the NCAA first and second rounds for the first time since 1999 and finished among the top four in the overall SEC standings for the second time in three years. The 18 wins are the most since the 1999 team posted 21. The Rebels also advanced to the National Team Indoor Final 16 for the first time since 2000.
Ontog has coached three All-Americans, eight All-SEC honorees, five players to seven ITA Southern Regional honors and three players to ITA Southern Regional titles.
The Rebels have continued their outstanding academic prowess since Ontog’s arrival, earning the ITA All-Academic Team Award an unprecedented 16th straight year in 2013. They have also earned the Chancellor’s Cup four times in the last six years, which goes to the Ole Miss women’s team with the highest cumulative grade point average.
“The past five years have been really exciting for me, and I am honored that Mark and the administration have the faith in me to promote me to associate head coach,” Ontog said. “I am looking forward to a great season this year and our continued success.”
Ontog came to Ole Miss from Chattanooga, where he spent two years (2007-08) as the head girls’ coach at Baylor High School. Prior to his stop at Baylor High School, Ontog was the assistant pro at the Racquet Club of Memphis for three years (2004-07).
A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Ontog is married to the former Jennifer Smith and they have a daughter, Lillian Claire, born March 23, 2013.