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Tennis Staff
 Cris James
Volunteer Asst Coach
Univ. of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame men's tennis head coach Ryan Sachire announced September 25, 2013 the hiring of Illinois State University head coach Cris James as the program's new volunteer assistant coach.

"We couldn't be more excited to add Cris to our coaching staff," Sachire said. "Throughout both his playing and coaching careers, Cris has consistently demonstrated the knowledge, passion, and ability necessary to help our program compete at the elite level of our sport. Cris comes to Notre Dame with an extremely solid reputation for his player development and on-court coaching skills, and he will be a tremendous asset to Adam and myself."

James comes to Notre Dame after a six-year stint as the head coach of Illinois State University's men's tennis team. Under his charge, the Redbirds appeared in the national rankings (2010) for the first time since 2001. The year culminated in James being named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year after leading the squad to the regular season championship.

Before leading the ISU program, James got his college coaching start as an assistant tennis coach at his alma mater, Purdue University.

As a player at the collegiate level, James was a three-time all-Big Ten and academic all-Big Ten performer and a three-time team MVP. A team captain, James reached a high of No. 26 nationally in singles and No. 7 in doubles. He won three professional futures doubles tournaments and earned professional rankings in both singles and doubles. 

He owns two degrees from Purdue, a Bachelor of Science in political science in 1999 and a Master of Science in sports management in 2007. 

Following graduation, James served as the assistant tennis professional at the University of Alberta Tennis Center for seven years before returning to Purdue.

"Notre Dame is a tremendous place with great tradition and opportunity," James said. "I am excited to work with coach Sachire, coach Schaechterle and all of our players to achieve our goal of being among the elite college tennis programs year in and year out."

James will reside in the South Bend area with his wife, Emily, and their son, Jack.