Lisa Hart enters her 10th season as the Washington State head women's tennis coach, having accumulated 109 victories and trips to the NCAA Championships in 2008 and 2012. Additionally, she has coached three players, Eka Burduli (2006, 2008), Elisabeth Fournier (2010) and Liudmila Vasilieva (2010, 2012), who have reached the NCAA Singles Championships.
Throughout her tenure Hart's teams have achieved success on the court and in the classroom, posting six seasons with 12 or more victories while each of the last six seasons garnering the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team award.
Last season Hart led the Cougars to a 19-7 record, tied for the most wins in school history, and a second-round showing at the NCAA Women's Tennis Championship. In 2012, Cougar tennis h recorded many highlights, including wins over six nationally-ranked teams, a first-round victory over No. 36 Florida State at the NCAA Championship, a weekend sweep over No. 26 Arizona and No. 27 Arizona State, the first time that has occurred in school history, and the first win over Arizona State in 19 matches. The Cougars also posted six conference victories, more than any previous WSU team, and finished fifth in the Pac-12 Conference. Hart has been named the 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Region Coach of the Year, adding to a stellar season in which she was named the Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year while guiding the Cougars to the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship.
Hart's first trip to the NCAA Championship as a Cougar came in 2008 when she guided her squad to a 16-10 overall record, and a first-round berth against No. 27 LSU. That season ended with the most wins by a Cougar squad since posting 17 during the 1995-96 season. The winning record was the third straight season in which WSU finished above the .500 mark. WSU played 13 nationally-ranked opponents, while defeating five of them: No.56 BYU, No.68 Utah, No. 59 Boise State, No.46 Oregon, and No.34 Washington.
The 2006-07 Cougar team entered the year ranked No. 66 nationally. They started off the season with a five match winning streak which propelled the Cougars to a No. 56 ranking. Wins over No. 30 BYU and No. 47 Sacramento State helped them jump to a season high No. 41 ranking. The Cougars ended the season ranked No. 45 with a record of 14-11.
Hart's first year at WSU, 2003-04, the Cougars were ranked No. 51 and captured three wins over ranked opponents. WSU's biggest victory came at No. 23 Oregon in mid-March. The Cougars also defeated Oklahoma State and San Diego State, both ranked in the top 50 nationally at the time.
During Hart's tenure with the Cougars she has been dedicated to community outreach. She was selected as the regional winner of the 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2011 Community Service Award by the United States Tennis Association and Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The award is to honor ITA coaches for their significant contributions in developing community based tennis programs through community centers, schools, parks, community tennis associations, inner city, suburban or rural programs. In December, 2008, Hart was named the national winner of the USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award and was honored by the ITA at its national coaches convention in Naples, Fla. Currently, Hart is a member of the ITA Northwest Regional Committee and the ITA National Operating Committee for the Northwest Region.
From an academic standing, Hart-coached players have accumulated 29 Pac-12 All-Academic honors, 24 ITA All-Academic awards and two ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-District VIII First Team recipients.
Prior to WSU, Hart spent three seasons at Virginia Tech where she guided the Hokies to a 45-36 record in three seasons including third-place finishes each year in the Big East Conference. Hart served as the assistant women's tennis coach at the University of Nebraska for two years before Virginia Tech. While on the Nebraska staff, she helped the Cornhuskers compile a two year record of 36-13, including a 19-5 record in 2000.
Hart was a tennis standout at Nebraska, finishing her career as one of the most successful women's tennis players in school history. She recorded 74 career singles victories winning the Big 12 Conference No. 2 singles title as a senior.
Hart, the 1995 Big Eight Freshman of the Year, was the first women's tennis player at Nebraska to win a conference singles title since 1978 and only the sixth player in Cornhuskers' history. She was selected to the all-conference team twice and upon graduation her 74 wins ranked No. 3 on the school's career singles victory list.
Her dedication and excellence on the court was matched in the classroom as Hart was a three-time academic all-conference selection, earning first-team academic All-Big 12 honors as a senior. She was selected by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as the Central Region's "Cissie Learie Sportsmanship Award" winner, one of six throughout the country. As a senior, Hart also received the Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship and Leadership Award.
A native of Sunnyside, Wash., Hart had an outstanding high school career at Sunnyside High where she was a three-time State champion. She also earned All-America honors as a high school sophomore. Hart earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Nebraska and also holds a master's degree in education with an emphasis in physical education and sports studies from Nebraska.
Hart and her husband John, an attorney, reside in Pullman with their daughter, Mary Beth and son, Paul.