James Wilson
James  Wilson

Head Coach

James Wilson is in his second season at Utah State after being named the head coach on June 10, 2016.

Wilson led the Aggies to unprecedented success in his first season, coaching the Aggies to their second consecutive Mountain West regular season title, the team’s first-ever Mountain West Tournament title and a team appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The year came to a close with a 4-2 loss against No. 21 Northwestern, putting the Aggies at 23-9 overall and 6-1 in league play. The 23 victories were the most in school history.

Individually, sophomore Samuel Serrano and junior Kai Wehnelt earned all-MW honors in both singles and doubles under Wilson’s tutelage. The Aggies were also successful in the classroom as junior Andrew Nakajim, sophomore Jonas Maier and senior Jack Swindells all earned academic all-MW accolades. Swindells received two more academic honors, earning Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and ITA Scholar-Athlete kudos. Nakajima, Swindells, sophomore Austin Bass and senior Daneil Echeverry were named USU Whiteside Scholar-Athletes, rounding out the academic awards during the year.

“James brings great passion and an impressive pedigree as a player and coach to our program,” Vice President & Director of Athletics John Hartwell said at the time of Wilson’s hiring. “He has played a major role in building one of the premier tennis programs in the west and has a clear vision for what he can do at USU. We are excited to make him part of our Aggie family.”

Wilson comes to Utah State after three years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, helping the Red Raiders to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a national ranking as high as No. 6 in 2016. During his time in Lubbock, Texas Tech compiled a dual-match record of 60-26 and had numerous student-athletes in national rankings, including the No. 19-ranked singles player Felipe Soares and the No.12-ranked doubles tandem of Soares and Hugo Dojas. Soares was ranked as high as No. 8 in singles during the year and won the ITA National Indoors doubles title with Dojas in November, 2015.

“It’s an honor to lead the Utah State Aggies and I am extremely grateful for John Hartwell for giving me the opportunity. Also, I’d like to thank Jana Doggett and Jake Garlock for accommodating me and making my transition very smooth,” Wilson said. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that USU was a special place, where the attitude and vision is about winning Mountain West titles. Clancy Shields did an excellent job of building and developing a nationally ranked team. My goal is build on the success and hopefully take this team to new heights.”

Prior to his three-year tenure at Texas Tech, Wilson was an assistant coach at UNLV during the 2012-13 season, helping lead the Rebels to a 17-7 dual-match record, which was a 10-match improvement from the previous season when UNLV went 7-16. Wilson was also an assistant coach at William & Mary during the 2011-12 season, helping the Tribe to victories over such teams as Georgetown, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.

Wilson began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the men’s and women’s teams at Texas Tech, following his three years as a student-athlete with the Red Raiders. Wilson was a two-year team captain at Texas Tech and the Red Raiders were 47-28 overall and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments during his collegiate career.

Wilson earned his degree in psychology from Texas Tech in 2009 and worked toward his master’s degree in exercise and sports psychology, while serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the Red Raiders’ tennis programs. He was a member of the President’s honor list, the National Scholastic Honor Society, Big 12 Honor Roll and the Commissioner’s Honor Roll during his collegiate career.

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