Catching up with Audra Cohen
by Rick Limpert, 29 November 2012
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As if the rigors of being a D-I college tennis coach aren't enough, imagine trying to get through a weekend away from campus without the use of a smartphone. North Florida head women's coach Audra Cohen faced that situation while in Atlanta for a fall tournament with her young team.
Coach Audra Cohen of North Florida
courtesy, North Florida Athletics
Cohen had lost her iPhone somewhere between Jacksonville and Atlanta, and even though she was able get a replacement while in Georgia, she said there were a few nervous moments.
It's one of many stressful situations a second-year coach can face, but it's nothing that this former NCAA singles champ and WTA player can't handle.
In fact, her team appears to be taking on the personality of this young coach as they more than held their own against more experienced teams like Georgia State, UAB and Emory at the Georgia State Invitational.
Cohen said she's happy with the squad she's putting out on the court this fall and that should carry over to the spring.
"I'm happy with the team this year, we added two Brazilians last January and they will help us right away."
After watching her team myself, I came away impressed with the depth she has for a smaller D-I school facing all sorts of challenges.
I (have) a new freshman from Costa Rica (Mariella Calderon) who's 17 but stepped up in big moments (in Atlanta)," Cohen added. "I feel good things are to come."
The good things will end up being the result of a lot of hard work by Cohen herself. It's a small program in a small conference, so it's a different experience for someone who once played at a Big 10 school and then transferred to Miami where she won her NCAA title.
"You have to have your hand in everything, or nothing will get done," admitted Cohen who before coming to North Florida served as an assistant at Wisconsin. "I've taken ownership of every aspect of the program."