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Conversation with Brown's Jay Harris

Special from NBC Sports
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The Brown men's tennis team is coming off a 2009 season where they went 18-10 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy League. Many of last year's key contributors have graduated, but head coach Jay Harris has added a crop of talented freshmen to the Bears for 2010. Harry Cicma of FiOS1 and WRNN sat down with Coach Harris to talk about his teams - past and present... and about playing tennis in the Ivy League.

 

Questions and Answers

Harry Cicma (HC): How has the season been going thus far?

Jay Harris (JH): Things are going pretty well. We lost five starters from last year, but we have reloaded with five freshmen. So we are about as inexperienced as we could possibly be.

Brown Head Coach Jay Harris
courtesy, Brown Athletics
We did have some great results this fall with Kendrick Au and Charlie Posner advancing all the way to the regional finals in doubles. Kendrick also had a great fall in singles, and he is now ranked in the top 10 in the region. Not bad for a doubles team that played #3 last year and a singles player who played #6! We continue to develop players as well as any program in the nation, and we have again shown that this fall.
 

HC: What are the biggest challenges of coaching in the Ivy League?

JH: Some of the big challenges surround earning the national respect that we aspire to grab hold of. The Brown tennis program is just that - a tennis program! It is a program that is as serious about tennis as any tennis program in the country. I think that fact would surprise a lot of people. But just look at the national success we have had, jumping into the top 40 nationally a numer of times and advancing players to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. And that does not mention the five successful professional players we have had on tour in the past five years.

There are of course some challenges surrounding the academic workload, but it is not as different from other schools as most would believe. Brown is of course a great academic school, but our professors have an amazing relationship with the students here. That allows us to achieve some great things athletically.

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