By Vanessa Crispin Herrera
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
The new men’s tennis coach — Jonas Andersson – is the first and only athlete from the University of the Incarnate Word to win three national championships.
But his ultimate goal as a coach is for his team to win the Southland Conference title, he said.
¨Coming back to UIW is something kind of new to me because I used to play tennis but now I came back as a coach telling them what to do,” said Andersson, who played tennis here at first for then-Incarnate Word College which became a university before he graduated in 1997.
Andersson said he plans to achieve his conference championship goal progressively. Instead of making changes all in one moment, he plans to look ahead with goals and small steps.
College tennis pushes an individual sport to be a team sport, he said.
“You do play your own match, but if you win you win also for your team,” Andersson said.
Having people supporting and cheering on the players is great motivation for winning, he said. “(Tennis) might seem easy, but it requires a lot of effort and hard work.”
Anyone wanting to be an excellent tennis player, Andersson said, should be in shape physically and mentally. He feels this way because of his lifelong commitment to tennis.
Born in Sweden in 1974, Andersson moved to San Antonio when he was 18. A key point that aided his career, he said, was being around tennis players, as well as the influence of his parents who were also tennis players. Growing up with many tennis influences around him, his passion for the sport began at the age of 5.
His college years opened an array of accomplishments that continued into his professional years: Rolex Men´s Doubles National Champion (1994), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National SinglesChampionship (1995), Yonex Men´s Open Tournament Finalist (2003), Top-Ranked Men´s Open at South Bay Grand Prix (2003 and 2004), consecutive winner of the Mixed University of Texas at San Antonio National Champion (2004) and membership on the Sweden Men´s 35 and up World Cup Team (2012).
After graduating from UIW, Andersson moved to Dallas where he worked as a tennis professional at Bent Tree Country Club for two years before moving to California where he spent nearly 15 years.
“In the Beverly Hills Hotel in California I was teaching a lot of actors, movie stars and I was coaching people at different clubs.” Now as a tennis coach, one of his ways to encourage the sport is through summer camps. With people coming from around San Antonio, summer camps are helpful in promoting the school and the tennis program, he said.
Since he’s been back at UIW, Andersson said he’s been impressed by the new infrastructure of UIW: larger residence halls, a football stadium and a new Student Engagement Center. He’s raising two children, both of whom are involved in sports.
And life in San Antonio, he said, “is less stressful and is more family-oriented compared to Los Angeles where everything is so fast, pretty big and a lot of traffic.”