Press Release for Monday, June 6, 2011
Cohen Named Head Women's Tennis Coach
Brian Morgan, Director
Athletics Media Relations
University of North Florida athletic director Lee Moon announced the hiring of Audra Cohen as the head coach for the UNF Women’s Tennis program.
Cohen comes to UNF following a two-year stint as an assistant women’s tennis coach for the University of Wisconsin. A former professional player on the WTA Tour, Cohen captured the 2007 NCAA Women’s Singles Championship.
“We are extremely excited to have Audra leading our women’s tennis program,” said Moon. “She is a talented young coach that not only brings a ton of energy but also a great understanding of what it takes to play at a championship level in college tennis. She was an All-American on and off the court during her playing career, which included a national championship and several Player of the Year honors. As a native of Florida, Audra is familiar with the area and having been a professional tennis player she has a wealth of connections in the tennis world at the regional, national and international levels. All of those traits made her the right choice to continue the development of the women’s tennis program.”
Prior to joining the Wisconsin staff in 2009, Cohen competed on the USTA Pro Circuit, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 229 in 2008. She had an outstanding career as a collegian, becoming the only woman in history to reach the NCAA final competing at two different schools (Northwestern and Miami), and winning the 2007 NCAA singles title. A five-time All-American, Cohen was named the 2007 ITA National Player of the Year and won the 2007 Honda Sports Award as the nation’s top collegiate female tennis player.
“I am very excited to be joining the UNF family and I am grateful for the opportunity that Coach Moon has given me,” said Cohen. “I look forward to working with the current members of the team and trying to impart some of the knowledge and experience that I gained during my collegiate and professional playing days. The UNF program has enjoyed some success and my plans are to build on those accomplishments through hard work on the court and in recruiting. I am thrilled to have the chance to be involved with developing a strong tennis program at UNF.”
A native of Plantation, Fla., Cohen began her collegiate playing career at Northwestern before transferring to Miami. In her freshman season with the Wildcats, she competed at the No. 1 singles position earning All-American honors in both singles and doubles. Cohen was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Athlete of the Year, becoming only the second women's tennis player in conference history to sweep those two honors. In addition, she garnered ITA Midwest Regional Rookie Player of the Year Award and the ITA's National Rookie of the Year Award. Cohen capped her debut college season by reaching the NCAA Singles championship match. She finished the season with 51 wins tying her for third all-time in the modern era of NCAA Division I Women's Tennis (since 1988) and setting a Northwestern single-season wins record.
Following her freshman year, Cohen transferred back to her home state to play at the University of Miami. In her first season with the Hurricanes, she was named the ITA National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, an All-ACC team member and a Honda Sports Award Finalist. She completed her first season at Miami as the No. 1 ranked collegiate tennis player in the country and No. 2 ranked doubles team in the country alongside UM teammate Melissa Applebaum. In addition, Cohen was voted All-American in singles and doubles for the second time in her career while being named to the All-NCAA tournament team at the No. 1 position.
As a junior at Miami, Cohen captured the school's first-ever NCAA women's singles title in May 2007 and was the No. 1-ranked college player in the country the entire season while also winning the National Indoor Championship during the fall season. She concluded her junior campaign by again earning ITA National Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year accolades. Cohen was also awarded the 2007 Honda Sports Award for women’s tennis. Following her championship season, Cohen decided to forgo her senior year at Miami to turn professional and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami in 2009.
In addition to her stellar collegiate playing career, Cohen’s professional career included captaining the 2007 Pan-American Olympic Team, participating in the US Open main draw in both singles and doubles and a USTA Pro Circuit title in 2006 in Evansville, Ind.
In May, the USTA named Cohen as one of four coaches to lead the 2011 USTA Men’s and Women’s Collegiate Teams, an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players. The program is designed to provide players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the year. She joins Jamea Jackson of Oklahoma State University in coaching the women’s squad.
The teams, which feature up to 12 participants each, were named after the NCAA Championships in May. Team members were selected based on performance at those championships as well as the ITA All-Americans and National Indoor Championships. Players’ results from USTA Pro Circuit, ATP or WTA events were also considered. Current pros who are past participants of the program include James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan, John Isner, Amer Delic, Jesse Levine, Irina Falconi, and Jesse Witten.