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Volume 69, Issue 154, Thursday, July 15, 2004


New head tennis coach comes 
from within UH coaching staff

Cougar Sports Staff

Exactly one week after announcing the departure of Jennifer Hyde, former UH head tennis coach, the Athletics Department announced Wednesday that it has chosen her successor -- someone from within the UH ranks.

Diane Hall, associate athletic director and senior women's administrator, named John Severance to lead the Cougar tennis squad next season. Severance has served as assistant tennis coach for the past three seasons.

Newly appointed head tennis coach John Severance has earned a Professional I rating from the United States Tennis Association and brings to the court experience gained from his past three years as assistant coach.
Nathan Lindstrom/The Daily Cougar

"First of all, I want to thank the UH administration, especially (Athletics Director) Dave Maggard and Diane Hall, for giving me this opportunity," Severance told "I am looking forward to making this transition as smooth as possible. I think it helps that I have a tremendous amount of support from my players, staff and administration."

Though the past three years have been Severance's only experience in collegiate-level coaching, he brings a solid base of knowledge for the game and has made his mark on the technical development of his players.

"Focus on one point at a time instead of centering on winning games, sets or matches. It puts the game into a perspective that anyone can handle. I like to keep it simple," Severance told "Being a former student-athlete, I'm trying to give my players the knowledge that I have gained since playing. Looking at tennis from a coach's perspective, you realize how important it is to work hard off the court in addition to putting in quality work when you are on the court. It doesn't just take a good player to win. It takes an all-around athlete."

Severance comes from Mesa, Ariz., where he worked at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club. He also coached at Saint Gregory College Preparatory for the boys' and girls' tennis teams, leading the girls' team to a state championship and the boys' team to a regional title in 2001. Severance is a member of the United States Tennis Association, where he's established an elite ranking of Professional I.

Severance began his collegiate tennis career at the Mesa Community College where he played from 1995 to 1997. During that time, he helped bring the team to a No. 10 national ranking at the national tournament in Corpus Christi in 1997. Severance then transferred to Colorado, where he amassed a 16-5 dual-match record.

His being named head coach received warm remarks from his peers, including former coach Hyde.

"I am excited that John has been chosen to take over the helm of the program. He was an integral part of the success the team has had over the last few years," Hyde told "In my opinion, he is definitely the right person for the job. He will continue to build on the foundation that we built over the last three years."

While announcing Hyde's replacement, Hall said that Severance has been key in recruiting quality student-athletes and building a nationally competitive team. 

"Severance is an accomplished teacher and coach on the collegiate and professional level," Hall told "His skills, experience, values and leadership will ensure a successful Cougar program."

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