Louisville Women's Tennis v Southern Illinois University
Mark Beckham continues to make his mark and build the Cardinal legacy as the Univeristy of head coach after being elevated to the head women's coaching position for the University of Louisville tennis team in 2007.
The former Cardinal, who was an assistant coach, primarily for the men's team, at U of L for the past 13 years is in his third year at the helm.
In his first year, he took the Cardinal women's team to their first NCAA appearance in program history. The Cardinals, after posting a 16-8 mark and achieving their highest ever national ranking of No. 38, were selected at-large to the NCAAs, where they played Indiana in Evanston, Ill. His success was recognized as he was named the 2008 USTA Kentucky Coach of the Year.
Last year, he led the Cardinals to third place in the BIG EAST powered by an upset win over No. 3 seeded USF and placed eight Cardinals on the BIG EAST Academic team. Bianca Gorbea was named All-Conference.
"We were thrilled to have the opportunity to promote an individual from within whom we believed would position us for national contention and that hunch paid off huge dividends," said U of L senior associate athletic director Julie Hermann. "Mark is a great teacher of the game and a highly respected coach. He will continue to take the program to new heights."
Beckham's responsibilities as an assistant with the men's program have included helping with individual workouts, recruiting, match coaching, practices and camps. He was instrumental in the Cardinals' success, including a program-high No. 12 team ranking, two conference championships and five NCAA appearances.
"I felt fortunate to get the opportunity," said Beckham. "I worked with one of the top coaches in college tennis in Rex Ecarma and I was ready to take on the leadership as the head coach for the women. My main goal is to continue to work on making the Cardinals successful, respected and competitive on the national level as a quality program."
Beckham brings with him a wealth of experience as a player and a coach. Beckham, a four-year letterwinner at U of L, finished his playing career for Ecarma in 1992. He continued his association with the Cardinal program by signing on as a part-time assistant coach in the fall of 1992.
"I think my players are eager to be put in a situation where they are challenged to max out and enjoy the experience," said Beckham.
A Louisville native and former high school All-American at Eastern High School, Beckham was ranked second in the state of Kentucky in singles as a junior. He began playing tennis in Louisville's Chickasaw Park program under the oversight of Arthur Johnson, who is in the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame. Beckham completed his degree in middle school education at U of L in the spring of 1994. He has served as the assistant tennis pro at the Louisville Country Club.
In 1997, Beckham played No. 1 doubles on Team Kentucky, which qualified for the National Adult Tennis Championships.
Mark and his wife, Christina have a son, Ashton and a daughter Alaina.