New Tennis Coach Named

August 14, 2009

New Tennis Coach Named Saint Leo University Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy has named James Bryce as the new head men’s and women’s tennis coach.

“We had many outstanding candidates for this position, but James was able to distinguish himself by articulating an exciting vision for the program, a vision which aligned with our core values,' Reidy said.

Bryce comes to Saint Leo from fellow NCAA Division II institution Columbus State University in Georgia, where he was the assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs. His two-year stint for the Cougars saw Bryce earn valuable recruiting experience, as he helped take both teams to numerous NCAA postseason tournaments.

“Recruiting the right student-athlete to Saint Leo is very important to me because I want the team to succeed on and off the court,' Bryce said as he reflected on recruiting for the Lions. “Both programs have the potential to challenge teams in the Sunshine State Conference, and in the future on the national stage.'

Prior to his time at Columbus State, Bryce started his collegiate coaching career in Alabama at Samford University after concluding a four-year career as a member of the Bulldogs’ men’s tennis team. As a member of the 2005 Ohio Valley Conference regular season champions, Bryce was also on two runner-up teams in the OVC tournament and was the program’s Most Improved Player during the 2002-03 season.

“I am honored and thankful to become only the second tennis coach in the history of the program. I would like to thank Fran Reidy and his staff for this fantastic opportunity,' Bryce said. “I am eager to get started because Saint Leo competes in one of the toughest conferences and regions in the country.'

Bryce replaces longtime Saint Leo coaching icon Tim Crosby who guided the Lions’ men’s tennis team through 39 seasons, the women’s team through 37, and nearly half a century of involvement with Saint Leo Athletics.

Bryce, a native of Solihull, England, got his first shot at coaching in the fall of 2000 when he became a Development Tennis Coach for the David Lloyd Leisure Club in a position he held until the summer of 2005, when he left to begin his college career at Samford.

Bryce will begin his coaching duties when he welcomes the 2009-10 Saint Leo men’s and women’s tennis teams back to campus. The 2010 tennis season will begin in February.