Nash selected as finalist for National Tennis Coach of the Year

Tennis coach Louis Nash smiles on the tennis court. Nash has been coaching at Oxford nineteen years.

Courtesy of Oxford School District

Tennis coach Louis Nash smiles on the tennis court. Nash has been coaching at Oxford nineteen years.

Edward Brown, Staff Writer

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Tennis coach Louis Nash has been selected as one of eight finalists for the National Tennis Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA).  Nash was named as a nominee by the Mississippi Association of Coaches in September. 

With this season being his nineteenth year of coaching here at OHS, Nash dedicates much of his success to the individuals he has coached.

“These things [his success] are a reflection of many years of talented, dedicated players excelling at what they do best,” Nash said. “I got on a lot of buses with a lot of very good teams.”

Throughout his lengthy career as a tennis coach, Nash has coached many different athletes, including junior Ben Peeler. Peeler has trained and played under Nash his whole high school career.

“I’ve been playing in front of Coach Nash my whole tennis career cause my older brother played for him when I first started,” Peeler said. “I know that since he’s been doing his job so well for so long that he deserves this award.”

In the past, the Chargers have had some of the best tennis teams in the state of Mississippi. Nash led his teams to ten connective 5A state championships from 2008 to 2017 before Oxford moved classifications. The 2019 season will show a less experienced group on the tennis court for the Chargers.

“This year’s team will be the least experienced on a varsity level than any that I’ve had here in Oxford,” Nash said. “We have good talent and a really good group of youngsters.  It will be interesting to see how they respond to being ‘the man’ in a match.”

Since joining class 6A in Mississippi, the streak of state championships has ended, and the team has faced more difficult competition. In 2018, the Madison Central Jaguars defeated the Chargers, eliminating them from the playoffs.  

“We could do pretty well in the playoffs this year as long as we play our best,” Peeler said.  “Even though we aren’t the most talented team to ever come through Oxford, we still believe that we can win state.”