OHS tennis coach Louis Nash inducted into Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame


Kendall Kipping, staff writer

School’s tennis team has been led by Louis Nash, a coach that has led the school to several state championship victories along with being the United States Professional Tennis Association Coach of the Year for the state of Mississippi in 2019. On November 29, 2022, Coach Nash was finally recognized for all his hard work, not just for Oxford High School but for the entire tennis community as he became nominated as an inductee into the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame.

Nash has been playing tennis his entire life, starting his tennis career at six years old, and he began coaching tennis at various schools around 40 years ago. He eventually became the head coach of the Oxford High tennis team 17 years after his coaching career began.

“I knew I was going to work in athletics, and coaching was a way to stay in athletics. I’m very competitive and I like the winning and losing part so all of that kind of led itself to coaching,” Nash said.

Coach Nash is also known across the city of Oxford for his hard-working attitude, determination, and witty comments. Danielle Little is an assistant coach for the Oxford High School Tennis team and has been coaching alongside Nash for five years.

“It’s like you’re always going to be surprised by him, but it’s always in a good way, it’s never a bad surprise,” Little said.

The Oxford High tennis team holds much adoration and respect for their coach, and this is reflected in the teams relationship with one another. Sutherland Smith, a 17-year-old junior at Oxford High who has been playing tennis alongside Coach Nash since his 7th-grade year, thinks very highly of him.

“Coach Nash is a great coach that has exceptional leadership qualities and is able to always keep our team united,” Smith said.

When the tennis team learned of the nomination that Nash had earned as their coach they were all excited and happy, but the one common theme when asked about how they felt upon learning of the accomplishment was that it was earned by their coach. Nash’s dedication to the game is beyond the standard coach. Nicholas Carr, an assistant coach to the Oxford High School tennis team and teacher at Oxford High has enjoyed working alongside Nash for the past two years.

“It’s just the love he has for the game. He’s just been around here for 40 something years so seeing him, and knowing how much he’s been through and how much he knows about the game, especially the game of doubles, and kind of the insight he brings and he just brings a good atmosphere to practice and he really shows how much he cares about the game and about teaching the kids,” Carr said.

Nash’s induction into the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame alongside fellow nominee, Nick Barone, who is a former pro-athlete and former tennis player for Ole Miss, was seen as an amazing accomplishment by the entire tennis community that has experienced Nash’s influence. The adoration that Nash’s players on the team have for him also extends to his assistant coaches, among other people in the tennis community. Coach Nash’s induction into the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame was no surprise to anyone that knows him.

“Coach Nash is a legend so it was honestly no surprise, it honestly surprised me that he wasn’t already in the Hall of Fame. The fact that he’s in the Hall of Fame now is simply well-deserved,” Carr said.

On Saturday, January 7, 2023, Nash was officially inducted into the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame in Jackson, MS. After playing tennis for over 60 years, coaching tennis for 40 years, and leading the Oxford High School tennis team to numerous victories such as 10 consecutive 5A state championship victories from 2008-2017, he has helped the team excel. Since Louis Nash has taken his job as the head coach of the Oxford High tennis team, his dual match record is an astonishing 506 wins to only 59 losses. His nomination and induction into the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame was clearly hard-earned and deserved, and all of Oxford High School is excited to see what victories Nash will lead us to next as he is committed to continuing his coaching career.

“You have to change, I’m a much different coach than I was 15 years ago,” Nash said. “You better keep the game fun, and better keep it entertaining. You need to communicate with your players, they need to know what you’re thinking.”