By Ian Jackson
Since coach Lucian Tabic resigned as head men’s and women’s coach last year, Roosevelt University was without a coach close to Tennis season. On Feb. 23, John Jaramillo hired Greg Couch to be the next men’s and women’s coach for the tennis team.
The new Lakers tennis coach has made his name locally and nationally as a sports journalist. He earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary for RollingStone.com and The Guardian.
Couch penned articles and columns for CNN.com/Bleacher Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for FoxSports.com and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.
“I feel happiness for the student-athletes that they have a head coach here, and I am happy that they can work with a head coach like Greg who brings enthusiasm and very unique experiences within the game,” said Jaramillo.
Couch’s tennis journey began in his youth, when he a former top 10 ranked tournament junior tennis player and state high school doubles champion in the state of Colorado. He was an Intermountain Region Junior Davis Cup player and ranked fourth in men’s tennis in Kansas. Couch also played professional tennis tournaments, including the Rockford Pro Championships, and earned a ranking in the Chicago Pro League.
Couch looks ahead, and talks about what the upcoming season means to him.
“For this season, I want the team to represent Roosevelt and its ideals in public with a mix of toughness, grace and class. The university and athletics director John Jaramillo have been very supportive. And the community sense you get from the entire athletics department has been almost shocking,” said Couch.
“He is a great training coach, he works as a coach and trainer at a tennis club in Hanover Park. He is preparing us as best he can with the short amount of time he has been with the program,” said Hospitality and Sports management sophomore Kevin Day.