Story by Drew Amman:
We recently caught up with Andy Jackson for a sit-down interview to get an update on his program. Here is a sneak peek of that conversation (Full interview to come):
Head Hog for Arkansas Tennis since 2013, Jackson is quick to point out the sport he loves the most, outside of tennis.
“I’m a big basketball guy (grew up in Eastern Kentucky), my dad was a basketball coach,
so I’m all the time watching basketball, reading. I’m into sports analytics, nerdy things.”
Favorite NBA Player?
“Like watching Steph Curry play, like everybody else. I’m a fairweather fan, not from California, San Francisco, but I was a Curry fan before he got to be famous so, even at Davidson, loved watching him play,” Jackson adds.
Taking a wild guess here, your favorite movie is a sports movie?
“I like Hoosiers, I’m a big Hoosiers fan, of course if you are from Kentucky, you can’t say anything nice about Indiana or they won’t let you back in the state,” Jackson notes.
As a three-time SEC Coach of the Year, in college Tennis for more than three decades, how have you seen it evolve from a broad standpoint?
“The Resources that are available to spend on a sport like mine, men’s tennis, are unbelievable. Enormous, relative to when I started,” Jackson said. When I started I was the trash man, facility man…you name it.”
That was in 1984.
Jackson also coached at Mississippi State, then Florida before Arkansas.
He has three SEC Regular Season Titles, three SEC Tournament Championships, and 24 NCAA Tourney Appearances.
On the pro level, there’s no question about his favorite grand slam?
“Wimbledon, it’s bucket list,” Jackson said. You have to go see it.
In the meantime, if he wants a break away from tennis, he can root for Hog Hoops in his own backyard. Just like Jackson, Eric Musselman is very much into analytics.
“There’s still coaching is coaching, so you can learn from coaches like Coach Musselman and other great coaches and try to apply some of those things to your sport, tennis.”