Kel Lange enters his fourth season as the head tennis coach at Arkansas State.
The Red Wolves have improved in each of their three seasons under Lange’s direction, including a six-win campaign in 2018 that included a second-straight appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Lange also helped guide the team to their first league win since 2014 and saw improvement in both singles and doubles’ competition.
A-State’s biggest strides came in the area of doubles’ where the team turned in an overall record of 24-29 during the spring dual match season. Lange successfully paired Shelby King and Shannon O’Brien together and saw the tandem compile an 11-7 overall mark, while two other pairings posted a six-win season in 2018.
In singles’ competition senior Sabina Jeresic enjoyed the best season of her career and posted eight wins to finish out a very solid career. Shelby King and Shannon O’Brien also took strides toward improvement after both battled injuries during the 2017 season.
In his second his he helped A-State return to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for the first time since 2015 season and guided senior Julie Gauguery to a Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honor. The senior won 11 matches for the first time in her career and had a pair of five match win streaks throughout the season.
In his first season the squad saw improvement with its doubles' pairings, especially during the fall campaign. He helped guide Gauguery and Victoria Roberts to a doubles' victory in the first round of the ITA Regional Tournament, marking the first time in three year an A-State doubles' squad had won an opening round match in the tournament.
Freshman Shelby King also flourished under Lange's leadership as she compiled an 8-4 record during the fall tournament season. She captured a tournament title at the Terrier Invite and advanced to the Round of 16 in the consolation bracket of the ITA Regional.
Lange came to A-State with an impressive coaching background in the SEC and Big 12. The Kentucky native began his head-coaching career at Mississippi State in 1992 where he compiled 25 wins in four seasons and achieved an ITA ranking of No. 41 during his second year on the job.
Before coaching the Bulldogs, Lange was the assistant men's tennis coach at Texas A&M, where he was responsible for the top-ranked recruiting class in the country. He also led the team's strength and conditioning program and was head of player development. In his two seasons at College Station he helped the Aggies return to the ITA National rankings and make back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament.
Lange also spent time at the University of Kentucky from 1988-92 as the assistant women's tennis coach. He was responsible for the Wildcats' recruiting, strength and conditioning and player development. He helped Susan Klingenberg become an ITA Singles All-American in 1992 and coached two student-athletes to the SEC All-Conference Singles Team.
Lange spent the last four seasons as the head tennis coach at Birmingham Southern College, where the Panthers had an overall record of 11-3 this past season and played in the Southern Athletic Association Conference championship match.
Lange also has experience outside of collegiate tennis working with professional and amateur players alike. He has worked with professional tennis players Luke and Murphy Jensen, who won the 1993 French Open Doubles title and also spent time as the Director of Tennis at the Little Rock and Nashville Racquet Clubs.
A native of Lexington, Ky., and a graduate of Henry Clay High School, Lange attended the University of Kentucky and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology In 1992. He is currently working toward completing a master's degree in sport management at Texas A&M.
Lange and his wife Tracy, who is the head women's basketball coach at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark., have a daughter, Hope, and a son, Wes.