Players make up Rams' main recruiting area
Rams to compete in 8-team tournament beginning Friday
CSU’s Buxton, Porter also garner individual Scholar-Athlete accolades
Kansas transfer has 2 years of Big 12 experience
Atlanta, Ga., native earns second career all-MW honors
Photos from Colorado State's tennis match against South Dakota on Senior Day (photos by Dan Byers)
The name Jon Messick is synonymous with women's tennis at Colorado State. In his 30 years with the program – including 26 now as head coach – Messick has provided top-notch coaching and leadership to hundreds of Rams student-athletes. Messick has patiently, diligently and intently guided CSU's program through the most successful era in school history.
During Messick's reign at CSU, he has mentored 14 players to an all-conference selection, two players to national rankings, and seven players and four doubles teams to regional rankings. Since 1998, the Rams have held regional rankings six times, rising as high as 11th during the 2006-07 season. In both the 1999 and 2001 seasons, the Rams were ranked 13th regionally, and in 2005 they were ranked 15th.
In 2014-15, Messick helped his team to its most victories in four seasons, including what he calls the biggest win of his coaching career, against No. 54 New Mexico. Part of that team was senior Natalie Heffron, a two-time All-Mountain West performer.
CSU’s program won a first-round conference tournament match for the third time in its history during the 2009-10 season, defeating New Mexico. The Rams won their previous first-round match in 2001, beating top-seeded and defending Mountain West champion UNLV.
During the 2006-07 season, Messick coached the Rams to 52 team doubles victories, tying a school record set in 1998-99. Also in that year, the No. 1 doubles duo of Emily Kirchem and Hilary Tyler earned 22 of the team's total doubles wins, breaking a CSU record for single-season doubles victories by a tandem, and also was ranked No. 7 in the region. A year prior, Anne Andersen and Emily Kirchem were ranked as high as No. 6, a school record.
Tennis has been an integral part of Messick's life for more than 45 years. From his days of being ranked nationally as a junior tennis player, to his triumphant doubles championship wins during college, to now, Messick has made tennis a lifetime experience. During his coaching career, he has prided himself on transferring his tennis knowledge to his players.
It is no surprise that Messick has made the CSU tennis program a regional force and a team that no Mountain West foe takes lightly. Messick took a struggling program and led the team to new heights of success, including its first .500 season in 1998-99, followed by four more winning seasons. He also has coached every player in the top 35 on the school's career victories list and all of the school's all-conference selections. On April 18, 2009, he reached his 200th career win as a tennis coach, defeating Air Force.
After a successful junior tennis career, in which he earned a No. 1 ranking in doubles play in Maryland and the Middle Atlantic Region, Messick went on to play collegiately at Swarthmore College. While in college, Messick's team won four consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference titles and he was the MAC doubles champion his senior year.
In addition to his time on the court, both as a coach and a player, Messick works in all facets of the tennis world. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Intermountain Tennis Association, and is the former president of the Association and the Colorado Tennis Association. He also serves on the board of the Fort Collins Tennis Association. After the 2008-09 season, Messick was named to the USTA National Collegiate committee. He also was named Chairman of the Mountain Region ranking committee.
Messick was recently honored with the U.S. Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Community Service Award for the Intermountain Region. He also has received the coveted Bud Robineau Award for outstanding contributions to the tennis community. In 2005, Messick was presented the Outreach Award by the Colorado Wheelchair Tennis Foundation, and in 2007 he received a Volunteer of the Year award.
Messick has earned two degrees, one in economics from Swarthmore College in 1973, and the other in accounting from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1986. Messick has one daughter, Briana, who competed in cross country and track at Wisconsin, and now is a triathlete.
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