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Winning Coach Trades College Ranks for Community Rec

Paul Steinbach

The winningest coach in University of Nebraska at Kearney history is stepping down to become a municipal recreation coordinator for the City of Lexington, his hometown.

In 10 years as a UNK tennis coach, Jake Saulsbury amassed 327 total victories (175 with the women's team, 152 with the men's) and took each team to the NCAA tournament eight times. The Loper women also won three straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season titles with each team being mainstays in regional and national polls.

As reported by Kearney HubSaulsbury, a three-time RMAC Women’s Coach of the Year, led the UNK women to NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 2011 and 2012, with the men reaching that level in 2010 and 2012. Five different Lopers advanced to the ITA/Wilson National Small College Championships with 41 different players earning all-conference honors during Saulsbury’s tenure. Finally, he served a term as the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee Chair.

So why did Saulsbury give all that up?

"It was a difficult decision to step down as head coach," Saulsbury said. "I have been offered a position in Lexington that will afford me more time to spend with my family and the opportunity to invest in the community where I grew up."

"I am thankful for the support of the UNK athletic department in this transition," Saulsbury said. "I will miss my players and coaching with Scott Shafer the most, but I will remain a lifelong Loper forever."

"I know this opportunity for Jake and his family was difficult to pass up," UNK athletic director Marc Bauer said in a statement released this week. "Jake had a tremendous amount of success and built a strong tennis program at UNK. He has also been a tremendous leader for our student-athletes and tennis community.

"We wish Coach Saulsbury all the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his commitment to Loper Athletics and the University of Nebraska at Kearney."

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