Osborne to Retire, Pearce Hired to Head BYU Men's Tennis

PROVO -- Brigham Young University men's athletic director Val Hale announced today that men's head tennis coach Jim Osborne will retire from coaching at the end of the 2002-03 season. Osborne, a former member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team, has coached the Cougars for the past 15 seasons.

Hale also announced that assistant men's tennis coach, Brad Pearce, has been hired as the new head coach. He will take over the program for the 2003-04 season.

"We are sad to see Jim Osborne step down after a great career at BYU. He always ran a good program with class and dignity and enjoyed the respect of his peers and athletes," said Hale. "Jim is a true gentleman and a consummate professional. We will miss him."

Osborne, who came to BYU in 1988, is a 1969 graduate of the University of Utah. While at Utah, Osborne won All-American honors three times and in 1991 was enshrined in Utah's Athletic Hall of Fame. He also served as an assistant coach at Utah in 1970, 1974 and 1982.

In 14 seasons at the BYU helm, Osborne coached 18 All-Conference performers, 4 All-Americans and led the Cougars to conference championship in 2001. He also coached David Harkness to back-to-back conference singles titles in 1988 and 1989. In 2000-01, he was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year. In addition to being successful on the court, Osborne's teams have been very successful in the classroom. During his 15-year tenure, 14 Cougars have been named Academic All-American and nearly 100 percent have graduated with a bachelors degree.

"I started thinking about retirement about three years ago, but I wanted to make sure there was a smooth transition for BYU," said Osborne. "Having Brad as an assistant the past three season has given him an opportunity to get a feel for the program and college tennis. We have enjoyed a great deal of success during that time, and I feel comfortable that I am leaving the program in good hands. I believe Brad will take BYU to the next level."

Osborne played on many U.S. National teams, including the victorious Davis Cup team in 1968. He also won a bronze medal for the United States at the Mexico City Olympic Games that same year. Osborne played the professional tour from 1968-1972 and was ranked among the top-10 during that span. During his career he played on Wimbledon's famed Centre Court and recorded wins over such names as Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, John Newcombe, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Ilie Nastase and Jimmy Connors.

Active in senior tennis, Osborne played on the U.S. Dubler Cup team, which won the 45-and-over World Championship in Sydney, Australia. He was formerly ranked No. 1 in the nation in singles and doubles in the 35-and-over division. A few years ago he won the national 50-and-over Grass Court Doubles Championship in Philadelphia.

Osborne has been active off the court as well. For the last 15 years he has been the National Awards chairman for the Intercollegiate Coaches Association. He has also served on numerous NCAA and ITA National Operating and Regional Advisory Committees.

Osborne married the former Kimberly Hansen, and they have two daughters, Libbie and Allie.

Pearce was born and raised in Provo, Utah, where he graduated from Timpview High School in 1984. He grew up on the BYU tennis courts where his father, Wayne Pearce, was the men's tennis coach for nearly 20 years. Pearce finished his junior career as the No. 2 ranked junior player in the United States and was also ranked No. 5 in the world after reaching the semifinals at Junior Wimbledon in 1984. He was a member of the Junior Davis Cup Team and a Championship Sunshine Cup Team.

Pearce joined the professional tour after playing two seasons of collegiate tennis at UCLA, where he was a two-time All-American in both singles and doubles, and the PAC-10 singles and doubles champion in 1986. Pearce was a semifinalist in the NCAA tournament that same year. He was a member of the college Junior Davis Cup Team, represented the U.S. in the Galea Cup international competition, and was a gold and bronze medalist at the Goodwill Games in 1986 in Moscow, Russia.

Pearce had a successful career on the professional tour that included nine titles and a quarterfinal singles appearance on center court at Wimbledon in 1990, losing to the No. 1 player in the world Ivan Lendl in four sets. He also had quarterfinal double appearances at both the Australian and US Open Championships. In 1990, Pearce was selected as a traveling practice member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Pearce's highest career ranking was 71 in singles and 23 in doubles.

During his professional career Pearce had singles and/or doubles wins over John McEnroe, Peter Fleming, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Pat Cash, Mark Woodforde, Goran Ivanesivic, Guy Forget, Henri Leconte, Andre Chesnokov, Todd Woodbridge, Magnus Gustafasson, Michael Chang, Patrick McEnroe and Ivan Lendl. In 1995, Pearce teamed with Martina Navratilova, Richard Matuszieski and Mariaan de Swardt to win the World Team Tennis Championship for the New Jersey Stars.

"Brad Pearce is one of the most successful LDS tennis players ever. He has played at the highest level and has spent the past three and a half years as Jim Osborne's assistant, learning the collegiate coaching business," said Hale. "Brad has lofty goals for the program, and I am confident he will be successful in his new role."

"I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with coach Osborne and the young men in our tennis program for the past three seasons," said Pearce. "Jim has been a great mentor and I've learned a great deal from him. I'm really excited to continue my association with BYU and I'm looking forward to carrying on the great tradition of the men's tennis program."

Pearce graduated from BYU in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in independent studies. He is married to the former Cindi Abbott. The couple has five children, Jordan (14), Tara (12), John (9), Matthew (7) and Joshua (2). They are expecting their sixth child at the end of April.