Purdue graduate Cris James is in his sixth year as an assistant tennis coach for the Boilermakers. James won four letters as a member of the Old Gold and Black under Tim Madden from 1996 to 1999.
"Coaching at my alma mater is a great honor," James says. "I feel privileged to be in the position I am in and to have the opportunity to work alongside coach Madden. We are committed to helping the young men who come through this program to get a quality education. At the same time, we are working to make Purdue tennis into a perennial top 25 program."
James' first season on the sidelines was a success, as he helped lead Purdue to a 13-8 record and a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers again finished fourth in 2004, compiling a 10-12 overall record and a 5-5 league mark. Despite some recent struggles, James continues to push the Purdue players to improve both technically and psychologically.
James excelled as a Boilermaker. A 1999 team tri-captain, the Edmonton, Alberta, native was a three-time All-Big Ten performer, earning all-conference honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. A true student-athlete, James graduated from Purdue with a degree in political science. He was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
James went on to play professionally, and worked through a number of injuries to earn an ATP singles ranking. He ranked as high as 550 in doubles, with three tournament wins to his credit.
In order to finance his playing career, James coached at the University of Alberta Tennis Centre, where he coached students at all levels, from beginners to national- level juniors and university players. In addition to his work at the Alberta Tennis Centre, James served as a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Alberta men's and women's tennis teams during the 1999-2000 season.
James currently is pursuing a master's degree in sports management in the department of health and kinesiology.