Former Youngstown State head coach Klysner headed to Illinois State
NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State deputy director of athletics Leanna Bordner announced Monday that Mark Klysner, former head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Youngstown State, will take over as ISU’s head coach. Klysner brings nearly 15 years of coaching experience into his new position with the Redbirds, following a standout collegiate and junior playing career.
“We are excited to welcome Mark Klysner to our Redbird family as the head men’s tennis coach,” Bordner said. “His extensive experience as a coach and recruiter is impressive, and we are confident that he will be able to continue the tradition of Illinois State tennis.”
Klysner spent the previous three seasons as Youngstown State’s head men’s tennis coach, while also serving as the head women’s tennis coach for the past two years. During the 2012-13 campaign, both programs combined to win 28 matches, with the women winning 15 and the men earning 13 victories. Klysner guided the women’s team to its most dual wins in a season since 1998-99, while the men's 13 victories were the most since 1990-91.
“I am beyond excited to join the Redbird family,” Klysner said. “I would like to thank [director of athletics] Larry Lyons and Leanna Bordner, as well as the entire ISU staff for the opportunity to lead the men's tennis program. I look forward to building upon the success the program has had under coach [Cris] James. I can't wait to meet the guys on the team and get better acquainted with the community.”
With Klysner at the helm last season, the Youngstown State men finished third in the Horizon League for the second consecutive season. YSU was led by first-team All-Horizon League pick Silviu Mistreanu and the conference’s Newcomer of the Year, Sebastian Hagn. The Penguins also earned the program’s second postseason dual win since joining the league. In Klysner’s first three seasons, the men won 10 Horizon League matches. In the previous nine years, Youngstown State combined to win just three.
Meanwhile, the women’s team advanced to the Horizon League Championship match in 2013 for just the second time in school history. Under Klysner’s direction, Paula de Man was named the Horizon League's Player and Newcomer of the Year following a 23-1 campaign. Marta Burak and Margarita Sadovnikova joined de Man on the Horizon League's All-Conference First Team. The trio combined to go 21-0 during league play and ended the year winning 42 consecutive matches.
Before joining Youngstown State, Klysner was an assistant for both the men's and women's programs at Fairleigh Dickinson in 2009-10. The Knights' women's team won the regular-season conference title and had won 10 consecutive matches before losing in the Northeast Conference Tournament final. The men's team placed second in the NEC.
Klysner also spent the 2008-09 campaign as a men's and women's assistant at Austin Peay and served as the head men's and women's tennis coach at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash., for two seasons (2006-08). Prior to that, Klysner was the assistant men's and women's tennis coach at South Carolina at Aiken in 1999-2000, and he has also coached in the Canadian National Junior Program in Manitoba.
A former standout student-athlete at South Carolina-Aiken, Klysner played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and was named the team's most outstanding player his senior year. He was nationally ranked in both singles and doubles, ranking in the top-50 nationally in 1999.
After earning his degree in exercise science, Klysner turned professional and won two tournaments on the Canadian circuit. He has competed in tournaments all over the world and still competes in lower-level professional events.
Born in Hillerod, Denmark, he and his family later moved to Winnipeg, Canada, where he became a standout Junior player. He was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team and won more than 30 tournaments throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe. While competing on the junior level, he earned a win over former world No. 1 Andy Roddick.
Klysner replaces James, who coached Illinois State from 2007-13. James recently resigned after his wife, Emily, accepted a position in South Bend, Ind. James plans to remain involved with college tennis.