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Tuesday, Feb. 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Assistant coach hired for 2003

Former pro has high expectations

Men's tennis coach Ken Hydinger announced the hiring of new assistant coach Matthew Pledger on Monday. \n"Matthew (Pledger) will bring a wide variety of things to our program," Hydinger said. "He has played professionally and he knows what the next level is like. He'll have high expectations."\nPledger previously was a head tennis professional and ran a Junior Development program at Middletown Tennis Club in Middletown, Ohio. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Fitness Management and a minor in business. Pledger had many athletic accomplishments in college, including being named to the All-South Eastern Conference tennis team twice and earning First Team All-American honors in 1997. He also earned Academic All-South Eastern Conference twice.\nPledger toured professionally from 1997-2000, competing on the ATP tour, the Challenger Circuit, and the Futures Circuit. During this time he acquired a doubles ranking of 256 and a singles ranking of 653 worldwide.\n"This is something I've been interested in since college," Pledger said about his new job. "I really loved the team aspect and I look forward to working with all the guys."\nPledger met the team Monday and is eager to start coaching.\n"I'm looking to have a good season. We have a lot of talented guys," Pledger said. "I think we can surprise a lot of teams out there."\nThe Hoosiers have been without an assistant coach since Mark Keil was dismissed from the position earlier in the year. Keil, who was hired on Aug. 5, was fired in October after being arrested and charged with residential entry.\nHydinger said he looks forward to working with Pledger for a number of reasons. \n"Starting off, he is a good character guy with an outstanding work ethic," he said. "Number two, he brings professional experience and can bring great exposure to the highest level of tennis. Three, he is a guy that has improved greatly as a player, so he has that conviction of the properties that make players improve. He is excited about being here, so he is going to help at all aspects of the program."\nPledger will get his first chance to see the team play when the Hoosiers conclude their fall season in the Big Ten Singles Championship this weekend in Minnesota, Minn.

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