Harnett to lead Team USA
E.J. Crawford | November 4, 2016
Jason Harnett has served as a national assistant wheelchair coach since 1998. Now the decorated and respected coaching veteran is taking over the top job.
Harnett has been named the national head coach of wheelchair tennis, succeeding longtime national coach Dan James. In his new role, Harnett will lead Team USA in the World Team Cup and other international wheelchair tennis events, while also serving as the national manager for the USTA’s Wheelchair Division.
“We are excited to have Jason join the team,” said Joanne Wallen, director of USTA Adult Individual Play. “He brings an enormous amount of knowledge and coaching experience to wheelchair tennis, especially on the international stage. We are looking forward to having the sport grow under his leadership, especially at the grass-roots level.”
Harnett, who coached the quad wheelchair team to seven world championships during his tenure, was named Paralympic National Coach of the Year for tennis by the United States Olympic Committee and the USTA in 2013. The year earlier, he received the Order of Ikkos medal, the most prestigious award a coach can receive at the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
Harnett (pictured above with the junior World Team Cup squad) most recently served as the head tennis professional for the city of Mission Viejo, Calif., working at the city’s tennis centers for more than 18 years. He led the ITF International Junior Wheelchair Camp in Mission Viejo each summer and was instrumental in bringing the ITF Master Series Wheelchair Doubles World Championships to the city the past two years.
“To see people with disabilities choose tennis is inspiring,” said Harnett. “It makes me think that no matter what I’m going through, there’s no reason to give up. It can be done.”
In his new role as head coach of Team USA, Harnett will relocate to the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.