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Urska Juric
Position: Head Women's Tennis Coach
Alma Mater: Missouri
Graduating Year: 2004

Urska Juric is entering her fifth season as head coach for the Drake women's tennis program.

She came to Drake after serving as an assistant coach for two years (2004-06) at the University of Missouri.

This past spring a young Bulldog squad often found themselves within grasp of victory but struggled to pull the wins out as Drake's record reflected with a 7-12 mark.

Freshman Manca Krizman capped a stellar rookie campaign for Drake being named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference All-Select team. Krizman finished the year posting a team-best 16-13 singles mark, including 4-3 in conference action.

Off the court, sophomore Gabriela Demos was honored as first team MVC Scholar-Athlete selection.  She earned first team accolades for the first time boasting a 3.70 grade point average in management.

In 2009, the Bulldogs turned in one of their better campaigns in recent history as Drake posted an 11-12 mark, including a third-place finish in the MVC at 5-3.  The Bulldogs posted a 6-1 recorded at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center and registered a season-best seven-match winning streak from March 21 - April 10. 

Senior Veronika Leszayova captured MVC All-Select team accolades for a second straight year, while Leszayova and fellow senior Kari Sloboth were named first team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete recipients. 

Four Bulldogs captured at least 15 singles victories, while three Drake players won 15 or more doubles matches.  Demos led the Bulldogs with 36 combined singles/doubles triumphs and won the No. 2 singles crown at the MVC Individuals. 

In her second season, Juric helped guide Drake through a campaign of adversity as a depleted roster left the Bulldogs with only five healthy bodies for most of the year. Despite the challenge, she directed Drake to a 9-15 ledger, including 3-5 in the MVC. Leszayova was honored for her efforts on and off the court as she was named an MVC All-Select team honoree for her play and a first team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete selection in recognition of her academic prowess.

In her first campaign leading the Bulldogs, she directed Drake to a 9-14 mark, including a 4-4 finish in the MVC.

"It is her ability to teach the game and passion for coaching our student-athletes that convinced us that she was the right choice to continue the growth of our women's tennis program," Drake Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb said.  "In addition, her knowledge of tennis both as a highly-competitive player and later as a coach at Missouri was an attraction for us."

One of the more decorated players in Missouri women's tennis history, Juric moved seamlessly from a student-athlete into her role as an assistant coach under head coach Blake Starkey. In her time in Columbia, Mo., she helped the Tigers climb as high as No. 32 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings as well as a fifth-place finish in the Big XII Conference in 2006. During her tenure, Missouri registered victories over such national powers as Kansas State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, Texas and Texas A&M. In 2005, her efforts were recognized, as she was a finalist for the ITA Central Region assistant coach of the year.

"I'm very proud to be part of the Drake family," Juric commented. "My top priority is to build a very strong and competitive women's tennis program. I have a strong desire to help my players succeed both on and off the court. My job is to help them reach their highest potential and to become as good as they possibly can be."

In addition to her role as an assistant coach with the Tigers, Juric was actively involved in the daily operations of Missouri's Green Tennis Center. She played an integral role in the implementation of junior and adult programming as well as all promotional activity for the facility. A tireless recruiter, she has attended countless national and international events and cultivated positive relationships with many people in the tennis community.

As a player, Juric was a two-time ITA national indoor doubles finalist and reached national rankings as high as fourth in doubles and 24th in singles competition. She earned All-Big XII accolades in both singles and doubles in each of her final three seasons, becoming the first Tiger in school history to accomplish that feat.

Juric capped her Missouri career as the school's all-time leader in doubles victories with a 95-30 career record and is second all-time in singles play with a mark of 83-44.

Earning national attention as well as conference recognition, Juric paired with doubles partner Katka Sevcikova to win back-to-back ITA Central Region indoor doubles championships in 2001 and 2002. This marked the first time in collegiate history that a doubles tandem had won consecutive titles. The duo qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships in 2003 with Juric also gaining a bid into the women's championship singles draw.

Off the court, Juric was a true student-athlete, being named a CoSIDA Academic All-District VII selection as a junior while earning All-Big XII first team Commissioner's Honor Roll laurels three times. In 2004, she was selected as the recipient of the ITA Central Region Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship award.

Juric earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Missouri in December of 2004 as she maintained a 3.81 grade point average. She completed her master's degree in public administration from Missouri in December of 2007.