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.
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
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
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
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.