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Jackie Holden enters her sixth season on staff with the Northwestern women's tennis team for the 2013-14 campaign. Holden joined the program as an assistant coach in 2008 and was elevated to associate head coach in December 2010. During her stint in Evanston the Wildcats have claimed six Big Ten championships, two in the regular season (2009 and 2012) and four from the Big Ten tournament (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013).
In 2013, Northwestern avenged both of its close Big Ten regular season defeats to win its 14th conference tournament title in the last 15 seasons. The Wildcats also advanced to the NCAA tournament round of 16 for the 10th straight year and earned a final ITA team national ranking of No. 12. In posting the program's 10th consecutive 20-win season, NU knocked off seven teams ranked in the top 20 by the ITA.
The 2012 season saw the Wildcats overcome a loaded schedule to win their second Big Ten regular season title with Holden as a key contributor to the program. NU regularly faces the top programs in the country in both the nonconference and Big Ten portions of its schedule. Under Holden and head coach Claire Pollard the team earned several marquee victories throughout the year including triumphs against No. 8 North Carolina, No. 9 Virginia, No. 15 Michigan and No. 18 Notre Dame, all of which came on the road. Northwestern won nine matches against teams in the 2012 NCAA Championship field.
Holden was recognized for her outstanding efforts at the conclusion of the 2011 season when she was named the ITA Midwest Regional Assistant Coach of the Year. That season's edition of the Wildcats saw them win a 13th consecutive Big Ten Tournament title and finish the campaign with a No. 12 national ranking and three wins over top-10 teams to their credit.
Holden, who along with Pollard won the 1989 NCAA Doubles championship playing for Mississippi State, was instrumental in helping the 'Cats win back-to-back ITA Indoor National Team championships in 2009 and 2010 -- the first two titles in program history -- and guiding an NU team that in 2009 spent the entire regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation.
On the individual side, Holden helped Maria Mosolova conclude her career as only the second four-time NCAA Singles All-American in Northwestern women's tennis history. Mosolova also won the ITA Midwest Regional singles crown in 2009 while NU's Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton won the 2010 Regional doubles championship and went on to become 2011 doubles All-Americans.
In addition to her role as an instructor on the court, Holden has made extensive contributions to the Wildcat program off it. She spearheads off-the-court initiatives related to alumni relations, marketing, social media, match video analysis, as well as NU's annual Rally With the 'Cats fundraiser.
"I feel extremely fortunate that I get to work with Claire every day," said Holden. "She is one of the most experienced and well-respected coaches in college tennis and a huge reason why the Northwestern women's tennis program has been so successful over the past decade."
Holden arrived at NU after a three-year stint as a national training coach at the Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of tennis in Great Britain. While coaching for the LTA, Holden was responsible for the training and development of Britain's performance players between the ages of 10 and 16. Among the players Holden traveled with as captain of the U-12 age group were 2008 Wimbledon Junior champion Laura Robson and Orange Bowl champion Jessica Ren. She also organized and implemented national training camps for the region's best players and served as an advisor to a multitude of coaches and club teams.
Holden, a native of Yorkshire, England, has also worked extensively in sports marketing, performing consulting work for such organizations as Mint Apparel Limited and the Rugby Football Union, in addition to her role as a promotions and public relations executive for the LTA. She contributed programs such as the Play Tennis and Girls in Tennis campaigns and directed all aspects of the LTA's PR function, including tournament management and media training for players and coaches.
As a student-athlete at Mississippi State, Holden was a two-time All-American whose doubles championship with Pollard remains MSU's only individual women's tennis title. Holden is also the school's all-time leader in singles wins with 72 to her credit (1986-89). She and Pollard were recognized as the Bulldogs' Female Athletes of the Year in 1989 when she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in fitness management.