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Meet the Coach
A Teacher at Hart: Get To Know Washington State's Coach

Lisa Hart always enjoyed working with little kids and wanted to become an elementary school teacher.

Lisa Hart

But during her senior year at the University of Nebraska, head coach Scott Jacobson offered Hart the assistant coaching position for the following year. Jacobson saw Hart’s potential in the coaching profession, and wanted her to get some experience in Lincoln before she left tennis behind.

“Instead of teaching, I decided to give that a try and I loved it. I knew right away that is what I wanted to do,” said Hart, who earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education and sports studies from Nebraska. “I’ve always felt coaching is teaching anyway, so I feel like I am using my degree in a way.”

More than two decades later, Hart is still combining her two passions. She’s in her 15th season as the head coach for the Washington State women’s program.

Coaching in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, Hart’s overall record isn’t as gaudy as some. But she’s helped the Cougars progress from five wins in her first season to double-digit wins in 11 of the last 12. She was named Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading WSU to a program record-tying 19 wins, including a program-record six conference wins.

“I love the process a player goes through and how they mature over the years,” Hart said. “To have even a small part helping them on and off the court reach their potential has always been really rewarding to me.”

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Page updated on Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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