Gurden Hired as Associate Head Coach

Aug. 20, 2016

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LMU men’s tennis Head Coach Tom Lloyd recently announced the hiring of Rob Gurden as an Associate Head Coach within the Lion program. Gurden, who spent last season at the helm of the program at the University of Northern Colorado, will replace Rylan Rizza on the coaching staff.

“First, I would like to take the time to thank Rylan for his three years of hard work and dedication to the Lion program and family. He will be missed here at LMU, but he left his mark,” Lloyd said of Rizza.”

“I could not be more excited to have Rob joining our young and talented Lion team this year,” Lloyed added. “I look for immediate impact from Rob in all facets of our program. He is a grinder by nature and puts countless hours into his passion of college coaching. We are both very excited to kick off this year and hit the ground running.”

In his one season at Northern Colorado, Gurden helped the Bears to a victory over the defending Big Sky champion, University of Idaho. Gurden also helped lead Austin Mayo to an All-Big Sky selection, while Eric Schuermans claimed the program’s first ITA national ranking at the Division I level.

Prior to joining the Bears, Gurden served as an assistant women’s coach at Northwestern and Purdue. While on staff at Northwestern, Gurden helped the team reach the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament before falling to the National Runners-Up, UCLA.



Known as a tireless recruiter, Gurden served as the primary recruiter at Purdue and brought in three players that played at the #1, #2 and #3 positions. While at University of Northern Colorado, he added a pair of top recruits out of California as well as three other players that are poised to be in the lineup for the Bears in 2016-17.

With more than 20 years under his belt as a private and group tennis instructor, Gurden has been teaching tennis full time since 1994 and has coached over 50 players that have received Division I tennis scholarships. His players have won numerous titles including the U.S. Open junior girls singles title, United States Tennis Association (USTA) national, Futures and Challengers titles, and hundreds of local and sectional championships.

Stops along the way in his coaching career include Director of Tennis at Milford Indoor Tennis in Connecticut, Director of High Performance and Junior Development at the Intensity Tennis Academy in Norwalk, Calif., and a full-time high performance coach on the ATP Professional Tour.

While working at the Intensity Tennis Academy, Gurden worked with over 100 players including more than 25 who traveled on the USTA/ITF national circuit. Working directly with high-level players on the ATP Professional Tour, he designed the players' entire training program including tournament schedule, travel management, training blocks and periodization.

Prior to working on the ATP Professional Tour, Gurden guided players at several tennis academies in California. In 2007, he was appointed as the head coach at the Advantage Tennis Academy in Irvine. Gurden was also recruited to help legendary coach Jose Higueras establish his academy in Palm Springs in 2006. As the academy's director, he developed six nationally and internationally ranked players and several other ATP and Women's Tennis Association professionals, including Shahar Peer (WTA No. 14), Alberto Francis (ATP No. 300), James Pade (ATP No. 350) and Coco Vandeweghe (US Open Girls' champion).

An accredited ATP coach certified by the Global Professional Tennis Coaches Association, Gurden is a certified United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Professional 1 and has gained the Professional Tennis Registry's Professional status. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and American Council on Exercise personal trainer.

A graduate of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., with degrees in psychology and film and video, Gurden played at the top singles and doubles spots all four years. He was ranked top-20 nationally in Division II and was the team captain and MVP as a senior.

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