Unlike basketball and football, tennis is not a sport that seems to produce a wealth of LDS players at the college level. Fortunately for BYU, having a coach who played at Wimbledon entices LDS and non-LDS players alike.
Approximately one out of 100 students at BYU are not LDS, but on the BYU men’s tennis team, the members of the church are the minority.
“Tennis in particular is not conducive to the LDS lifestyle,” said BYU head coach and ex-pro Brad Pearce. “Sunday play is impossible to avoid.”
Players say there is one main reason so many non-LDS tennis players chose to come to BYU in the heart of happy valley: to play their game.
“Tennis was the reason I came here — not academics, not the Mormons, not because it’s in Utah — tennis,” junior Evan Urbina said. “I like Brad, I love my team and it is a reputable program.”
Pearce said he thinks his background gets him in the door and gives him credibility with both the players and their parents when he first tries recruiting them, but that it’s BYU’s tradition of having a good tennis program and the relationships they establish with both the players and their families that attracts LDS and non-LDS kids alike to BYU.