Tennis Coach, 1979-05
Inducted February 16, 2008
Jim Klousia was the second-longest tenured coach in Bears’ athletics history when he retired as men’s tennis coach in 2006 after guiding the program for 27 seasons. Klousia’s tenure was second at Missouri State only to A.J. McDonald, who coached men’s basketball 23 years and men’s golf for 35 seasons. Klousia, a native of Monett and a 1975 graduate of Southwest Baptist University, guided the Bears to 10 conference titles, and is one of only two coaches on record at the University to win championships in three different leagues. His first Bears’ team in 1979 won a Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association title. The Bears then won a Mid-Continent Conference crown in 1982 before rattling off seven straight MCC championships from 1984 through 1990. Klousia’s Bears won their first Missouri Valley Conference championship by winning the league tournament in 2005 to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time as a team. Klousia’s Bears logged top four finishes in nine of their 11 seasons in the MVC. The 1979 Bruins finished seventh in the nation in Division II and the 1981 squad placed 13th nationally. Klousia was a five-time MCC Coach of the Year and the 1993 MVC Coach of the Year. He coached Hakan Svensson (1988-89) and Wynn Criswell (1993-94) to multiple NCAA berths. In 1994, Klousia’s No. 1 doubles duo of Michael McTeigue and David Gonzales was ranked as high as 24th nationally by the ITA. Klousia coached 10 players to all-MVC honors and four players under Klousia were named to the MVC all-select Team. Academically, seven Bears earned MVC Scholar-Athlete honors, including three-time selection Neal McNamara (1996-97-98), who was also named a GTE Academic All-American in 1996 and 1998. Klousia finished with a 324-271 dual meet record with the Bears.