Oct. 6, 2011
AUBURN -- Lauren Longbotham Meisner has been named the head women's tennis coach at Auburn, announced Athletic Director Jay Jacobs Thursday. Meisner spent the previous five seasons as head coach at Southern Methodist University where she led the program to a NCAA Sweet 16 in 2011 and the program's first-ever Conference USA Tournament championship in 2009.
The program's career leader in wins (105) and winning percentage (.784), Meisner directed SMU to a school-record three-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2009-11 and was named C-USA Coach of the Year in 2009.
"I am very excited and honored to join the Auburn Family," Meisner said. "This is a wonderful university with tremendous facilities and I look forward to building the program into one that will contend for championships. I'm very appreciative of Jay Jacobs for this tremendous opportunity and I can't wait to get started. I also want to thank President R. Gerald Turner, AD Steve Orsini and everyone else at SMU for their help and support the past nine years. Without them believing in me and giving me a chance to prove myself, this new step wouldn't have been possible."
Meisner was named the 2011 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Texas Region Coach of the Year for her accomplishments. Besides leading the team to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1988 and No. 29 final ranking, she also coached Marta Lesniak, who became the program's first All-American in over 20 years.
In 2009, the Mustangs went 28-3 and won the Conference USA Championship, which was the first league tournament title in school history. The team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship and finished with the No. 23 national ranking, the highest since 1989.
The 2010 Mustang team advanced to the NCAA second round and finished with a 24-5 record and No. 29 ranking.
"Lauren has been very successful as a head coach and has done a tremendous job of developing players both competitively and academically," Jacobs said. "Lauren is a great fit for our women's tennis program, and I am confident in her ability to make us competitive in our very tough league. We are pleased to welcome Lauren and her husband, Tod, to the Auburn family."
In five years at SMU, Meisner coached 40 players to all-conference singles and doubles selections, including Lesniak, who was the C-USA Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011. Her student-athletes not only excelled athletically, but also academically as she had 35 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll members, one C-USA Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year and five consecutive ITA All-Academic teams. Four of her five squads recorded the highest team GPA of all SMU sports.
Meisner also served as the C-USA Women's Tennis coaches' chairperson, a two-year position she was voted into by her fellow C-USA coaching peers. In 2008, she was selected by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to serve a three-year term on the Southwest Regional Committee.
Prior to being named head coach at SMU in August 2006, Meisner served as an assistant for the Mustangs for three seasons (2003-06) where she helped guide the team to a 53-27 record and an NCAA second round appearance in 2004. During her three years as an assistant, SMU was conference runners-up all three seasons and had two ITA Top 50 team finishes.
Before arriving to SMU, Meisner spent a semester as a volunteer assistant coach for her alma mater, Louisiana Tech.
A four-year letterwinner at Louisiana Tech from 1999-2003, she was the team captain for two years. Meisner was a mainstay in the Louisiana Tech lineup both in singles and doubles play and was named the team's Singles Player of the Year in 2000.
A native of Groesbeck, Texas, Meisner earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education from Louisiana Tech in 2003 after majoring in secondary education and minoring in history and fitness and wellness.
She and her husband, Tod, were married in 2007.