By PAUL WELLING
Come this fall, the BYU men’s tennis team will be missing two of its top players.
After representing the university for four years, seniors Jason Hardin from Aloha, Oregon, and Brad McIntosh from New South Wales, Australia, are graduating.
Head coach Jim Osborne had only good things to say of these two outstanding players.
“Brad has been one of my real success stories for the year. He is such a good example of a student athlete,” Osborne said.
In describing Hardin, Osborne said, “He is very tough to play because he has so many ways to hurt you. He finds a way to win.”
Last season, Hardin and McIntosh played doubles together and compiled an impressive 11-7 record. But coaching a young team caused Osborne to split them up this year.
“I had them play with freshmen to strengthen our doubles,” he said.
McIntosh and Hardin finished the season by alternating at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles positions. McIntosh finished with a team-high match record of 10-3, and Hardin had a solid record of 7-7.
“For Brad to have such a great senior year was really satisfying to me,” Osborne said. “He was our only winner at the conference championships last week.”
However, some of McIntosh’s greatest accomplishments happened off the court. In his stay at BYU, he earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.94 and won the Kimball Award. This award is given each year to the student-athlete with the highest GPA.
McIntosh will graduate in Physical Therapy after only three-and-one-half years here at BYU.
McIntosh now plans on returning to Australia to continue his education.
“I’m going to concentrate more on being a physical therapist,” he said. “I’m going back to Australia to study for two more years.”
Does he plan on continuing on with tennis? “Maybe someday I can work with the pro tour — who knows?”
Hardin has also contributed impressively to the team. “He has one of the most interesting games to watch,” Osborne said. “His shots are amazing. It’s fun to watch him because he’s so emotional out there on the court.
“Sometimes I’d see a hat flying through the air and I knew it was Jason over there getting excited. He’s a little like (John) McEnroe — his emotions kind of pump him up.”
Hardin said his favorite moment of the season was when the team beat the University of Utah 7-0.
“We thought we could do it and everyone came through,” he said.
Now that he’s graduating, Hardin says he’ll continue playing tennis. “I’ll probably teach my kids how to play,” he said. “I’ll play a in few tournaments here and there — try to make a little money.”