EMU tennis rehires former coach; return to MAC delayed until 2020

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Jayson Wiseman will be brought back to coach EMU women's tennis.

In bringing back its women's tennis program, Eastern Michigan also is bringing back its former women's tennis coach.

Jayson Wiseman has been re-hired by the university as it reinstates the program, per a court order. The program was eliminated in March amid university budget cuts, until a judge ruled the decision violated Title IX legislation.

Eastern tennis will resume in the spring, but will not rejoin the Mid-American Conference until the following season.

"My family and I are very excited to be back at EMU, working with the amazing staff and student-athletes, and rejoining the EMU athletics family," Wiseman said in a statement released by the university.

"I look forward to capitalizing on the improvement and success we had last season to build our program into a MAC championship caliber program."

Wiseman, a Ferris State graduate who is married with nine children, has declined interview requests, saying his focus is on getting the program ready to compete again.

Athletic director Scott Wetherbee, who made the decision to eliminate women's tennis and softball and men's wrestling and swimming and diving, said in a statement: "We are excited to welcome back Jayson, Last year, he showed that he was able to make our team competitive in the Mid-American Conference and in the region.

"We look forward to seeing him continue the momentum that he started last year as we restart our tennis program."

Wiseman was in his first season as Eastern tennis coach when the decision came down to cut the program. The Eagles improved to 16 wins from six the year before. Before taking the Eastern job, Wiseman coached two seasons at Evansville. He also has had coaching stops at Wright State, Bowling Green and the high-school ranks, and previously owned a tennis services company.

Tennis player Marie Mayerova was one of two student-athletes who filed a lawsuit against the university in June. In late Sepember, Judge George Caram Steeh of the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, in Ypsilanti, ordered that the university's "financial hardship" does not allow supersede Title IX legislation.

The other athlete who filed suit was softball player Ariana Chretien. A university spokesperson said there is no update on bringing back the softball program; an announcement on that front is expected later this month.

Eastern officials said in announcing the cutting of four sports teams that it would save the university $2.4 million annually.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984