Nick Crowell was named the head men’s tennis coach at the University of Oklahoma by OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione in July of 2016. In his first two seasons at the helm for the Sooners, Crowell has compiled a record of 37-17 and has led OU to back-to-back NCAA tournament berths while coaching three players to All-America honors.
In 2016-17, Crowell coached the Sooners to a 17-11 record and an NCAA round of 16 finish in his first year at the helm for Oklahoma. Crowell guided Alex Ghilea to All-America honors, with Ghilea making a run to the quarterfinals of the NCAA singles championships as just the second Sooner to do so. The Neamt, Romania, native beat three top-25 opponents, including two in the top-10, during his run, and ended his career with 100 singles wins, tying him for third in program history in singles wins.
Under Crowell’s tutelage, Spencer Papa and Andrew Harris brought home OU’s first individual title in tennis with the NCAA doubles national championship. Papa and Harris’ magic title run included victories over teams ranked No. 23, No. 6, No. 3, No. 4, before capping the championship by beating the No. 1 pair in the nation, Georgia’s Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski, on their home court.
Papa and Harris finished the season ranked No. 1 in the final ITA doubles release, and earned All-American status, as well as being named ITA All-Stars. By virtue of the championship, the duo earned a wildcard entry into the 2017 US Open doubles draw.
During the 2017-18 season, Crowell recruited and rotated nine new players in the lineup after graduating the majority of the team the previous season and finished 20-6 overall, tying for the ninth most wins in a season in program history. Despite being projected to finish sixth in the conference after Papa suffered an injury prior to the start of the season, the Sooners flourished in the face of adversity and finished tied for second place in the Big 12.
OU’s signature win in 2018 came as a thrilling 4-3 victory over then-No.5 Texas A&M, who went on to clinch the SEC regular season title, in a match played at the USTA National Campus. The Sooners also upset No. 14 Oklahoma State in the final contest of the regular season, taking down in-state rival, 4-3, on the road. The win was one of just two Big 12 matches in 2018 in which the visiting team came out on top.
Under Crowell’s tutelage, newcomer Alex Bakshi and freshman Jake Van Emburgh collectively brought home all three of the Big 12 Conference’s player awards: Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Freshman of the Year, marking the first time in conference history that one school earned all three titles.
Crowell coached Bakshi to ITA Central Region Player to Watch honors, the award given to a nationally or regionally ranked player who is anticipated to be one of the top returning regional players the following year. Van Emburgh earned ITA Rookie of the Year honors after posting the most wins of any OU player and going undefeated in conference action in his debut season.
Crowell led the Sooners to their ninth straight NCAA tournament berth and hosted their ninth consecutive NCAA Regional at the Headington Family Tennis Center. He also guided newcomer Ferran Calvo to an NCAA singles berth, and Bakshi to a second round finish in the NCAA singles tournament.
Prior to his arrival in Norman, Crowell spent 13 years as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Florida State University where he helped lead the Seminoles to the NCAA tournament in each of those seasons.
Crowell, who was promoted from assistant to associate head coach in 2008 after five years with the Seminoles, has been named the Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year three times in his career, the most recent coming after the 2015 season when he helped lead FSU to its most wins since 2009.
Crowell developed some of the nation's top collegiate talent while at Florida State. In 2016 he helped FSU seniors Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez cap remarkable careers. Lock ranked in the ITA Top 10, the first Seminole since 2009 to reach that mark, while becoming just the third singles player in school history to earn All-America honors. In doubles, Lock and Nunez ranked in the Top 20 much of the year and finished at No. 24. Under the guidance of Crowell, the pair beat three of the top five teams in the country. At season's end, Lock was named the country's Most Improved Player by the ITA, a first for a Seminole athlete. Lock also reach a career-high ATP ranking of 695 under Crowell. In total, players Crowell coached at Florida State have gone on to win 63 professional titles at the Challenger and Futures level.
In 2009 Crowell helped coach the second Florida State doubles tandem to ever earn All-America honors in Connor Smith and Vahid Mirzadeh. Crowell coached a total of six All-Americans during his tenure at Florida State.
Crowell also has experience in the junior ranks. In 2010 he coached the Florida USTA Under-18 Team to a national championship. The win marked the first time since 1983 that the Florida team had won the prestigious tournament. His team's triumph over two of the top three ranked teams was described as one of the greatest upsets in 25 years. For his efforts he was named the USTA Florida Junior Coach of the Year.
A native of Amarillo, Texas, Crowell spent his playing days at the University of Texas. He was a two-time All-American in doubles and won the ITA National Indoor Championship in doubles with partner Michael Blue during his senior season. He finished his career with 98 doubles victories.
Crowell is married to the former Lindsey Smith and the couple has a daughter and two sons.