New tennis coach plans to bring ‘winning mindset’


Sean Hastings | The Daily eastern News

Lois Alexis was hired as the new Eastern women’s tennis team’s head coach. Alexis said she wants to bring Eastern to a winning mindset and turn the players into champions on and off the court.

Parker Valentine, Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team has a new head coach with championship pedigree.

Lois Alexis is the Panthers’ next coach. The hire comes after she spent two years as head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Jackson State.

“I am delighted to be appointed to this prestigious position, which I have accepted as my own,” Alexis said. “I came to EIU because of the level of competition here. The conference is competitive, and I believe it’s a great challenge for me.”

In her first year with Jackson State, Alexis led the Tigers’ men’s team to its first conference championship in 18 years. It was the first of two straight conference finals appearances under Alexis.

The Tigers’ women’s teams made two-straight finals appearances during Alexis’ tenure as well. Her success was not limited to spring,though.

In her second year at Jackson State, immediately before taking the Eastern job, Alexis led the men’s team to the HBCU fall National Championship. Her women’s team placed second in the same tournament.

“I plan on bringing (Eastern) to a winning mindset with tools to help develop these young women into champions on and off the court,” she said.

Alexis said she wants to give the Panthers an opportunity to have the success as student athletes that she was able to have in college.

As a student at Southern University A&M, Alexis was named to three straight All-SWAC first teams as a doubles and singles player. Southern won three straight conference championships during her time as a player from 2011 to 2013 as well.

Southern University A&M is also where Alexis earned her first coaching job.

She was an assistant coach for the Jaguars as a graduate student from 2013 to 2015, before leaving for the head coaching job at Jackson State.

In her first couple weeks at Eastern, Alexis has had a chance to meet the team and learn some of their strengths, as well as what needs improvement.

One thing that Alexis said has helped her transition, is the Panthers’ sense of humor.

“The girls are a great group with tons of talent, they just need guidance and motivation. They are funny, and they have been helping me as much as they can with this transition. Very sweet group of ladies,” Alexis said.

In terms of areas that need improvement for the Panthers, Alexis said cardio is one area they have been working on since she has arrived.

“I believe that they were lacking in that area and so I believe that if we can get them in shape it will all come together smoothly,” Alexis said.

The Panthers begin their spring schedule Jan. 20 at Illinois State.

Parker Valentine can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]