A two-time national collegiate champion, a highly successful professional player, and a talented coach, Ian Crookenden enters his ninth season as the director and head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs at Saint Joseph's.
Coming to Hawk Hill in August of 2008, Crookenden has quickly transformed the Saint Joseph's tennis program into one of the up-and-coming squads in the region. Crookenden has switched the focus of SJU's schedule to a year-round format, adding several invitationals and the ITA Regionals to the slate. In addition to the scheduling upgrade, he also helped spearhead the recently-constructed SJU Tennis Complex at the Maguire Campus and began the now-annual Saint Joseph's Invitational.
The 2012-13 Hawks won 10 dual matches for the second consecutive year, for just the fourth time in program history. Crookenden's charges posted wins over local rivals Drexel and La Salle as well as earning SJU's first victory over Delaware in 10 years. Senior Alex Veronis earned his third consecutive Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honor (the first Hawk to earn three straight league honors in nearly a decade), while junior Jose Sierra was also named to the Second Team. In addition, freshman Andres Urrea and sophomore Pierre Brondeau earned flight championships at the SJU Invitational and the Penn Invitational, respectively.
Saint Joseph's cracked double-digits in team victories for the first time in five years during the 2011-12 season. Veronis earned Second Team All-Conference accolades once again while also finding a spot on the league's All-Academic squad. The Hawks jumped up to the seventh seed in the Atlantic 10 Championship at the end of the season.
The 2010-11 season saw the Hawks reach the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship for the second time in three years. Crookenden helped guide Veronis to Second Team All-Conference honors after his standout sophomore season.
In 2009-10, the Hawks tied for ninth in the Atlantic 10. SJU hosted its first annual Saint Joseph's Invitational event at the brand new SJU Tennis Complex. On top of that, in their first dual match at the new facility, SJU took down archrival Villanova, 5-2.
In his first season at the helm of the Hawk tennis programs, he led the SJU men to eight wins and an eighth-place finish at the 2009 Atlantic 10 Championship. He also helped guide senior Phil Bayliss to A-10 All-Academic and All-Area Academic Performer of the Year honors.
One of the top players in the illustrious history of UCLA tennis, Crookenden was a standout for the Bruins from 1965-67, helping the Bruins to the NCAA title in 1965 and second place in 1966 and 1967.
As a rookie, Crookenden made a major impact with his new team, helping UCLA to an 11-0 overall record and the national championship. Teaming with the legendary Arthur Ashe, the pair claimed the fifth NCAA Doubles title in program history.
The following season, Crookenden became just the second player in UCLA history to claim two NCAA Doubles titles. Teaming with Charlie Pasarell, the duo earned the sixth national doubles title for the Bruins. Serving as captain in 1967, Crookenden earned his third straight All-American accolade, helping UCLA to a 12-2 mark and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.
Following his collegiate career, the New Zealand native excelled as a profesional player, competing at the sports' highest levels: Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open. Crookenden was also twice selected to the New Zealand Davis Cup team.
Crookenden returned to the collegiate game in 1984 as head men's tennis coach and indoor tennis club director at Wake Forest University. Coaching in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, Crookenden posted a 160-180 record and helped nine players earn All-ACC honors from 1984 to 1996.
In 1988, Crookenden earned a first in Wake Forest program history as he coached the doubles pair of Dallwitz and Mark Greenan to All-American honors. After guiding the two to the ACC No. 1 Doubles Flight title, Crookenden lent his playing experience to the duo as they upset the field and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships.
Adding to his stellar coaching streak, Crookenden's ability to recruit on an international level shined in 1990 as Frenchman Gilles Ameline became the first Demon Deacon to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships and earn All-American honors for singles competitions.
Stepping away from the collegiate game following the 1996 season, Crookenden took over as director of tennis at the Philadelphia Cricket Club from 1997 until August 2008. While there, he ran both the boys and girls' International Junior Grass Court Championships.
An active member of the United States Tennis Association and the United States Professional Tennis Association, Crookenden was recognized for his collegiate accomplishments in 1997 as he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. A contributing author of two guides published by the USPTA, he currently resides in Blue Bell, Pa., with his wife Dianne.