A two-time national collegiate champion, a highly-successful professional player and a talented coach, Ian Crookenden enters his ninth year as the director and head coach of the women's and men'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 clubs 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 SJU Tennis Complex at the Maguire Campus.
In his first season at Saint Joseph's, Crookenden helped the Hawks surpass expectations, finishing tied for 11th at the Atlantic 10 Championships. Despite not having a full roster for most of the season due to injury, he guided four Hawks to double-digit victories. Jhennifer Kedzierski and Krysta Contino's 12 wins apiece tied for the seventh most in a single-season at SJU, while Maggie Mullaney's 10 wins at No. 2 singles was the second most in a year in that flight.
The 2009-10 season saw Saint Joseph's continue to excel under Crookenden as Kedzierski and freshman Casey Robinson became the first set of Hawks in decades to compete at the ITA Regionals. Kedzierski would go on to finish her career second all-time in program history with 42 singles wins, 26 of which came under Crookenden's guidance. Additionally, SJU tied for 11th place at the Atlantic 10 Championships, with several Hawks challenging the higher-seeded opponents in earlier matches.
Fighting through an injury-ravaged season last year, the Hawks still had several standout performances under Crookenden's guidance, highlighted by Robinson becoming just the third Hawk to garner Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors. Robinson, Mullaney and freshman Devi Jadeja all capped the year with double-digit singles wins that finished amongst the top-10 in program history.
Competing with its most talented squad in recent years, the 2011-12 team posted its most wins in five years and had several standout individual performances throughout the season. Behind a record-setting 23 singles wins from Robinson and 32 combined wins from the freshman trio of Aurora Davis, Kelly Mulquin and Lauren Roy, the Hawks won nine matches in total. Individually, Robinson became the first SJU player in team history to earn A-10 All-Conference honors multiple times as she garnered First Team accolades. Additionally, Kate Dowd added her name to the SJU record books, finishing with the third-most wins at No. 6 singles with 10.
Backed by A-10 All-Conference honorees in Robinson and Davis, Saint Joseph’s posted a 13-11 overall record in 2012-13, setting the single-season mark for wins in the process. Additionally, Robinson, Davis and Mulquin, Roy and Michele Vona all set new career-records for wins, while Robinson and Davis tied for the most wins in a season with 25.
The Hawks reached new heights in 2013-14, setting a record for victories as they posted a 16-8 mark and advanced to the Quarterfinals of the A-10 Championship. Along the way, Davis garnered All-Conference honors, while Kelly Mulquin and Arianne Polatnick finished in the top-10 for singles wins in SJU history.
Davis led the charge for SJU in 2014-15 as she established herself as one of the most decorated Hawks in program history, capping her career as the all-time leader in singles wins (82), while garnering A-10 All-Conference honors for a record third straight season.
Led by a veteran squad in 2015-16, the Hawks finished the season on a strong note. Highlighted by junior Claire Minnoe's All-Conference honors, SJU had multiple individual successes as senior Arianne Polatnick finished her career tied for sixth all-time in career singles wins (43) and classmate Kristina Eisenbrand tied for 10th all-time (36).
Prior to Hawk Hill, Crookenden began his collegiate coaching career at Wake Forest. Starting in 1984, he served as head men's tennis coach and indoor tennis club director at Wake Forest University for 12 seasons. Playing 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 just his third season, Crookenden coached Christian Dallwitz and Marco Lucioni to No. 4 and No. 6 ACC Singles Flight titles - just the fifth and sixth Demon Deacon players to have done so at that point. In 1988, Crookenden earned another first in Wake Forest program history as he coached the doubles pair of Dallwitz and Mark Greenan to All-American honors. After guiding the pair to the ACC No. 1 Doubles Flight title, Crookenden lent his experience to the duo as they surprised 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.
One of the top players in the illustrious history of UCLA tennis, Crookenden was a standout from 1965 to 1967, 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, leading 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 professional player, competing at the sport's highest levels: Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the French Open. Crookenden was also selected to New Zealand's Davis Cup team five times. Stepping away from the collegiate game following the 1996 season, Crookenden took over as director of tennis at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in 1997 and remained there until the summer of 2008. While there, he ran 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.