DURHAM – Men’s Tennis Head Coach Ramsey Smith announced the addition of former Blue Devil T.J. Pura to his staff as a volunteer assistant coach.
Pura was a member of the Duke program from 2013-2017 and earned All-ACC third-team honors in 2017. The two-time team captain was sixth in program history with 30 singles wins from career ACC and tied for seventh in most career ACC singles matches. played with 41. Pura also finished his career tied for first in ACC singles wins in a season (11) and singles winning percentage (1,000; 11-0) in his senior year . Additionally, he compiled the ACC’s longest single-season winning streak in program history when he went 11-0 during a streak in 2016-17.
For these efforts, Pura was named the 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Carolina Region’s Most Improved Senior and the recipient of the team’s first annual Robert C. Taylor Leadership Award.
“We are extremely lucky to have T.J. Pura come back to Duke this season as a coach,” Smith said. “I love having former players involved in the program as they bring an unparalleled sense of connection and pride to what we do. TJ is an impressive young man, and I’m so happy that our players have the opportunity to be mentored and coached by him this year. He exudes positive energy and is currently pursuing his passion for helping athletes reach their potential on the court and in life, which benefits Duke tennis immensely. I’m very proud of our coaching staff and the unique skills each coach will bring to the program this year.”
Pura also found his place in Duke’s record books in his freshman year when he tied for first in the ACC’s highest singles winning percentage as a rookie with a 6 rating. -0 (1,000) and fourth in the highest doubles winning percentage with a record of 12-2 (.857).
“I am absolutely thrilled to join the men’s tennis program and the wider Blue Devil community,” Pura said. “This place feels like home. Having the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team and coaching staff is a dream come true. Ramsey and I have always had a great player-coach connection and I feel lucky to build on our relationship by working together. As coaches. In the first two weeks of the players’ apprenticeship, it is abundantly clear that they have a voracious passion for the game and a strong will to work ( on and off the pitch) to realize their full potential. am more than motivated to see where we go in the next nine months.”
During his Blue Devil tenure, Pura helped Duke to a 71-39 overall record and three NCAA Tag Team Championship appearances (2014-15-17), including a Round of 16 appearance in 2015. He owned a singles title (Winthrop Invitational – 2A, 2013) for his career and won a doubles title (Duke Fab Four Invitational – White Bracket, 2013).
Pura graduated from Duke in 2017 with a degree in Computer Science and History with a certification in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. After graduating, Pura became a professional tennis player on the ITF Futures Tour. He represented the United States in 2018 in the biennial President’s Cup against France. Since retiring from the professional circuit, Pura spent three years in investment banking and corporate finance before recognizing that his true passion was coaching and peak performance. He became a mentor and mental trainer for many athletes including Tommy Paul, who is among the top 35 ATP players.