EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In April, Gene Orlando announced his retirement as the head coach of Michigan State’s tennis team. Orlando coached the Spartans for 31 years and became the winningest coach in program history with 361 wins.
Less than two months later, it was announced that assistant coach and East Lansing graduate Harry Jadun would take over as the Spartans’ new leader.
In Orlando’s final season at the helm, he coached redshirt senior Jack Winkler to a first-team All-Big Ten selection and a nine-win improvement from 2021. Now, that momentum left by Orlando has continued to improve with the hiring of Jadun.
Three days after his hiring, Jadun announced the signing of Ozan Colak, the highest-ranked recruit in program history as the No. 7 player in the nation, according to TennisRecruiting.net.
“We’ve got a lot of momentum with David and I coming in,” Colak said. “Hopefully we can keep building off of that.”
Colak is an Okemos native and makes its two straight year MSU has signed a five-star recruit from Okemos. Last year Josh Portnoy was a part of the Spartans’ freshman class. Portnoy and Colak grew up less than five minutes from one another and played together at Okemos High School in 2018.
After that season, Colak left Okemos to compete internationally and has played in some of the top junior championships in the world, including all four Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open).
“Being able to see the professionals and how they do it, it just really inspires you and motivates you to keep going,” Colak said. “Wimbledon has so much prestige and being able to compete on those courts is something special.”
“He raised the level a ton. It’s great practicing with him,” Portnoy said. “Knowing him my whole childhood and growing up with him, the competitiveness is always there with him, and I always wanted to compete with him.”
The two also became familiar with Jadun and newly hired assistant coach Mike Flowers well before becoming students at MSU. — check out the video above for those details!