- One NWC Player of the Year (Spencer Watanabe, 2017-18)
- One NWC Freshman of the Year (Luke Lemaitre, 2018-19)
- Seven Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Eight All-Americans
- 37 All-NWC Athletes
A Winning Tradition
NEWBERG (August 7, 2019) --- Jeff Cero will take over as the next head coach of the men's tennis program for George Fox University, athletic director Adam Puckett announced Wednesday, August 7. Cero will also serve as a co-director for the Bruins' Multi-Use Facility that houses Bruin tennis to offer tennis lessons and other instructional opportunities to the local Newberg community.
"Jeff Cero is the perfect hire to take over our men's tennis program and take on the inaugural role of Director of The Tennis Facility," said Puckett. "He brings a passion for collegiate tennis as well as a desire to make tennis readily available to the greater Newberg community. He has vision for the facility and the energy and intellect to bring his plan to fruition."
Cero first joined the program as an assistant coach in 2013 for a season and again for the spring season of 2015 before returning for a third stint beginning in September of 2018. In the interim, Cero served as the head coach for men's and women's tennis at Colorado Christian University (CCU) and also worked as a head coach for the under-16 and under-18 boys and girls tennis teams for the Pacific Northwest through the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).
During his tenure as an assistant with the Bruins' tennis program, the men's team racked up a 40-21 overall record, a 27-4 record against Northwest Conference opponents, and a program-best national ranking at No. 27 in the nation during the 2019 season.
As a player, Cero was a team captain and All-Academic Big Sky Conference athlete for Portland State. Cero played four seasons for the Vikings and served as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative for the Vikings' tennis team.
Cero graduated with a bachelor's degree in Economics and a minor in Business Administration. During that same time frame, Cero earned a second bachelor's degree in Pastoral Ministry from Ames Christian University in Ames, Iowa.
In addition to his work with USTA, CCU, and George Fox, Cero has served as a youth director and junior high pastor at Beaverton Foursquare church since May of 2014 and has also helped run summer tennis camps with the IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a "Best Regional University." Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 "Best Colleges for Your Money" list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university's campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor's degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master's and doctoral degrees.
What Others Are Saying About Coach Cero
"Jeff Cero is someone who you want helping mentor your own children. He possesses strong character and has incredibly high moral convictions. I also have always admired Jeff's passions for tennis and for joy in leading others. Great hire!"
Head Women's Coach
University of Montana
"Jeff Cero is a great coach that cares about the success of his teams both on and off the court. He leads by example with great character and passion. When you are on Jeff's team, you know he always has your back. He has a great ability to relate and connect with his players because they know he cares about them first and foremost. He has coached high-level teams and players. Jeff understands how to teach the technical aspects of tennis as well as get a team to perform at their highest level. Jeff does an excellent job at creating a family environment with his players. Accountability is high, but support and trust are even greater."
Associate Manager of Junior Competition
U.S. Tennis Association – Pacific Northwest
"Jeff Cero is a remarkable leader with an extensive resume of experience and accomplishment that is well rounded and noteworthy. Jeff is one of the most high character and self-disciplined leaders I have ever known and worked with. Jeff is a committed developer of others and his own humility and character allows him to put others first, building trust and creating a healthy culture where students can grow and thrive socially, athletically, academically and spiritually."
Beaverton Foursquare Church
"I cannot imagine a better suited, more qualified person to continue to build this program into something even more successful and special – the future of Bruin Tennis has never looked brighter! Jeff is a gifted coach who is passionate about his players' well-being and development. He has a deep love for God which pours out of him and fuels him to invest himself in his players' growth athletically, emotionally, and spiritually. His love and care for his players is coupled with an extensive tennis knowledge – he is a true student of the sport with valuable experience both as a player and a coach that make him a very effective teacher of all aspects of the game."
Professor of Engineering/Former Head Coach
George Fox University