Neesha Thirumalaichelvam enters her first season as the head assistant coach for the Union College men's and women's tennis teams.
Thirumalaichelvam comes to Union as a recent graduate of nearby University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), where she excelled as a student-athlete on the women's tennis team.
A team captain, Thirumalaichelvam was the Mid-South Player of the Year in 2014, on her way to earning NAIA All-American honors for the fourth straight season to end her illustrious career. Overall, Thirumalaichelvam was ranked third in the entire NAIA at the end of her final three seasons in the program, as well.
A native of Selangor, Malaysia, Thirumalaichelvam held the number one ranking in her native country in women's tennis for her age group for three years (ages 14 through 16), and represented Asia internationally in several events. Thirumalaichelvam trained at the John Newcombe Tennis Academy from 2006-07, eventually going on to hold the number two ranking in Malaysia in women's tennis.
In international events, Thirumalaichelvam also excelled as a junior player, capturing a bronze medal at the South East Asian Games in 2009, while also representing her country in the Fed Cup. By the end of her junior career, Neesha had earned an International Tennis Federation (ITF) World ranking of 347, and was elected the most promising female athlete of Malaysia.
At Cumberlands, Thirumalaichelvam earned her Bachelor's Degree is Public Health & Exercise and Sports Science in May of 2014. She is currently pursing her Master's Degree at Union, and resides in Barbourville.