Former athlete balances passion of sports and music

Former North Alabama tennis player Taylor Ausbon found a way to balance playing tennis and working with his other passion, music.

The senior entertainment industry major is no longer playing tennis for the Lions due to gaining an internship with a booking agency in North Carolina. He said he still remembers his time fondly, including some milestone moments for him.

“My best accomplishments would be making the NCAA tournament my sophomore and junior year,” he said. “Specific matches, though, would have to be beating West Alabama my freshman year.”

Along with playing tennis, Ausbon also sings and plays  guitar.

Ausbon said after he graduates he wants to continue with the entertainment business with either his passion for sports or music in some way.

“I love branding and designing things, so incorporating that into entertainment is the end goal,” Ausbon said. “The uncertainty is exciting though.”

Ausbon played three years with the Lions tennis team. In Ausbon’s last season with UNA, he finished with a 9-5 singles record including a 4-2 record in the Gulf South Conference.

Ausbon went 16-4 in doubles matches with partner, and now senior, Miguel Garcia. They went 8-1 in GSC matches.

He said the hardest part of balancing both passions was being tired most of the time.

“Trying to stay motivated doing one while being exhausted from doing the other (was difficult),” Ausbon said. “That can go both ways (with tennis and music).”

Graduate student Taylor Goodwin said if anybody could manage the workload, it would be her friend Ausbon.

“I think there’s a lot of difficulty in balancing everything as a student athlete,” Goodwin said.“Taylor works harder than anyone I know to keep his grades up, put in effort for his team and stay involved on campus.”

Ausbon said both passions are something he will always treasure.

“With tennis, my favorite was the team atmosphere of literally being a family, because you spend every day together for 10 months out of the year basically,” Ausbon said. “With art and music, the power that (they have)to enhance emotion and the openness to interpretation is what makes it so special.”

Goodwin said Ausbon is equal in talent at both tennis and music.

“I don’t think I can say that he’s better at either music or sports,” Goodwin said. “He has a ton of talent and even more passion for the both of them. He puts so much time and effort in being his best in both areas.”

Even though Ausbon said he loves both, neither tennis or music go together too well.

“Tennis and music don’t really go hand and hand together besides a lot of noises,” he said.

Goodwin said Ausbon will be great in his next phase of life.

“I’m not sure where Taylor will be following his internship and graduation, but I know he will continue feeding his passion,” Goodwin said. “It will ultimately lead him to success in any field he pursues.”

Ausbon said that all of this work in college will prepare him for life.

Ausbon will graduate at the end of the spring semester this year in May to finish his degree at UNA.