In the 4th edition of our “How is….?” section we feature Johan Hoegstedt. Hoegstedt, born and raised in Mariestad, Sweden, came to the United States in 1986 and competed for the U from 1986 – 1990. He was part of the first ever recruiting class for current head coach FD Robbins.
During Hoegstedt’s time the U won three conference championships (1987, 1989 and 1990) and played in the NCAA tournament as many times. In 1989, Hoegstedt and his doubles partner Eric Chin, ranked No. 13 nationally, won the ITA Mountain Region and WAC Doubles Championships earning them a ticket to the NCAA Doubles Championships. In 1990 he finished the season ranked No. 69 in the nation in singles and represented the University of Utah at the NCAA Singles Championships, reaching the 2nd round.
Besides his tremendous success on the tennis court, Hoegstedt was a very good student earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in only three years, followed by an MBA in International Business.
After graduating from the U, he travelled on tour with his brother Thomas earning himself a few ATP points in singles and doubles. He claims that his only professional claim to fame is that Thomas and he received a doubles wildcard at the Sydney Indoor Championships over then up and coming Australian junior Patrick Rafter. “Something Rafter reminds Thomas of every time they meet,” says Hoegstedt.
Upon returning to the United States in 1992 he started working as a Hospital Sales Representative in Salt Lake City for AstraZeneca. He currently is still employed by AstraZeneca and just recently returned to Philadelphia after a two year assignment in Chile. He now sits on the US Leadership Team as the Vice President of Managed Markets.
Hoegstedt has three children, Karl (14), Isabella (12), and Analie (7).
Fun fact: Johan’s brother, Thomas, currently coaches 4-time Grand Slam winner and current No. 2 WTA player in the world Maria Sharapova.
Question: Johan, thanks for being with us today. You had quite the career at the University of Utah. How do you look back at your time at the U?
Hoegstedt: I tell everyone that after having and raising 3 wonderful kids, the highlife in my life was playing college tennis at the U. We had such a great camaraderie, not just between the tennis players but with all the other student-athletes on campus. Also, the professors were so supportive; It isn’t easy taking your MBA traveling around the west coast in the team van!
Question: Why did you choose the U?
Hoegstedt: Great tennis program and love the outdoors!
Question: What did you learn while playing for the U?
Hoegstedt: I was never the most talented athlete, even FD (Robbins) would tell me this. But somehow I learned to always work harder, be more focused when it mattered most. I did not lose many 3 set matches in college and neither did my team mates. Our beloved 7am workouts and punishment sprints if any person was late really paid off, as we were stronger and fitter than most.
Question: How did the University of Utah affect your career?
Hoegstedt: We always won or lost as a team and business is much the same. It is also about creating a team where the strengths and personalities compliment and build on each other. We also learned a lot around discipline, focus, and hard work, while still having fun.
Question: What is your most memorable moment as a Ute?
Hoegstedt: Easy! My junior year we had a great team with 7 strong players. The problem was that Martin (Tenlen) tore his meniscus 2.5 weeks before conference started and the weekend before Jurgen (Lindeman) broke his big toe. Down to 5 players we had to call a walk on back to have enough players for conference. Despite limping around with 5.5 players (Martin ended up playing the doubles matches) we made the conference final and played our “BYU friends.” It came down to a breaker in the third set at No. 2 doubles. My great friend Eric Chin and I clinched it and the team feeling and pride was amazing! What a great end to the college years for Eric who was a senior at the time.
Question: What is in store next for you?
Hoegstedt: Looking forward to joining up with some old friends at a U of U tennis match soon. Last big U celebration with tennis friends was the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona in 2004. So it’s definitely Ute time! And maybe some skiing as well.