Grizzlies land Division I's Hodges as first tennis coach

The Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies have hired decorated Division I tennis coach Chase Hodges as their first-ever head men’s and women’s tennis coach, announced Dr. Darin S. Wilson, director of Athletics.

The Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies have hired decorated Division I tennis coach Chase Hodges as their first-ever head men’s and women’s tennis coach, announced Dr. Darin S. Wilson, director of Athletics.

Hodges has 14 years of collegiate coaching experience, including the last 11 as a head coach, and boasts the distinction of being the only head coach in NCAA tennis history to lead five different programs to a national ranking.

“Chase’s record is truly outstanding,” said Wilson. “His experience and winning tradition will be a valuable asset to GGC as we build the men’s and women’s varsity tennis programs. We are really excited to have someone of his caliber join the Grizzlies.”

Hodges comes to GGC from Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, where he capped his three-year tenure by being named Colonial Athletic Association Co-Coach of the Year in April.

Hodges’ time with the Panthers (2010-12) featured the greatest turnaround in men’s collegiate tennis history, as he inherited a 1-20 team and led them to a 15-6 mark in his first season. He then set a school record with 21 victories in 2011 and added 20 more wins to the ledger this spring for a 56-17 mark over three years.

Before GSU, Hodges spent four successful years (2005-09) at the helm of the Drake University program, where he guided the Bulldogs to a Missouri Valley regular-season or conference tournament title in each season. He was named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year three times, leading the squad to an 85-17 overall record.

Hodges’ Drake team also achieved the highest ITA national ranking in school history at No. 33, at one point boasting the nation’s longest regular-season winning streak at 42 matches. Before Drake, Hodges spent four combined seasons as head coach at University of North Carolina-Asheville (2002-05) and Longwood University in Farmville, Va., (2002), leading both the men’s and women’s programs. During this time, he led his teams to an overall 105-58 record and their first rankings in school history.

A native of Hickory, N.C., Hodges played two years collegiately at North Carolina State University before finishing his career at UNC-Wilmington.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington in 1998 and a master’s degree there three years later while working with the Seahawks as a graduate assistant.

"I look forward to starting two programs from the ground up,” said Hodges. “The goals will be simple here and that is to graduate players and win national championships. I would like to thank Darin Wilson and the entire GGC staff for this opportunity.  I'm excited to get started and begin building these programs."

Hodges’ hire rounds out Wilson’s head coaching team. The Grizzlies are preparing for their first year of intercollegiate competition. The college plans to soon break ground on a new athletics complex, and recently acquired a nearby tennis club through the GGC Foundation.

The Grizzlies’ inaugural tennis seasons will begin next spring, and Hodges has begun the process of signing players to his first squads.

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