OXFORD, Miss. – One of the most successful tennis coaches in the country and the winningest coach in the history of Ole Miss sports, men’s tennis coach Billy Chadwick will step down at the end of the 2014 season. Associate head coach Toby Hansson will take the reins of the program following the season.
“Words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for Coach Billy Chadwick and all he has done in 34 years to build a top-flight tennis program,” athletics director Ross Bjork said. “Coach Chadwick personifies Ole Miss tennis in so many ways that coming to the point of retirement was hard for both of us. Billy has produced the most consistent and successful sports program we host at Ole Miss - both in the classroom and on the court. His development of young men has produced multiple generations of highly successful student-athletes, and his impact will be felt for a long time. This will be a fun season to watch Billy roam the sidelines one more time. He will always be a Rebel and a part of our program.”
A member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame, Chadwick begins his final season at Ole Miss with an overall record of 647-298 (.685). Chadwick began his coaching career with the Lady Rebels in 1979, and in 1982 he led the Lady Rebels to the SEC finals, AIAW Nationals and the program’s first top 20 national ranking.
In 1983, Chadwick took over the men’s program, which at the time was last in the conference. In 30 years with Chadwick at the helm, the Rebels have become one of the top teams in the country on and off the courts and presently enter this spring ranked No. 11 in the nation.
“I want to use this occasion as a time to thank our administration, our staff, our fans and supporters for all they have done,” Chadwick said. “The success of this program is a credit to them. We have been blessed to have had so many outstanding team members that have contributed so much to Ole Miss and have made this program truly special.”
Chadwick’s teams have made 20 consecutive NCAA appearances, including the NCAA Team Championship Final, the NCAA Semifinals four times, the NCAA Quarterfinals nine times and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen 16 times. A mainstay in the national rankings, his teams have finished ranked in the nation’s top five seven times, and have earned a top 10 ranking 15 times.
The Rebels have won 18 Southeastern Conference team titles, including five overall SEC Championships, 10 Western Division titles and three SEC Tournament Championships. With his fifth overall SEC Championship in 2009, Chadwick trails only legendary Ole Miss football coach John Vaught in SEC titles won at the University of Mississippi. Vaught won six conference titles in 1947, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962 and 1963.
Individually, Chadwick has coached three NCAA Champions, six SEC Champions, 28 All-Americans, 72 All-SEC selections and 76 NCAA individual qualifiers. Seven of his players have been ranked No. 1 in the nation. His players have earned numerous ITA national and regional awards, including Mississippi native Dave Randall winning the Rafael Osuna National Sportsmanship Award in 1989.
Chadwick was named USPTA National College Coach of the Year in 2009 and has been named SEC Coach of the Year three times.
While Chadwick’s teams have ranked among the nation’s elite, they have been just as impressive off the court. In 2013, the Rebels won the Chancellor’s Cup for the 10th year in a row. The cup is awarded each year to the men’s and women's varsity sports with the highest cumulative grade point average. Nationally, the Rebels have been named an ITA All-Academic Team eight times, awarded to teams with a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
Individually, the Rebels have had 20 players earn national ITA Scholar-Athlete honors, four CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 13 CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees and in 2009 the SEC Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year (league’s top male student-athlete).
Many of Chadwick’s players have made their mark on the professional tour, including Mississippians Dave Randall and NCAA Champion Devin Britton, as well as NCAA Champion Mahesh Bhupathi, who has won 12 grand slams and achieved a career-high world ranking of No. 1 in doubles.
Chadwick served as Intersectional Coach for the Southern Tennis Association, leading his team to a National Championship in 1988.
He also served as tournament director for the Boys’ 18 USTA National Interscholastic Championships from 1993-97 and as tournament director for the 1993 and 1994 SkyTel National Collegiate Clay Court Championships, the largest ITA collegiate tournament that combined both men and women.
Chadwick holds a master’s degree in business administration (1981) from the University of Mississippi. In 2000 he was inducted into the Belhaven College Hall of Fame, where he was a four-year letterwinner in tennis.
He is married to the former Julie Carr of Brookhaven, Miss. They have two sons, William Lyon Jr., and Michael Carr. Chadwick has served as an Elder for the First Presbyterian Church in Oxford.
“My family lies at the heart of our success,” Chadwick said. “There are parts of the game that are more important than winning and losing ... my wife and kids have played a big role in teaching this.”
Hansson, in his eighth year with the program, will succeed Chadwick at the end of the 2014 season.
“It’s been a privilege to work with such a terrific coach, mentor and individual for the past seven years,” Hansson said. “Coach Chadwick’s three-decade record reflects his expertise as a coach, but he is much more than that to our team. Coach takes a personal interest in each and every player in his program, and the outcome is a team that feels more like a family. It has been an honor to work alongside him, and I feel very fortunate to have learned from the best in the sport.
“I am grateful to Ross Bjork and Lynnette Johnson for giving me the opportunity to lead the program and continue the tradition of success.”
In Hansson’s tenure at Ole Miss, the Rebels have won five SEC West Championships, the regular season SEC Championship and two SEC Tournament Championships. Hansson is regarded as one of the top coaches in the country in developing players and has helped produced the most All-Americans in the country (11) during his tenure at Ole Miss. In 2010, Hansson was named the ITA Southern Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
“Since I arrived at Ole Miss, I have been thoroughly impressed with Coach Hansson’s leadership skills and his readiness to be a head coach at the highest level,” Bjork said. “Continuity of our successful men’s tennis program was very important when Billy approached us about his retirement. We are confident Toby will continue the positive momentum in our men’s tennis program and lead it well into the future. We are ready for the 2014 season, and our student-athletes and Toby will have our full support as he supports Billy and takes the reins later this summer.”
Hansson was an assistant coach at Texas Tech in 2004-05, before joining the Rebels. Prior to his stint at Texas Tech, Hansson played professionally on the ATP Tour in Europe, North and Central America and Asia.
One of the top collegiate players during his career at SMU, Hansson earned All-America honors in singles and doubles. As captain of the team in 2000, he was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and first team all-conference for both singles and doubles.
During his career, Hansson was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country in doubles and No. 13 in singles for the Mustangs. He led the Mustangs to two WAC Championships, three consecutive NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and two top-15 national finishes.
Hansson graduated from SMU in 2000 with a B.A. in international studies. He received his master’s in international studies from Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, in June of 2006.
In closing Chadwick added, “I want to thank Ole Miss for the opportunity to serve 35 years.” “I look back with pride on our past victories and I look forward to the future successes under Toby. Our tennis program is in great hands.”