With classes set to begin in just under two weeks, and a full fall tennis season ahead, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis team has a new head coach just in time. Chad Camper, an Ohio native with a background in college tennis as both a player and coach, recently accepted the role. And he is pumped about the move. Camper called Chattanooga his perfect, "destination city," and said during his time at Louisiana Tech, he would often search the NCAA Market for openings, specifically in Chattanooga. So when he saw the posting for a head coaching job in the heart of Chattanooga, the city named Best Town by Outside Magazine for two years, he jumped on it.
Camper (pictured left) comes to town with three seasons under his belt at Louisiana Tech, where he brought the women's team to number 66 in the country, earned Louisiana Coach of the Year, and posted a 36-25 overall record. He hopes to keep growing as a Moc and wants to not only compete against top schools but to bring home a SoCon title. Players have already expressed their desire for a fresh start this season.
"I have talked to each of the girls, and they are all united already, feeling good and ready to go," Camper told HERO. "They are not just happy with being in the status-quo."
UTC's facilities are currently being updated. New courts, locker rooms, players' lounges, and coaches' offices are under construction right next to the basketball arena at the heart of campus. Three indoor facilities in the area also allow the Mocs to compete and train year-round, regardless of the conditions.
Six girls enter the 2016 fall season under Camper, including Wisconsin transfer Caroline Hall. The coach hopes to bring the right blend of Americans and Internationals for future seasons. He feels that players from diverse countries can truly learn from each other and gain valuable experience. Camper looks to bring in one to two new international athletes to add to the roster for the spring season.
This fall, Camper envisions simply helping each player improve and focusing on doubles tactics. After he sees his squad practice and compete for a few weeks, and gets a feel for the group, Camper says he will have a better feel for individual, short term, and long term goals. At this time, he would like to bring the team into the top 75 ITA D1 Women's Tennis rankings (they're currently unranked, outside the ITA D1 Women's top 75). With the girls on the team, the new facilities, and the support of the athletic department and community, Camper knows his team can reach this goal.