Barry Lewis

Barry Lewis, a former assistant coach at both Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee and a traveling coach for many professional players, has been named head tennis coach at Tennessee Tech University.

Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics, announced the selection of Lewis, who begins his new position July 1 as coach of both the Golden Eagle men's and women's teams.

Lewis, 45, takes over the program from veteran Randy Smith, who retired in May after leading the Golden Eagle men's team to the NCAA Tournament.

"We're extremely pleased to have Barry Lewis direct our tennis programs," Wilson said. "He brings a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge to our program, and he'll be a real positive leader for our student-athletes. I look forward to watching him continue to develop the tradition of success that our tennis teams have enjoyed over the past several years.

"Naming Barry as our head coach is the next step in developing a solid foundation for a top tennis program that can win OVC championships and attain national prominence," Wilson said Lewis returns to collegiate coaching after spending the past two years in

private business.

"I am very excited to be at Tennessee Tech, and I am looking forward to the challenge of helping each student-athlete reach their maximum potential as a person, as a student, and as a tennis player. This challenge is why I love coaching college tennis," Lewis said.

"Randy Smith has done an exceptional job guiding the teams to many successful

seasons, I hope to continue his winning ways while motivating our student-athletes to strive for national prominence."

A 1984 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in business communications and public relations, Lewis remained with the Volunteers as an assistant coach following his playing career. During that time in Knoxville, the Volunteers won two SEC championships, advanced to the NCAA finals, had one singles national champion and 13 all-Americans.

Following his coaching tenure at his alma mater, Lewis worked as a coach for both touring professionals and top junior players. He worked with coaches such as Dennis Van der Meer, John Newcombe, Mike DePalmer and Nick Bolletteiri during that time. Lewis has also coached in the professional ranks as the World Team tennis coach for the Minnesota Penguins.

He returned to college coaching in 2001 as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt University, helping develop a Commodore team that would win the SEC championship and advance to the NCAA finals.

"Having spent 16 years traveling the world coaching and teaching tennis and associating with great players and coaches, Barry has developed a unique style of coaching and motivating players," Wilson said. "Barry's knowledge of the game, motivational skills, work ethic, and ability to communicate those skills offers a great opportunity for our student-athletes to improve."

Lewis is anxious to use that experience and knowledge to direct the TTU programs.

"I look forward to working within an athletic department that is so positive about the future of Tech Athletics, and who have the students overall college experience as their focal point," he said. "This is the attitude that will allow coaches to develop successful teams and grow support of the athletic

teams, and the University as a whole, and I feel fortunate to be a part of the movement.

"College tennis is a great sport. It offers a lot of appeal to any sports fan. My number one goal is to create an increased interest within the student body and the local community, and to create a fan base for Tennessee Tech Tennis. You do this by involving the student body and the community with the program and this is what we intend to do."

(Editor's note: Lewis is a former Cumberland County resident. The Tennessee Tech tennis teams have played some matches at the Fairfield Glade Tennis Center in the past.)

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