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20UNDER40: Chase Hodges, Georgia Gwinnett College Head Tennis Coach

20UNDER40: Chase Hodges

Chase Hodges

Chase Hodges holds the distinction of being the first-ever head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Georgia Gwinnett College. He came to GGC in 2013 with 15 years’ experience as a collegiate tennis coach, holding distinguished records at all collegiate levels.

As you might imagine, Coach Hodges was not always a coach, but began the game as a player. He played two years of college tennis at North Carolina State University and finished his remaining collegiate playing career at UNC-Wilmington. He earned his bachelor’s degree at UNCW in 1998, and three years later his master’s degree while he worked with the UNCW tennis team as a graduate assistant.

Coach Hodges began his formal collegiate coaching career by serving as head coach (of both the men’s and women’s teams) of both Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia (2002) as well as the University of North Carolina-Asheville (2002-2005). Under his tenure, he led both schools to their first rankings in each school’s history.

From 2005 to 2009, he was head tennis coach at Drake University, leading his teams to either regular season or conference tournament titles each season. During his time at Drake, he was named Missouri Valley Coach of the Year three times. Under his coaching, Drake’s tennis team also achieved the highest ITA national ranking in the school’s history, and at one point, held the nation’s longest regular seasons’ winning streak of 42 matches.

Moving to Georgia in 2010, Coach Hodges was the head tennis coach at Division I Georgia State University. During his three-years’ tenure at GSU, he inherited a team with a previous record of 1-20, and turned it into a great program, setting a school record with 21 victories in 2011 and following that with 20 more wins in 2012. During these years, Coach Hodges was named the Colonial Athletic Association Co-Coach of the Year in April 2012.

Georgia Gwinnett College named Hodges its head men’s and women’s tennis coach beginning with the 2013 season, building the program from scratch. As you might imagine, he is off to a quick start. With the Grizzlies’ 2014 preseason NAIA rankings (No. 5 for men’s team, and No. 20 for the women’s), Coach Hodges has now led seven different collegiate programs to a national ranking.

Coach Hodges is chosen for 20UNDER40 for his immediate impact on Gwinnett County’s budding tennis program. He adds, “It is an honor to be chosen for 20UNDER40. Gwinnett County has such rich tradition athletically and I feel lucky to play a role in the tennis aspect here in Lawrenceville. My commitment to GGC tennis is to deliver a men’s and women’s program that the entire Gwinnett community can rally around and take pride in.”

 

Below a Grizzly’s Athletics Interview from Fall 2013

Reg L. Carver
Reg is a freelance writer and photographer from Johns Creek, Georgia. He is the author of Jazz Profiles: The Spirit of the Nineties (Billboard Books 1998), which was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Award for excellence in music writing. He is also the author of Walking Up Lombard:My Long Journey Home (AuthorHouse 2012), a memoir of his journey through major depression and healing. You can find him at www.reglcarver.com and www.500px.com/RegLCarver.

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