Chadwick To Leave Legacy Beyond The Wins And Hardware

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Ole Miss men's tennis coach Billy Chadwick will step down at the end of the 2014 season.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Ole Miss men's tennis coach Billy Chadwick will step down at the end of the 2014 season.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 13, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- The face of Ole Miss men's tennis, head coach Billy Chadwick will step down at the end of the 2014 season, having coached at Ole Miss for 34 years, including 30 years at the helm of the men's program.

In 1983, when he took over the program, they were last in the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels broke into the national rankings in 1986. His first recruit, Dave Randall, who went on to become the first Mississippian to advance at Wimbledon, Chadwick said, took the program to the next level, leading them to their first NCAA Team Championship appearance in 1989.

The defining moment for the program, Chadwick said, was the 1995 NCAA Semifinal match against the home team, Georgia, as Ole Miss went on to advance to the finals of the NCAA Team Championships.

"The Rebs were up 6-5 in the third set, and we have match point," Chadwick recalled. "We hit a winner, and it was 6,000 people silent. And then the most amazing thing happened: They stood up and gave us a standing ovation.

"Many said it was the greatest match they had every witnessed. It was one of those moments that I sit and look back, and that was the defining moment for Ole Miss tennis. Since then, we haven't looked back."

Including 1995, Chadwick's teams have made 20 consecutive NCAA appearances, and 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.

"I have looked up to him since I was a kid" said former player Devin Britton, the 2009 NCAA Singles Champion. "He's been the face of Ole Miss tennis. It will be different without him. It is sad to see him go. He has definitely put his time in and he's been one of the best coaches in college tennis. You look at his body of work, and it's incredible what he has accomplished.

"I wouldn't have accomplished all I did if I had not come to Ole Miss and played for Coach Chadwick, so I give him a lot of credit for a lot of my results.  I'm just happy to be a part of his legacy."

When Chadwick stepped to the podium and looked around the M-Club Room in the Starnes Athletic Center at the announcement Monday, he saw what he calls the Ole Miss family, and that's what he said this program is all about and has always been about.

"When I sit back and think about all the kids that have come through, that is what I'm most proud of," Chadwick said. "Every single one of these kids that have come through, they have been great on the court, they have been great students, and they have been great ambassadors for Ole Miss."

"I have been around long enough to know that you care about them, not only about playing tennis, but you care about them as student-athletes and their performance in the classroom and performance in life," Chancellor Dan Jones said.

Associate head coach Toby Hansson, in his eighth year with the men's program, will succeed Chadwick at the end of the 2014 season.

"I'm really glad he stayed this long and will finish this season as well. It's been seven years, going on eight years, as associate head coach, and I would not have minded staying for another couple of years.  It's been an amazing journey," Hansson said.

With the start of the 2014 season less than a week away, Chadwick, Hansson and the team are focused on the task at hand and sending Chadwick out on a high note.

"I told them I want to make this our best spring," Chadwick said. "I challenged them. I want to go out on top. I want to push this thing hard. I told Nik Scholtz; I said, `You listen to me and you listen to me close: The very last match of the year is the finals of the NCAA in singles. You're going to be playing in it and you're going to win it.'"

"Everybody is getting a little bit of a boost from this," Hansson said. "Billy makes the players feel like they want to play for him, more so maybe this year when they know that he's going to be leaving after this year. They want to make this year a special year. They're all excited about that, so there will be an extra boost."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Nkemdiche Headlines Retooled D-Line

      Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Football

      The return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and additions of sophomore Fadol Brown and freshman Marquis Haynes have changed the face of the defensive line, but freshman All-American Robert Nkemdiche remains front and center.  With a season of experience... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Sneak Peak

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football 2014: Episode 1 Sneak Peak from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Wallace: 'It's My Offense'

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more

    • VIDEO: We Are Ole Miss

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Athletics

      We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football: Fins Up (Part 2)

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Football

      In case you missed it, Fins Up (Part 1) from last year:... read more

    • Rebels Battle Injuries on Defense

      Friday, August 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more

    • Recapping the SEC Network Launch

      Friday, August 15, 2014 - Athletics

      The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more

    • Ole Miss and the SEC Network Launch

      Thursday, August 14, 2014 - Athletics

      Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more

    • Luke Breaks Down the Offensive Line

      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Football

      The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more

    • Attitude, Effort are Front and Center in Process

      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Volleyball

      "Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Soccer Day One

      Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Soccer

      THE SEASON: Soccer - Day One from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Kennedy Recaps Trip, Talks New-Look Roster

      Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team wrapped up its Bahamian exhibition tour with a perfect 2-0 record. Head coach Andy Kennedy recapped the trip, talked about the chemistry, depth and experience of a new-look roster heading into the fall. The... read more

    • Looking at CB, OL, WR and RB Depth

      Monday, August 11, 2014 - Football

      Sophomore defensive end Fadol Brown and sophomore cornerback Kailo Moore returned from their respective injuries, while sophomore Tee Shepard remains out with a toe injury. The results from Shepard's MRI performed on Saturday are being sent to Birmingham, head coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Programming on SEC Network

      Monday, August 11, 2014 - Football

      The SEC Network will debut on Thursday, August 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to... read more

    • The Week That Was: Ole Miss Football

      Sunday, August 10, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss continues its preparations for the the 2014 season with the second full week of fall camp starting Monday. Here's a look back at the first full week of fall camp with some observations and takeaways, as well as... read more