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
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Aug. 25-31)

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewAug. 25-31, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.- The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter... read more

    • ESPN's Chucky Mullins Documentary to Debut Thursday

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - Football

      The SEC Storied documentary "It's Time," centered on the the inspirational friendship between former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines and former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, will premiere on Tuesday on the Vanderbilt campus and will debut on... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Aug. 31

      Sunday, August 31, 2014 - Athletics

      This is a new concept we've created for the Ole Miss Sports Blog that we're calling Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-Boise State

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more

    • 'The New Normal' on Defense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season.  Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more

    • Second-Half Surge for Rebel Offense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Boise State Motivational

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Boise State Official Team Motivational '14 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Boise State

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more

    • Volleyball Opens Steven McRoberts Era

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Volleyball

      Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 1 (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Dome, Sweet Dome for Atlanta Area Rebels

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - Football

      For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships.  For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Forward Together Construction Update

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • Relentless is the Word on Defense

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Football

      ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word.  Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense.  And... read more

    • McCormick, Defense Shine in Win

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Soccer

      After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more

    • Rebels Battle to Draw on Historic Night

      Friday, August 22, 2014 -

      Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more