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
    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

    • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

      Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (No. 24-30, 2014)

      Monday, December 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 30

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more

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

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Football

      AUDIO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network VIDEO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from CBS Sports VIDEO: Ole Miss bounces back, wins Egg Bowl from ESPN VIDEO: Bo Wallace fights through injury for win from ESPN... read more