Parting Shot

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Billy Chadwick prepares to hand the reins of the program to Toby Hansson.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Billy Chadwick prepares to hand the reins of the program to Toby Hansson.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

June 6, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. — In January, Ole Miss celebrated men’s tennis coach Billy Chadwick, as he announced he would step down at the end of the 2014 season, after 35 years, including 31 years at the helm of the men’s program.

In May, the sport of tennis celebrated him, as he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame, while also coaching SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American Nik Scholtz at the NCAA Singles Championship.  

Scholtz’s run to the Sweet 16 marked the last matches of Chadwick’s legendary career, having coached the Rebels to their 21st consecutive NCAA Championship bid and a 4-1 win over Northwestern to reach the regional final.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime event in Athens getting to be there to coach in the NCAA Singles Championship and then being inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame,” Chadwick said. “It was a whirlwind. It was a great experience. I really appreciate the following of administrators and lifelong fans we had come over from Ole Miss. It was a great evening and a great week.”

“It really motivated me to try to push myself to win,” Scholtz said. “Coach has been a big part of my success, and it was great to be a part of his last matches and to see him inducted into the hall of fame. I’m really happy that I will always be the last match that he coached. I never thought about it, but it’s an honor to be that guy.”

In his last season, Chadwick coached Scholtz to SEC Player of the Year honors and a final national ranking of No. 14 in singles, making him the highest ranked player in the league. The Rebels were the only team in the nation to have an All-American and an Academic All-American, as Johan Backstrom was named a Capital One Academic All-American this week.

Chadwick began his coaching career with the women’s program in 1979, and in 1982 he led the Lady Rebels to the SEC finals, AIAW Nationals and the program's first top 20 national ranking.

In 1983, Chadwick took over the men’s team, and he turned it into one of the nation’s top programs on and off the courts. Among his career highlights were an appearance in the NCAA Team Championship Final, four appearances in the NCAA Semifinals, an NCAA Doubles Championship and an NCAA Singles Championship.

With his fifth overall SEC Championship in 2009, Chadwick trails only legendary football coach John Vaught in SEC titles won at Ole Miss.  Chadwick’s teams also won 10 SEC Western Division titles and three SEC Tournament Championships.

“If you look back, we have had exceptional players, including this year with Johan (Backstrom) being named an Academic All-American and Nik being named SEC Player of the Year,” Chadwick said. “We have had extraordinary players come through the program for the last 25-30 years. That’s what I will take with me. When they come in, they become part of the Ole Miss family here. It’s been a real honor to be able to work with such outstanding young men.”

Chadwick is set to retire on June 30, but he remains involved in the management of the program as he prepares to hand the reins to associate head coach Toby Hansson.

“I have been helping Toby in making some decisions on different things for next year, as far as scheduling and helping him with his game plan going forward,” Chadwick said. “It’s also been a whirlwind because my oldest son is getting married, and so we have been doing a lot in preparation for that.

“With Toby being named the next head coach early, we were able to take advantage of recruits knowing who was going to be the coach. Toby has a great reputation, and as a result, he had one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. I’m proud that I’m leaving the program in great shape.”

With Scholtz, the Rebels return six of their top seven players from this year’s team and will be bolstered by one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in Gustav Hansson of Sweden, Zvonimir Babic of Croatia and Mazen Osama of Egypt.

Chadwick looks forward to taking a step back and becoming a fan, not only of the men’s tennis team but all the athletics programs at Ole Miss.

“I’m going to sit back and take a deep breath,” Chadwick said. “I’m looking forward to becoming a fan, not only of tennis, but the other sports. We play almost every weekend. So many times we’re not here for the home football games. Rarely, in the spring, do we get to go to a home basketball game or baseball game.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Rebels Unable to Overcome Slow Start

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Arkansas

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more

    • Rebels Ahead of Schedule in Year Three

      Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Football

      It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 10-16, 2014)

      Monday, November 17, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 16

      Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more

    • Getting Healthy, Staying Sharp on the Bye Week

      Friday, November 14, 2014 - Football

      No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited.  But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 11

      Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 11 - Presbyterian (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 3-9, 2014)

      Monday, November 10, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Nov. 9

      Sunday, November 9, 2014 - Football

      Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more

    • Wilkins, Dodson Shine in Blowout Win

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-PC

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more

    • Injuries Create Opportunities for Young Players

      Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Football

      With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 10

      Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 10 - Auburn (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Path To Atlanta: A Little Homecookin'

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Football

      A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014)

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more