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
    • NASCAR's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Visits Ole Miss

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Football

      NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 8-14)

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more

    • Historic Start to the Football Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Football

      After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday.  Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more

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

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Three Rebels Net First Goals of the Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Soccer

      Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more

    • Golson's Buy-In Pays Off

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman.  That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-ULL Motivational

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs ULL Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-ULL

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more

    • Thompson Lifts Rebels to Historic Start

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more

    • VIDEO: Return of The Grove

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Rebel Nation Remembers Stan Sandroni

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Football

      Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Schedule, Areas for Team to Improve

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more

    • Former football player releases Chucky Mullins book

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Former Ole Miss football player Jody Hill has partnered with Square Books in Oxford to launch his book, "38: The Chucky Mullins Effect," celebrating the life and impact of his Ole Miss teammate Chucky Mullins. Hill will be signing copies... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. ULL

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze, Luke Talk Offensive Line Progress

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Football

      From week one to week two, head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke are generally pleased with the progress along the offensive line. The number of false start penalties went from eight to two, while the... read more