Nov. 2, 2007
Clemson, SC – Clemson Men’s Tennis Coach Chuck Kriese announced Friday that this will be his final season leading the Tiger program. He will retire from the position in August of 2008 after 33 seasons as head coach.
A native of Indianapolis, IN, Kriese was hired in 1975 by former Clemson Athletic Director Bill McLellan after a recommendation from long time friend and former Clemson football player and coach Don Wade, who was the athletic director at Tennessee Tech, Kriese’s alma mater.
“Chuck Kriese is one of the top coaches in our athletic program’s history,” said Athletic Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips. “His list of accomplishments is considerable. He put our men’s tennis program on the national map. He has had a positive influence on so many young men who have played for him over the last 33 years.
“What has been most impressive has been his ability to produce a winning program for such a long period of time. He has 130 victories and five NCAA Tournament appearances in the last five years. He has put this program on a strong foundation for the future.”
Kriese’s had the Tigers to the national spotlight by his fourth year when he took Clemson to the ACC regular season championship with a 6-0 league mark. That 1979 Clemson team reached the NCAA Tournament as a team for the first time ever and had a number-15 final national ranking after a 24-7 final record.
The following year the Tigers finished with a school record 32 wins (32-5) and a then program best number-eight national ranking. The Tigers captured the 1980 ACC Championship in the regular season and the tournament. It was Clemson’s first ACC title in men’s tennis since 1969 and just the second in the program’s history.
Clemson dominated ACC tennis in the 1980s, winning nine of the 10 conference championships. The Tigers ranked in the top 15 in the nation for all 10 seasons in that decade and averaged 26 wins per season. Clemson’s highest final ranking took place in 1986 when the Tigers ranked fifth in the nation in the final poll with a 31-7 record.
The winning continued in the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century. Kriese has led Clemson to at least 23 wins each of the last five years. He has won 130 matches over the last five years, an average of 26 victories per year. Clemson finished with a 31-10 record in 2007 and a number-23 final ranking.
For his first 32 seasons at Clemson, Kriese has a 670-399 record for a .627 winning percentage. He is among the top 10 winningest active coaches in Division I tennis. He has 165 career ACC wins, more than any other men’s tennis coach in league history.
Kriese has led Clemson to 24 NCAA Tournament appearances, including seven trips to the Elite Eight and 12 Sweet 16 finishes. The Tigers have finished in the top 25 of the Coaches’ poll 16 times since 1979.
Kriese has achieved this record against a strong schedule. He enters his final year with 125 career wins over top 25 teams. Overall, he has won 10 ACC Championships and has been named ACC Coach of the Year six times, second most among all coaches in Clemson history. He was named National Coach of the Year in 1981, the first coach in any sport to win national coach of the year honors. He was also named national coach of the year in 1986 and is the only coach in Clemson history to be named national coach of he year twice.
He has coached an impressive list of outstanding student-athletes during his Clemson career. Mike Gandolfo, Mark Dickson, Jean Desdunes and Mitch Sprengelmeyer were all named the ITCA National Senior Player of the Year.
Twenty of his players have been named All-American 34 times. Fifteen of his former players were named to the ACC’s 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002, more than any other school, and the most selections among all Clemson sports.
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