New UTC men's tennis coach Chuck Merzbacher brings experience

Chuck Merzbacher, who spent the past five seasons as women's tennis coach at Minnesota, his alma mater, has been hired to lead the UTC men's program.

Chuck Merzbacher, formerly the women's tennis coach at the University of Minnesota, has been hired to head the men's program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

UTC announced the hire Thursday.

Merzbacher has 28 seasons of Division I head coaching experience in both men's and women's tennis, which includes stints at Kansas, Ohio State and Minnesota, his alma mater. He has a career record of 436-320, with 12 NCAA tournament appearances during his time. He also has seven conference titles and has coached six individual All-Americans.

"We are very excited to welcome Coach Merzbacher to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga," interim athletic director Scott Altizer said in a news release. "We are very fortunate to have Chuck and his wife Cherie join the Mocs, and we look forward to the impact they will have on our men's tennis student-athletes."

Merzbacher started his coaching career with the men's program at Northern Illinois in 1989, earning coach of the year honors in 1991 and 1992.

Since then, he has coached women's tennis. He started at Kansas, leading the Jayhawks to four Big Eight conference championships and twice being named coach of the year before moving on to Ohio State. In 16 years under Merzbacher, the Buckeyes appeared in nine NCAA tournaments and had 209 wins. He moved to his alma mater in 2013, with his teams earning 70 wins during his five-year tenure.

Merzbacher replaces Carlos Garcia, who resigned after this past season, his 16th with the Mocs. Garcia was 154-208 overall, including 47-99 in the Southern Conference.

"I would like to thank senior associate athletics director Laura Herron for her work in leading the search process for our newest head coach," Altizer said. "To land someone with this level of experience and past success says a lot about our program, our community and the potential for success at UTC."

The 2017-18 Mocs have two seniors on the roster - Michael Birnbaum and Austin Boaz. Former Baylor standout Cooper Long will be a freshman this season.

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