Chris  Woodruff

Chris Woodruff

Head Coach


Individual Success

  • No. 1 Ranked - Singles:
    2013 - Mikelis Libietis; 2011 - Rhyne Williams; 2010 - John-Patrick Smith
  • No. 1 Ranked - Doubles:
    2014 - Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese; 2013 - Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese; 2011 - John-Patrick Smith/Boris Conkic; 2010 - John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren; 2009 - John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren
  • NCAA Singles Finalists:
    2011 - Rhyne Williams; 2008 - John-Patrick Smith
  • NCAA Doubles Champions:
    2014 - Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese
  • NCAA Doubles Finalists:
    2010 - John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren; 2009 - John-Patrick Smith; Davey Sandgren
  • SEC Player of the Year:
    2013 - Mikelis Libietis; 2011 - John-Patrick Smith; 2010 - John-Patrick Smith
  • All-American Selections:
  • All-SEC Selections:
  • NCAA Singles Selections:
  • NCAA Doubles Selections:


Season as Head Coach: 1st in 2017-18
Season at Tennessee: 16th in 2017-18
SEC Regular-Season Titles: 2 (2010, 2011)
SEC Tourney Titles: 1 (2010)
NCAA Finalist: 1 (2010)
NCAA Quarterfinalist: 2 (2011, 2013)

2013 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year
2013 ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year
2010 ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year
2008 ITA National College Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee
2008 ITA Region III Assistant Coach of the Year

Not every great player can be a great coach, but Chris Woodruff has proven he is more than capable of being both.

Woodruff, one of Tennessee's most celebrated tennis players, is in his 16th season on the Vols' coaching staff. After serving as an associate head coach and assistant coach since 2002, he was promoted to head coach on May 19, 2017.

The Vols have finished in the top 25 nationally six times since 2006, including the top 10 from 2008 through 2011. The team captured back-to-back SEC regular-season titles for the first time in program history in 2010 and 2011 and reached the finals of the NCAA Championships in 2010. In 2011, the team assumed the No. 1 national ranking for the first time since 1990.

Tennessee returned to the top 10 in 2013 and was ranked as high as fifth nationally on their way to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. The Vols played into the NCAA round of 16 in 2014, advancing from a road regional for the first time in program history with a 4-2 victory at Duke.

The 2014 season was ultimately highlighted by Tennessee's first NCAA doubles championship in 34 years. Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese outlasted Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in the title match. Woodruff coached Libietis and Reese to three national titles in two seasons (2013 ITA All-American, 2014 NCAA Championships, 2014 ITA All-American). They also won the 2014 Knoxville Challenger, becoming the first college team ever to do so.

Since returning to Tennessee in 2002, Woodruff has helped the Vols earn 22 All-America and 32 All-SEC selections.

Three players have earned the No. 1 singles ranking during that time: John-Patrick Smith (2010), Rhyne Williams (2011) and Mikelis Libietis (2013). Three doubles pairings have held the top ranking and two teams have been named the ITA Doubles Team of the Year: Smith and Davey Sandgren in 2009 and then Smith and Boris Conkic in 2011. Tennessee had an individual NCAA finalist in either singles or doubles every season from 2008 through 2011.

Woodruff has recruited and coached 56 players during his first 14 seasons at Tennessee. The UT staff has been committed to bringing in the best talent to fit the program. The players' home addresses have been as familiar as Knoxville streets or thousands of miles away. Woodruff has coached players from 19 different countries in addition to 19 in-state stars, including All-Americans Williams, Ben Rogers, Davey Sandgren and Tennys Sandgren.

Three players -- Smith, Williams and Tennys Sandgren -- were ranked in the top 10 in the ITF world junior rankings before signing with UT. All three improved during their time as Volunteers and within a year of being on the professional circuit, all of them were ranked in the top 300 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings. They have since all been ranked in the top 200 in singles and Smith has been ranked in the top 100 in doubles for more than a year.

After serving as Tennessee's assistant coach since the 2002-03 season, Woodruff was promoted to the Vols' associate head coach position in the fall of 2006 when Winterbotham joined the Tennessee staff.

Woodruff earned the 2010 ITA Ohio Valley Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors. In 2008, he was named the Region III Assistant Coach of the Year after helping guide UT to a 23-4 record.


Woodruff, a native of Knoxville, lettered for the Vols in 1992 and 1993, garnering All-America honors both years. He was crowned NCAA singles champion in 1993 and remains the only Vol to claim that title. He finished the season ranked No. 1 nationally, becoming the only Vol since Paul Annacone in 1984 to finish the year atop the rankings.

In addition to his national championship, Woodruff was also named the ITA Rookie of the Year in 1992, and was given the USTA Sportsmanship Award in 1993.

In only two seasons of collegiate tennis, Woodruff finished with an 81-16 record, with 45 of those wins coming in 1993. His career singles winning percentage of .835 is second all-time in the Tennessee record books.

In 2008, Woodruff became the fifth Vol in UT history to be inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame.



  • Paul Annacone:
    No. 12 in singles; No. 3 in doubles
  • Shelby Cannon:
    No. 27 in doubles
  • Tracy DeLatte:
    No. 39 in doubles
  • Mike DePalmer Jr.:
    No. 32 in singles; No. 4 in doubles
  • Michael Fancutt:
    No. 36 in doubles
  • Doug Flach:
    No. 73 in doubles
  • Chris Haggard:
    No. 16 in doubles
  • Andy Kohlberg:
    No. 26 in doubles
  • Mel Purcell:
    No. 21 in singles; No. 47 in doubles
  • John-Patrick Smith:
    No. 68 in doubles (active)
  • Byron Talbot:
    No. 20 in doubles
  • Chris Woodruff:
    No. 29 in singles; No. 73 in doubles

Woodruff opted to launch his professional career following the 1993 season and ascended to the world's most prolific tennis stage, the ATP Tour.

While on tour, Woodruff claimed two event titles: the 1997 Canadian Open -- a Masters 1000 event -- and the 1999 Miller Lite Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I.

He achieved a career-high singles ranking of No. 29 in the world in January 2000.

His event highlights that year include reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and representing his country in Davis Cup competition in 2000, where he clinched the United States' win over Zimbabwe.

Woodruff racked up tour wins against seven former No.1 players including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, (whom Woodruff upset in the 1996 French Open), Yevgeni Kafelnikov, Thomas Muster, Gustavo Kuerten, Marcelo Rios and Carlos Mova. Other notable victories include wins over Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Enqvist, Tim Henman, Alex Corretja, Magnus Norman and Cedric Pioline.

After an illustrious career, Woodruff retired from the tour in May 2002.


A lifetime resident of Knoxville, Woodruff is married to Jennifer Woodruff. He has five children: Olivia, Tate, Carter, Ava and Chase.



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