Season at Tennessee: 11th
All-American Selections: 16
All-SEC Selections: 26
NCAA Singles Selections: 14 (2 Finalists)
NCAA Doubles Selections: 10 (2 Finalists)
March 2012: Serve & Volley: Chris Woodruff
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, recently completed his 10th season on the Vols' coaching staff. He and head coach Sam Winterbotham have been coaching together for six seasons and have quickly ushered the program into one of its most successful periods.
The Vols have finished in the top 25 nationally the last five seasons, 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.
"I can't even begin to tell you how vital Chris Woodruff is to this program," Winterbotham said. "First, he's one of the greatest players in the world so when he tells our players something to work on, they know they need to listen. Second, he bleeds orange. His support and love for this University is unwavering and I think he passes that love on to our team.
"Having Chris Woodruff at Tennessee automatically puts us at an advantage over every other tennis program."
Since returning to Tennessee in 2002, Woodruff has helped the Vols earn 16 All-America and 26 All-SEC selections.
Two players, John-Patrick Smith and Rhyne Williams, have earned the No. 1 singles ranking during that time, and two doubles pairings have held the top ranking on their way to earning ITA Doubles Team of the Year honors in 2009 and 2011. Tennessee had an individual NCAA finalist in either singles or doubles every season from 2008 through 2011.
Woodruff has recruited and coached 37 players during his first 10 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 12 different countries in addition to 15 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.
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.
Collegiate Playing Career
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.
Professional Playing Career
He opted to turn professional 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 Montreal Super 9 Canadian Open 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 three children: Olivia, Tate and Carter.