What They're Saying: Chris Woodruff
May 19, 2017

Bob Kesling

Jim Courier

U.S. Davis Cup Captain

Jim Courier (ATP Tour Professional 1988-2000)

"Congratulations to UT for such an inspired choice. Chris has the credentials to take UT men's tennis to the next level. He played at the highest level and has the knowledge, people skills, passion, dedication and experience to make UT a national champion in the near future."

Bob Kesling

Paul Annacone

Tennessee Volunteer 1982-84

Paul Annacone (Coach & Analyst, The Tennis Channel)

"It's terrific news that Chris will be the new head coach. His legacy as a player and experience as a coach are a tremendous asset to UT. The fact that he is a hometown guy is icing on the cake! This is a terrific day for Volunteer tennis."

Bob Kesling

Jarryd Chaplin

Tennessee Volunteer 2011-14

Jarryd Chaplin (Professional Tennis Player)

"I've always felt incredibly lucky to have learned from Chris and have formed a wonderful friendship together. The University of Tennessee has been so fortunate thus far to have had his knowledge, passion and unparalleled experience pouring into the lives of young men for over a decade. I am thrilled to hear the program is moving forward under his guidance and I couldn't think of a better or more deserving individual. A true VFL! I encourage all Volunteer fans and the Knoxville community to get behind their new head coach, Chris Woodruff."

Bob Kesling

Joan Cronan

Former Tennessee Athletic Director

Joan Cronan (Former Tennessee Athletic Director)

"As an athletic director when Chris was playing, he was one of my favorite student-athletes because he represented UT so well and he was an outstanding student. I had the privilege to watch him in college tennis and many times at the US Open, which was always exciting to see a Tennessee athlete compete at that level. I wish Chris the best of luck. He is a Volunteer for life and has a great love for Tennessee and the sport of tennis."

Bob Kesling

Doug Flach

Tennessee Volunteer 1989-90

Doug Flach (Former Vol & ATP Tour Professional 1990-99)

"I could not be happier as a UT alum to see Chris named head coach. Playing doubles with and against Chris on tour gave me insight as to what tremendous talent he was not only as a shot maker but how good he was tactically and finding that edge to win. This will no doubt translate to Chris being a very successful head coach and lead the Vols to great heights!"

Bob Kesling

Scott Humphries

Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker

Scott Humphries (Woodruff's Doubles Partner on ATP Tour)

"Being born and raised in Knoxville, Chris has bled Tennessee Orange his whole life. Looking back at all of his tennis accomplishments, having played there, being an All-American there for two years and then finishing it off by winning the NCAAs in 1993 as a Volunteer I know are extremely special to him. After retiring from an very impressive tennis career, he knew he wanted to coach college tennis and he wanted to do it for UT. After 15 years of pouring his heart out for the team, I can't think of a better and more deserving person to be named head coach that Chris and I know that he will have the full support of past and current players. Great day for the Big Orange!"

Bob Kesling

Tim Jessup

Tennessee Volunteer 1988-92

Tim Jessup (Head Pro, Five Seasons Sports Club)

"I'm really excited for him. Chris is one of the toughest competitors I had the pleasure to play against! Through Chris's great leadership and his ability to connect with his players, he will achieve great things for our program! Chris truly bleeds orange! Go Vols!"

Bob Kesling

Todd Martin

ATP Tour Professional 1989-2004

Todd Martin (CEO, International Tennis Hall of Fame)

"Coach Woodruff, congratulations! Your competitive spirit, which you showed in abundance on court, and your patience (perhaps you showed that less on court) have led you to this deserved opportunity at your alma mater. Good luck to you and your Volunteers!"

Bob Kesling

Patrick McEnroe

ATP Tour Professional 1984-98

Patrick McEnroe (ESPN Tennis Analyst)

"I'm so excited to hear that my friend Chris 'Country' Woodruff has been named head coach at UT. What a tremendous choice! Chris loves tennis, loves UT and will bring years of tennis knowledge as a player and coach to his new role. I have always admired his tenacity and passion. Congrats to Country and UT."

Bob Kesling

Pablo Montana

Tennessee Volunteer 1993-96

Pablo Montana (Delaware Head Men's Tennis Coach)

"Chris will do an amazing job leading the program into new heights. Chris has played and coached at the highest level and he has a proven track record of developing his players into elite athletes. I know he will do great things with the program!"

Bob Kesling

Alison Ojeda

Tennessee Lady Volunteer 1998-2002

Alison Ojeda (Tennessee Head Women's Tennis Coach)

"It's an incredibly special day for Knoxville and our Volunteer family--and especially for Chris Woodruff. Having grown up in the city of Knoxville and the state of Tennessee, he literally bleeds orange. And for him to have the opportunity to play for UT and then go on to compete in the Davis Cup and Grand Slams, he understands the game at a very high level and knows what it takes to win.

"Speaking as a Tennessee alum myself--with him having been on the coaching staff here since 2002--every single one of us has followed his career. His accomplishments as a coach have been incredible. He gets on-court coaching. But the reason he'll be an extraordinary head coach is that he understands relationships. What sets apart the best coaches in the country is their ability to interact with their players, the community and their entire staff. If you don't understand relationships, you'll fail at one of those at some point because of the adversity we all face as coaches. So I think the university has grown tremendously by making this decision to promote Chris.

"Everybody understands that student-athletes in college are different than professionals. And what makes being a student-athlete so special is that they're also trying to be great in the classroom. Chris Woodruff understands that--his dad was a professor--so Chris has a unique view on that athletic/academic balance, and he understands how to communicate the importance of that balance to recruits and their families.

"Perhaps most importantly, his integrity and morals are through the roof. So personally, I'm honored and thrilled to work alongside him. I'll be leaning on him for advice because I value his thoughts and opinions. The two of us are going to go out in to the community and get the city of Knoxville and the entire state on board with our programs. It will be a great partnership, and I can't wait to get it started."

Bob Kesling

Simon Rea

Tennessee Volunteer 2001-04

Simon Rea (Tennis New Zealand, High Performance Director)

"I can vividly remember being excited beyond belief when I was fortunate enough to be asked to hit some balls with Chris during the latter phase of his professional career in my freshman and sophomore seasons. The same qualities I observed then remain so clearly apparent today: incredible drive, yearning desire to grow and improve and a thirst to maximize his ability at any and every opportunity. Those early encounters have been the start of a lifelong friendship that continues to this day. I'm so proud of my friend and really pleased for the Tennessee family that a man that literally represents everything that is great about UT is being offered such an incredible opportunity. Now let's get behind the coach as he sets about chasing SEC and NCAA championships!"

Bob Kesling

Ben Rogers

Former Vol

Ben Rogers (Tennessee Volunteer 2004-06)

"Coach Woodruff to me is Tennessee Tennis. He's the guy we all looked up to. He's the guy who set the standard as a player. Watching him play made me want to be the best tennis player I could be. And as my coach, he was the guy who brought it out in me. I can't wait for him to lead our program back to where it belongs. Congrats Coach!"

Bob Kesling

Tennys Sandgren

Tennessee Volunteer 2010-11

Tennys Sandgren (Professional Tennis Player)

"Woody bring a level of playing and coaching experience that is unrivaled in college tennis. His dedication and love of UT and Knoxville shows up in the work he puts in to the program day in day out. It was an honor to play for Woody as a Volunteer and as a guy committed to improvement."

Bob Kesling

John-Patrick Smith

Tennessee Volunteer 2008-11

John-Patrick Smith (Professional Tennis Player)

"I'm stoked he's head coach. He's a great leader and mentor and a fine example of what a Tennessee Vol is. His tennis knowledge is world class."

Bob Kesling

Caitlin Whoriskey

Tennessee Lady Volunteer 2006-10

Caitlin Whoriskey (Professional Tennis Player)

"I am so happy for Woody! He is an amazing guy who cares so much about his players and the program. He has earned the respect from those around him not only because of his pro resume but his dedication to a player's development, emotional well being, and overall success. He challenges you to do better each and every practice, and at the end of the day, you walk out knowing you've improved. I wish him and his players success but I know they are already headed in the right direction with Woody at the helm."

Bob Kesling

Christopher Williams

Tennessee Volunteer 2009-10

Christopher Williams (ATP Coach)

"I'm thrilled for Chris and the men's tennis program at Tennessee. He has conquered each level of the game and along the way truly learned how to maximize his abilities and communicate them with a growth mindset. He is a confident person who understands team and what college athletics is all about. To me, personally, he has been a coach, mentor, family and personal friend, and inspiration. He is a true competitor and I cannot wait to see where the program goes under his leadership. Congratulations to Chris and his family! Go Vols!"





  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago