Coaching Staff

Chris Garner begins his first season as the head coach of the Lord Jeffs, and brings valuable experience as both a player and coach. Garner began his first season as assistant men’s tennis coach at Ohio State in 2005, and was instrumental in the Buckeyes’ No. 5 national year-end ranking, which marked the highest ranking in school history. That year, OSU went undefeated in Big-Ten play, winning both the regular season and conference tournament championships. Ohio State returned as one of the best teams in the country in 2006, as Garner helped lead the team to a No. 3 national year-end ranking, again going undefeated in conference play and winning the Big-Ten tournament. Prior to Ohio State, Garner spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado, and five years prior to that as a private tennis coach. From 1998 to 2003 he trained players of all levels, ranging from beginners to some of the best players in the world.

Garner’s national dominance as a player began in 1983, when he was ranked the No. 1 player in the U.S. in the 14-and-under age group. After earning the No. 1 national ranking in the 16-and-under group in 1984, he was ranked No. 3 in the country in the 18-and-under group from 1985 to 1986. Garner’s success earned him a spot on the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team from 1985 to 1987, as he racked up 12 National Junior titles before moving on to the collegiate level. Georgia was fortunate to have Garner for the 1997-88 season, as he earned All-America honors as a Bulldog in 1988. He left Georgia and saw great success as a professional player, reaching the Round of 16 at the Australian Open in 1993. He picked up significant wins over several great players, including Patrick Rafter, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Pat McEnroe, earning an Association of Tennis Professionals singles ranking of 120 in 1991. Garner and his wife, Monika, have two sons, Luke (5) and Finn (7).

Chris Garner's Career Coaching Record

Entering his fourth year at Amherst, Matt Leitl serves as Coach Garner's assistant after a brief stint as co-head coach in the fall of 2004 and interim head coach in the winter of 2004-05, then two years as a full-time assistant. Leitl has a wide range of coaching experience, serving as head varsity boys' coach at Northampton High in 2004 and at Acton-Boxboro High in 2003, and at numerous summer camps and athletic clubs since 1996. A Milwaukee native, Leitl graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1999 and is currently working toward his Master of Arts in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. He is also a member of the United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR).