Chris Garner Named New Head Coach of Amherst

garner2Chris Garner brings an exceptional playing career to Amherst along with his valuable coaching experienceAMHERST, MA - Amherst College is pleased to announce Chris Garner as its new head coach of men’s tennis. In addition to having coaching experience at a highly competitive Division I school, Garner brings an exceptional playing career to Amherst.

Garner has his sights set on bringing the Amherst tennis program to new heights. “I want to develop an even stronger tennis reputation for Amherst College,” says Garner, “and coaching at one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country is very appealing to me.” Garner left the University of Georgia after his first year to turn professional, but returned to school to earn his degree from Ohio State.

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 1987-88 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 Patrick McEnroe, earning an Association of Tennis Professionals singles ranking of 120 in 1991.

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 and his wife, Monika, have two sons, Luke (5) and Finn (7). “The Amherst community and outlying area are very attractive to me, as they would be to anyone who has a family,” says Garner. “I couldn’t have found a much better place to raise a family.”

Garner replaces former head coach Rick Edelmann, who returned Amherst to contender-status in the NESCAC during his tenure. After the Lord Jeffs posted a 16-21 record in three seasons prior to his arrival, Edelmann led Amherst to a combined 38-20 mark over the next three years, earning NESCAC Coach of the Year honors for the 2006-07 campaign.

“I want to keep the momentum that [Edelmann] was able to start at Amherst,” says Garner. “I look forward to building upon what he has accomplished these past three seasons.”