Jabor Al-Mutawa, Leo Christofides, Ted Nilsson, Renan Samed and Philippe Tsangarides have been named ITA Scholar-Athletes
Philippe Tsangarides was ranked 17th in the Carolina Region, the highest regional singles ranking for a Chanticleer.
Men's Tennis 2013 Durham Regional
Big South Regular Season Titles: 1 (2013)
Big South Tournament Titles: 1 (2013)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1 (2013)
NCAA Singles Appearances: 1 (2014)
ITA Team Rankings: 1 (2014/#68)
Big South Coach of the Year: 1 (2013)
Coastal Carolina University men's tennis head coach Chris Powers enters his 14th overall season at Coastal Carolina and his 11th as the head coach of the Chanticleers. Entering the 2014-15 campaign, Powers is the second longest tenured coach in the Big South behind Mike Anderson of Radford. He is also the winningest coach in Coastal Carolina history, and was named the 2013 Big South Coach of the Year.
Additionally, Powers is entering his fifth year as a member of the ITA Carolina Regional Coaches Committee.
Powers captained the Chanticleers to a historic 2013-14 season that saw the Coastal Carolina men's tennis program earn its first national ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Chants jumped into the ITA's Top 75 at #68 on March 4, 2014, having started the season 6-4 despite playing such nationally ranked teams as Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Duke. The Chants ended the season with a 13-11 overall record and reached the semifinals of the Big South Conference Championship for the third consecutive year.
The 2013-14 season also saw another program-first for Powers and the Chants as junior Philippe Tsangarides became the first singles player in school history to achieve both a national ranking in the ITA's Top 125, and qualify for the 2014 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship. Tsangarides broke into the national rankings at #109 on Feb. 11, 2014, before peaking at #67.
Under Powers' direction, the 2012-13 Chanticleers had the best season in the history of the Coastal Carolina men's tennis program. The Chants finished the season with an impressive 15-6 overall record, including an unblemished 8-0 mark in Big South Conference play. After being crowned the conference's regular season champions, the Chants went on to claim the Big South tournament title for the first time since 1994. The championship win earned the Chants the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and the first NCAA appearance in the program's history. The Chanticleers ended their impressive season with a hard-fought match against No. 9 Duke in the first round of the Durham Regional.
The 2009 season was arguably one of the better ones under Powers. The Chanticleers battled their way to a 16-6 overall record and a 4-2 league mark, finishing in third place. Coastal had a great 10-0 start to the season, beating Georgia Southern, 4-3, Gardner-Webb, 6-1 and Campbell, 4-3. Another first happened under Powers as the doubles team of German Perez and Ernesto Ramos were ranked #68 nationally.
In Powers' first season, Coastal Carolina improved its overall record by winning seven more matches than the previous year, posting an 8-16 overall record.
Under the guidance of Powers and the Coastal Carolina academic staff, the men's tennis team has excelled in the classroom. As a team, Coastal Carolina has been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team twelve consecutive seasons, an honor bestowed upon any team that posts a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher during the academic year. Individually, 17 players have been selected as ITA Scholar-Athletes, which require's a 3.5 GPA or higher. After taking reins of the program in 2005, Powers mentored Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients Brian Dowis (2005) and Richard Redding (2007), who were also named to the First Team Academic All-District as presented by CoSIDA. Redding went on to become the first ever ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American in Coastal Carolina men's tennis history.
Before he was named head coach in 2004, Powers served as the assistant coach for both men's and women's programs at Coastal Carolina for four years, helping the 2001 women's squad to the Big South championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance.
Powers arrived at Coastal Carolina after spending two seasons at Virginia Tech as the assistant women's tennis coach. He helped the Hokies to back-to-back Atlantic-10 Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. Virginia Tech earned a No. 28 national ranking during the 1999 season, the highest-ever ranking in the program. Powers guided Tech's top doubles team to a final four appearance in the 1998 National Clay Court Championships. Powers also coached three nationally-ranked singles players during his tenure at Virginia Tech.
Powers also served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Alabama assisting in all aspects of the Crimson Tide, while working toward a master's degree in history.
A native of Moneta, Va., Powers was a three-year captain at Ferrum College where he completed his four-year career with 46 career victories. As a senior in 1997, he received the President's Cup, the top athletic award at Ferrum, and was voted by his class to give the senior commencement address. Powers was also an Academic All-American, registering a 3.4 GPA.
Powers, who played in the Grand Strand Pro League in fall 2007-08, also teaches American history at Coastal Carolina.
Q&A with Coach Powers...
What qualities do you look for in a prospective student-athlete?
I am looking for a true team player who wants to succeed on and off the court. I am very proud of the progress of the program and the direction we are headed. We have taken a step forward every year, including a large step in 2013 when we won the Big South championship. During that process, I have looked for players who are hard working and understand the full responsibilities of being a student-athlete. I am very proud that we consistently earn the ITA All-American award, but I'm even happier that we've accomplished that goal while constantly improving our results on the tennis court.
Describe your coaching philosophies?
I ask my players to do two things - work hard and appreciate the blessing of college tennis and college life. Four years goes by quicker than one could ever imagine and my hope is that there are no regrets when it is over. I enjoy the partnerships I have on the court with my players, especially in match situations. I think my strength as a coach is assisting players with the mental game and overall match strategy, but I also enjoy the day-to-day preparation that goes into the season.
What does Coastal Carolina tennis have to offer a potential student-athlete?
Without a doubt, Coastal Carolina offers the full college experience which includes tennis, academics and a great social scene. The people are friendly, the weather is great and the beach is in our backyard. I'm very proud of the things my players have gone on to accomplish after they graduate and I know Coastal Carolina played a significant role in their success.
Powers' Career Head Coaching Record
10 Seasons at Coastal Carolina: 130-90 (.591) Overall, 39-29 (.574) in Big South Matches
|Year||School||Overall||Big South||Regular Season||BSC Tournament||NCAA Tournament|
|2013||Coastal Carolina||15-5||8-0||1st||Champion||1st Round (Team)|
|2014||Coastal Carolina||13-10||4-4||t-5th||Semifinals||1st Round (Singles)|