UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Chris Cagle has been named the new head coach of the Penn State women's tennis team. Cagle served as interim head coach this past year, beginning in December. Cagle was an assistant coach with the Penn State men's tennis program prior to his appointment as interim mentor of the women's team.
"This is an exciting time for women's tennis at Penn State," said Dr. David Joyner, Penn State's Director of Athletics. "With this announcement, we have hired a coach that will bring women's tennis to new heights. Coach Cagle has showcased over his years here at Penn State the desire and ability to hold himself, his program and his athletes up to our credo of integrity and academics. His motivation and ability to develop our student-athletes on and off the court will move us forward to achieving the championships that are the competitive goal of our tennis program. We are extremely happy to welcome him as the new head coach of our women's tennis program."
Cagle led an extremely young Penn State team through a solid 2013-14 year that saw a team dominated by youth (10 of the Nittany Lions' 13 players were freshmen or sophomores) pick up Big Ten wins over both Wisconsin and Nebraska. Cagle was in his third season as a Penn State assistant men's tennis coach under head coach Jeff Zinn before moving over as interim mentor of the women's squad.
"I am unbelievably excited to have the opportunity to lead the Penn State Women's Tennis program into the future," Cagle said. "I would like to thank Dr. Dave Joyner, Charmelle Green and the entire search committee in believing in me and my vision for our program in the coming years. Penn State is the perfect combination of academic and athletic opportunities. We will strive to make our student athletes better each day, both on the court and in the classroom. Penn State's reputation of integrity, world class academics and athletic success will be the cornerstones of our program."
Cagle served one season as a volunteer assistant coach to Zinn at Wake Forest, where he played an active on-court role, helping the Demon Deacons reach the NCAA tournament. In 2010-11, Wake Forest posted a 14-12 record, notching his 11th straight winning season. The Demon Deacons won 10 matches against nationally ranked opponents, including a 4-0 win over No. 30 Wisconsin to open the season and a 4-0 victory against No. 46 Virginia Commonwealth in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Before joining the Demon Deacons, Cagle established himself a top junior tennis coach, coaching players to 10 national junior titles. He also coached players in all four Junior Grand Slams, and twice coached a player in the main draw of a Grand Slam. In addition Cagle has coached and trained female players that have won NCAA Singles, Doubles and Team Championships including an MVP of an NCAA Championship team.
Cagle, originally from Greensboro, N.C., played as a member of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington men's tennis program from 1989-1993. He was the first two-time captain in North Carolina-Wilmington men's tennis program history. In 2009, he was the top ranked player in the United States in men's 30s singles competition.
Cagle became the chairman for Junior Competition for North Carolina Tennis, served on the Southern Tennis Junior Competition Board, and the Winston-Salem Tennis, Inc. Board. He was the tournament director for the 2010 Boys' 12 and Under National Clay Court Clay Court Championships. In 2010, Cagle received the Mary Milam Lifetime Achievement Award from North Carolina Tennis for his contributions to junior tennis.
From 2004-06, Cagle served on the Cystic Fibrosis Tennis Auction Ball Committee. In 2006, he took the Co-Chair position for the auction ball, which raised over $100,000 to fight Cystic Fibrosis that year.
Penn State returns a strong contingent of experienced players from last year's squad and has already added an exciting class of incoming recruits. "Our roster for the upcoming season is talented and I look forward to working with this team to see just how good we can be," Cagle said. "I know that our team will work hard this fall to prepare for the spring dual match season. This is an exciting time for our program."