June 13, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Chris Garner, who led Amherst to the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championship, was named today as the new men's tennis coach at Navy by Chet Gladchuk, Naval Academy Director of Athletics.
"Chris has been enthusiastically endorsed by a number of the top collegiate head coaches in the country," said Gladchuk. "Over the years he has made an impression on his peers in this profession that resonates with achievement, work ethic, leadership, integrity and family values. As both a player and coach he has successfully competed at the highest level and his philosophical approach to education and character development make him a perfect fit for the Naval Academy.
"Everyone who has met him and knows of him could not be more pleased that the Garner family will join ours in Annapolis."
"I`m honored to be the next men's tennis coach at Navy," said Garner, whose family includes his wife, Monika; sons, Luke and Finn; and daughter, Gigi. "My grandfather fought in World War II, serving in the Navy on board the USS New Orleans and the USS Salt Lake City. He passed over a year ago, but Navy called me exactly one year to the day of his passing. I cannot think of a better way to honor his memory than having the chance to help the young people who are committed to this country have a great athletic experience."
This year's NCAA title was the second captured by Amherst during Garner's seven seasons at the school. The Lord Jeffs previously won the 2011 national championship, made appearances in the NCAA title match in both 2009 and `10, placed third at the championship in 2013 and reached the quarterfinal round of the event in 2012.
In addition to Amherst winning this year's team crown, Joey Fritz also won the 2014 singles title at the NCAA Championship while he and Justin Reindel advanced to the semifinal round as a doubles tandem. Prior to Fritz winning the first NCAA singles crown in school history, Mark Kahan competed in the 2013 NCAA title match while Austin Chafetz and Luis Rattenhuber combined to win the 2012 NCAA doubles championship for Amherst.
Garner's teams posted a 198-43 record (82.2%) during his seven-year stint at the school. This includes a 133-16 (89.3%) mark over the last four years.
The Long Island, N.Y., native was a standout player in his own right. He was the No. 1 ranked player in the country in the 14-and-under age group in 1983, the No. 1 ranked player in the under 16's in 1984 and was the No. 3 player in the under 18's from 1985-86. He competed on the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team from 1985-87 and amassed 12 National Junior titles before entering the collegiate ranks.
Garner earned All-America honors at the University of Georgia before joining the professional tour. He attained an ATP ranking of No. 120 in 1991, advanced to the Round of 16 at the 1993 Australian Open and recorded victories over some of the top players in the world during his pro career.
After his professional playing career ended in 1994, Garner served as a private tennis coach for both professional and junior players before becoming an assistant coach at Colorado for one season (2004-05). He then spent two years as an assistant coach at Ohio State, during which time the Buckeyes posted back-to-back undefeated Big Ten seasons and won a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles. Garner also completed his undergraduate degree while at Ohio State before becoming the head coach at Amherst in 2007.