CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Interim Director of Athletics Scott Altizer announced Chuck Merzbacher as the new men's tennis head coach Thursday. Merzbacher brings 28 years of NCAA Division I men's and women's head coaching experience to the UTC program.
Merzbacher served most recently as the head women's tennis coach at the University of Minnesota. He posted a 70-58 record during a five-year tenure from 2013-17. He also was the head women's coach at Ohio State (1997-12) and Kansas (1993-96) and was the men's head coach at Northern Illinois (1990-92).
“We are very excited to welcome coach Merzbacher to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,” stated Altizer. “We are very fortunate to have Chuck and his wife, Cherie, join the Mocs and we look forward to the impact they will have on our men's tennis student-athletes.”
Merzbacher owns a career record of 436-320 (.575) and has seven conference titles on his resume. He coached six individual All-Americans and his teams made 12 NCAA postseason appearances.
“Chattanooga felt like the right fit for me as a coach,” said Merzbacher. “The University and the tennis community seemed like such a great place for me to continue coaching. All of the pieces fell into place, and I am ready to get to work on improving the program.”
A native of Findlay, Ohio, Merzbacher took over at Minnesota after 16 successful seasons at Ohio State. During his tenure with the Buckeyes, Ohio State reached the NCAA tournament nine times and posted 209 victories as Merzbacher became the winningest coach in program history.
“I would like to thank Senior Associate Athletics Director Laura Herron for her work in leading the search process for our newest head coach,” added Altizer. “To land someone with this level of experience and past success says a lot about our program, our community and the potential for success at UTC.”
Merzbacher launched his head coaching career with the men's program at Northern Illinois University in 1989. He led the Huskies for three seasons, earning back-to-back Mid-Continent Coach of the Year honors in 1991 and 1992.
He then moved to coach the women's side at the University of Kansas from 1992 to 1996, gathering four consecutive Big Eight Conference championships, two Big Eight Coach of the Year titles (1993, 1994) and one Central Region Coach of the Year award (1994). Under his guidance, the Jayhawks posted an impressive 39-1 conference record (83-29 overall).
A 1987 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Merzbacher is the Gophers' all-time career wins leader with 137 singles victories. He also holds the No. 3 and No. 11 spots for wins in a single season.
Merzbacher finished his Gopher career as a three-time All-Big Ten selection and two-time NCAA national qualifier. As a freshman in 1984, he established his collegiate credibility with a Big Ten Conference No. 4 singles title. Minnesota won Big Ten titles in 1984 and 1986 and amassed a record of 42-7 in conference play.
After a brief stint as Minnesota's assistant coach in 1987, Merzbacher tried his hand on the professional circuit. He was ranked as high as No. 354 in singles and No. 335 in doubles, making international showings in both the Australian Open and the Wimbledon qualifier in 1989.
Merzbacher and his wife, Cherie, are the parents of Chad and Caitlyn.