NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Starting this fall, there will be a new head coach at the helm of the Lipscomb men’s tennis program as Geoff Hernandez will take over the role after serving as an assistant coach for the team since June of 2014.
“Having worked with the team the last three years, I have gotten to know the Lipscomb culture,” Hernandez said. “For me to continue here and put my own stamp on this program, that’s the most exciting part. I’m ready to lead our guys to a higher level.”
Lipscomb director of athletics Philip Hutcheson pointed to that excitement and commitment to the team as to why Hernandez is the right coach moving forward.
“Geoff brings an enthusiasm for the game, for coaching and for developing young people that was evident as soon as the interviews started,” Hutcheson said. “He's passionate and knowledgeable about the game, but he also showed a real interest in helping our Lipscomb tennis program grow within our campus community and in middle Tennessee as well.”
Hernandez spent the last three seasons assisting in recruiting and scouting for the team. He recruited ten student-athletes from seven different countries including the highest-ranked recruits in Lipscomb history per the International Tennis Federation rankings.
“More than his love of and experience in tennis however, I'm most enthusiastic about Geoff's passion for coaching in the broadest and truest sense of the word,” Hutcheson said. “I believe he wants to build a program that helps equip young men with the tools, training and values that to help them make a difference after playing days are done, and I am looking forward to his getting started with our team.”
The foundation has been set for Hernandez as the team advanced to the first ASUN Championship Final in program history this spring.
“We just have to keep establishing a winning culture with our guys and keep pushing the standards higher,” Hernandez said. “If we can do that, the results will take care of themselves.”
While an assistant at Lipscomb, Hernandez also taught tennis at the nearby Brentwood Swim and Tennis Club. He developed five U.S. Tennis Association State Champion junior players, two of which have gone on to play tennis for NCAA Division I “Power-5” schools.
Before his tenure at Lipscomb, Hernandez played professionally for a season on the ITF Futures tour competing in three main draw singles and doubles events.
Hernandez played college tennis at the University of Portland from 2008-2012 where he played singles and doubles for Pilots. He was the captain of the 2012 Pilots squad that garnered a No. 45 national ranking from the ITA, the then-best in program history. Off the court, Hernandez was a West Coast Conference all-Academic Team member and served on Portland’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
“In 20 years of coaching, when I think of the definition of a leader in our program Geoff is one of the three or four names that pops into my head,” said Hernandez’s former coach at Portland, Aaron Gross. “He absolutely got every bit out of the talent that he possessed as a player. His work ethic is exceptional and I know he is committed to getting the most out of the players that he coaches. I couldn't be more happy for Geoff.”
Hernandez replaces his brother Mario, who served as head coach from 2013-17 before stepping down to pursue another opportunity this spring.