NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb men’s tennis head coach Geoff Hernandez bolstered his staff Thursday with the hiring of one of the top professionals in the country, as Andy Veal joins the program as an assistant coach.
Veal was named the new assistant after Geoff was promoted from assistant to head coach this summer following the departure of his brother, Mario.
“Having worked with Andy the last few years, we’ve really grown a relationship and he is someone that I trust,” Hernandez said. “That trust was really important for me when bringing an assistant on, because going from your brother to someone else, that trust can’t be matched, but Andy is an awesome guy and he was the most natural fit.
“To have his eyes on our team, even if it’s only a limited time, it is going to be very beneficial for us. The guys have met him and they really respect him. I think he will help elevate our program.”
Veal and Hernandez’s relationship goes back a few years as they both are teaching professionals at the Brentwood Swim and Tennis Club. Veal has spent the last 12 years at the club as the Director of Tennis where he has also hosted Professional Tennis Registry certification workshops.
“I am so excited about this new opportunity,” Veal said. “Geoff is a first-class professional and an even better person. I have known him for a few years now working together at the club and just seeing first-hand his love and dedication to the game made this an easy decision to join his staff.”
Not only has Veal been voted the No. 1 Pro in Nashville and Tennessee, he was also named the PTR Member of the Year for the state of Tennessee in 2014.
A member of the PTR since 1984, Veal earned the organization’s highest rating of Master of Tennis – Performance and is also a certified PTR Professional in Adult Development. He holds a United States Professional Tennis Association Elite Pro Rating and has coached Top 25 players on the Men’s ATP Grand Prix Circuit.
A native of Sussex, England, Veal came to the U.S. to play college tennis at Vanderbilt. After spending one year there, he transferred to Seminole Community College where he became a junior college All-American.
Veal then wrapped his collegiate career as a two-time All-American at Lander University in South Carolina and was ranked the No. 1 NAIA player in the country as a junior in 1982. He graduated Magna Cum Laude as a two-time Academic All-American and was inducted into the Lander University Hall of Fame in 2009.
From 1983-86, Veal played satellite pro tours in the U.S. and Europe before injuries forced him into coaching. He taught tennis for nine years in Houston before moving to Nashville in 1992.
“I have been around tennis for a long time,” Veal said. “I have coached high-level juniors and also on the professional tour. Having the opportunity to put extra eyes on the players will be helpful.”
A main focus for the Bisons this fall has been on doubles play. Luckily for Hernandez, that happens to be a specialty of Veal’s.
“Doubles is something we’ve really tried to focus on this fall, so it’s a perfect time for him to come in,” Hernandez said. “For any match, having him on court will be huge. He’s incredible with strategies and the ability to break opponents down. He will make a big impact.
“We are so very excited to have him on our team.”
The Bisons will wrap up their fall slate on the courts November 10-12 at the CCB Collegiate Invitational in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.