LAKELAND, FL – Florida Southern College has announced the hiring of Greg Van Emburgh as its next men's tennis head coach. Van Emburgh, who brings more than a decade of Division I coaching experience to Florida Southern.
"We are excited to have Greg Van Emburgh join our staff," said Pete Meyer, Director of Athletics. "Greg's leadership and experience will benefit the men's tennis program and the College as a whole."
Van Emburgh comes to Florida Southern after spending the past two years as the head tennis coach and trainer at nearby IMG Academy in Bradenton, where he had the opportunity to coach his sons. Prior to his stint at IMG Academy, Van Emburgh spent 10 years as the head men's tennis coach at the University of Wisconsin.
"I would like to thank Pete Meyer and Drew Howard for giving me this opportunity," said Van Emburgh. "I am very excited to get back into coaching college tennis at Florida Southern."
"We will be successful in the classroom as well as on the tennis court. We will compete for championships and continue to elevate our program. I am also looking forward to working with Trish and the women's team. I can't wait to get started!"
During his time with at Wisconsin, Van Emburgh led the Badgers to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearances in 2010. He also helped Wisconsin achieve its highest national ranking in school history, reaching No. 19 in the country.
Van Emburgh coached 10 all-Big Ten selections, a Big Ten Freshman of the Year honoree, two singles players who qualified for the NCAA Tournament and four doubles players who earned NCAA Tournament bids. In 2010 the Badgers finished 21-9 overall, the second-best mark in school history.
His teams also excelled in the classroom at Wisconsin, earning 23 Academic all-Big Ten honors, one CoSIDA Academic all-district award, and six ITA Scholar Athlete awards.
Prior to his time at Wisconsin, Van Emburgh was the associate head coach at the University of Kentucky, helping the Wildcats to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament and a top 15 finish in four consecutive years. One of Van Emburgh's protégés, Jesse Witten, won five all-America honors during his career at Kentucky.
Outside of the collegiate ranks, Van Emburgh served as the Director of Tennis at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club in Naples, FL for two years. Prior to that, he played professionally on the ATP Tour from 1989-1999; winning 10 ATP Tour doubles titles. In doubles play, he reached as high as No. 11 in the world in team rankings and was a 1990 semifinalist at Wimbledon.
In doubles play, Van Emburgh's highest individual world ranking was No. 28, and during his career, he picked up victories over tennis legends Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, and Patrick McEnroe. Van Emburgh finished his playing career with 38 appearances in Grand Slam events and was ranked among the ATP top 100 for 10-straight years. He won seven different ATP titles and appeared in seven other ATP finals.
He played collegiately at Kentucky from 1985-88 and was UK's first all-American, earning four all-America honors in in singles and doubles. He made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals and was a member of the US World University Team that won a bronze medal. In addition, Van Emburgh was a member of the USTA Junior Davis Cup squad, was an all-SEC team captain, and is a member of the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame.
He graduated from Kentucky with a degree in sociology. A native of Mineola, NY, Van Emburgh and his wife, Tracey, have two sons, Jake and Jenson. Jake has signed to play collegiately at the University of Oklahoma and was ranked among the top five players in his age bracket since the age of 12. He is a former Wisconsin State singles champion. Jenson is one of the world's top para table tennis players and is currently in the process of qualifying for the Paralympics.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT GREG VAN EMBURGH…
"What an outstanding hire for Florida Southern! Greg has been successful at every level of his tennis progression. He was a standout junior tennis player, hall of fame collegiate player, ATP professional who reached the semifinals of Wimbledon. He brings a ton of experience to his position at Florida Southern and the players will get all his knowledge of the game of tennis and the game of life. Florida Southern has made a commitment to be one of the top programs in Division II with this hire!"
- Penn State head coach, Jeff Zinn
"Greg is one of the elite coaches in college tennis. He is a great recruiter and developer of talent and his teams always compete extremely well. Moreover, he is a quality person who will represent Florida Southern in a first-class manner."
- Northwestern head coach, Arvid Swan
"He's back! One of the finest coaches in the game will return to the sidelines of Florida Southern. Greg will bring the energy, focus, and passion necessary to lead this program to the top of Division II tennis. Florida Southern has hired a true leader who will leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of excellence. He truly understands what is needed to win while providing his guys the most positive student-athlete experience."
- Ohio State head coach, Ty Tucker
"Greg Van Emburgh doesn't just coach tennis. He coaches the heart and mind of the tennis player and brings out the best in his players. Florida Southern is very fortunate to have a leader and coach of Greg's caliber and experience lead the program."
- bestselling author, Jon Gordon (The Energy Bus)