UCF has hired John Roddick, the brother of former tennis star Andy Roddick as the new director of tennis.
Roddick will serve as the men’s tennis head coach and proceed over men’s and women’s tennis, filling the role of former coaches Bobby Cashman and Stephanie Nickitas who left their positions in April. Chashman had served 17 seasons with the Knights, and Nickitas nine.
The hire by UCF Director of Athletics Danny White, adds to the list of impressive hires since he has taken over UCF’s athletics program.
"We're thrilled to bring a coach the caliber of John Roddick to UCF,” White said in a press release. “John was a very successful player as a junior and a collegian. He also did great things as a collegiate assistant coach and as an ATP professional coach. As a collegiate head coach, his records, accolades and NCAA Championship match berths speak for themselves.”
Prior to UCF, Roddick coached his younger brother Andy Roddick and coached seven seasons at the University of Oklahoma with a 146-48 record. At Oklahoma, he led the Sooners to their first Big 12 Title and three straight National Championship appearances. Also, he is a four-time Big 12 Conference coach of the year and recipient of the National coach of the year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, which he won in 2014.
UCF is getting an accomplished tennis mind having coached not only his brother, but mentored professionals such as Mardy Fish and Uladzimir Ignatik. Roddick was also the director of Roddick Total Tennis, a boarding academy in Austin and San Antonio Texas, from 2002 to 2009.
“I believe John Roddick will make a huge positive impact on our tennis programs,” White said in the release. “His hire, combined with the opening of the collegiate tennis center at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona early next year, will make UCF a destination for many top college-bound tennis players. This hire is another step toward our goal of becoming a Top 25 athletic program."
Roddick has been part of winning programs everywhere he has gone. From his first college assistant job with Florida State in 1999 to 2000 to his two year stint as an assistant coach with the University of Georgia from 2001 to 2002, when the Bulldogs won the national championship in 2001.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity that UCF, Danny White and President Hitt are affording for UCF Tennis,” Roddick said in the release. “I’m honored to be able to lead both programs and I look forward to making UCF Tennis a national power. “We are in the unique position to recruit the best student-athletes in the nation. I look forward to that challenge.”
Jean Racine is a Sports Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Email him at JeanR@centralfloridafuture.com.