Tennessee men’s tennis coach Sam Winterbotham and associate coach Chris Woodruff earned national coaching awards Tuesday.
Winterbotham was named Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year, while Woodruff became the first Vols’ coach to win ITA Assistant Coach of the Year honors.
Also, UT sophomore Mikelis Libietis was named ITA National Player to Watch, a designation given to a player expected to compete for national titles in the coming year.
The team portion of Tennessee’s season ended Saturday to eventual national champion Virginia in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Winterbotham, in his seventh season as head coach at UT, is the second Vols’ coach to win the award. Mike DePalmer was voted coach of the year in 1990.
Woodruff, in his 11th season as coach, won the NCAA singles championship 20 years ago at Tennessee. He has coached three individuals to the No. 1 national ranking in singles: Libietis (2013), Rhyne Williams (2011) and John-Patrick Smith (2010).
Libietis, the first UT tennis player to hold No. 1 rankings in both singles and doubles, was also voted the SEC Player of the Year.
Libietis will face third-seeded Mitchell Frank of Virginia when the NCAA singles and doubles championships begin Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. UT’s Hunter Reese will play Pepperdine’s Alex Sarkissian at 2 p.m.
Libietis and Reese play Duke’s Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir on Thursday.
On the women’s side, Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely will also begin competition Wednesday.
Szekely, ranked 35th nationally, will play Lorraine Guillermo of Pepperdine at 9:30 a.m. No. 24 Boren will play Virginia’s Julie Elbaba at 11 a.m.
In doubles, the No. 4-ranked Boren and Szekely will open play Thursday against Akron’s Angelina Jogasuria and Prang Pantusart
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee athletics. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/Tennesseebeat.