June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 70°F

Sports

Tennis head coach steps down after three seasons

Ithaca College announced May 12 that Chris Hayes ’16, head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams, has stepped down from his position to pursue a new opportunity as a tennis professional at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

Hayes was a decorated athlete for the men’s tennis program from 2012–16 before joining the staff as an assistant coach for both programs in January 2018. He was later promoted to head coach of both programs in May 2020 after the retirement of longtime coach Bill Austin, who served the teams for 20 seasons. 

Hayes said that although he is departing from the program, his experience at the college has been an integral part of his life and career that he looks forward to staying involved with. 

“Between old teammates, former and current players, it has always been about the people here,” Hayes said in the statement. “While it is sad to leave, I know this isn’t goodbye. I look forward to continuing the support for IC tennis as an alumnus.”

During his three seasons as head coach, Hayes posed a combined record of 41–47 and guided the women’s program to consecutive Liberty League tournament appearances in the 2021–22 and 2022–23 seasons. 

Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, said in the announcement that Hayes’ work with the programs is admirable, as he took on the head coaching role in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Chris stepped in during some of the hardest times a coach could face with the pandemic and continued to bring a positive attitude to the programs every day,” Bassett said. “We wish Chris well in the next phase of his career.”

Tess Ferguson can be reached at tferguson1@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @tessferg