Kenny Doyle is in his 10th season as head coach in 2019 and has developed the Tennessee Tech tennis team into one of the premier programs in the Ohio Valley Conference as well as the southeast region.
Another banner season in 2018, Doyle guided the Golden Eagles to a piece of program history with the club’s third consecutive OVC Tournament and third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, a feat that had never previously been accomplished in school history.
During the year, Doyle earned his own part of program history behind a 4-3 win at Lipscomb on Feb. 10 to become only the second head coach in TTU history with 100 career victories. He will enter the 2019 season with a 108-97 (.529) overall record as Golden Eagle head coach, which includes an eye-popping 63-15 (.808) Ohio Valley Conference mark, only one win shy of Randy Smith’s all-time program record of 64 OVC victories.
A five-time OVC Coach of the Year, Doyle added his fifth accolade following a 2017 spring campaign that saw the Golden Eagles run the table in conference action en route to both the OVC regular season championship and OVC Tournament title. The Golden Eagles clinched their second-straight NCAA Tournament in the process, the program’s first back-to-back appearance in the “big dance” since 2003-04.
Tech’s regular season conference title marked the fifth championship in the last six years, four of which have been undefeated campaigns. In fact, thanks in large part to back-to-back unblemished conference seasons, the Golden Eagles enter 2018 riding a 23-match regular season OVC winning streak.
Under Doyle’s watch, the Golden Eagles have hoisted the crown in 2012, 13, 15, 16 and 17, all seasons that netted TTU’s head man with OVC Coach of the Year honors.
Doyle’s players have enjoyed tremendous success with 28 all-conference selections, highlighted by four OVC Player of the Year nods and five OVC Freshman of the Year selections.
Current volunteer assistant coach and former Golden Eagle Eduardo Mena took home the conference’s Freshman of the Year award in 2015, before taking home back-to-back Player of the Year accolades in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Mena left a lasting legacy as the all-time leader in career singles wins, accumulating an overall record of 105-37, 19 more victories than the next closest Golden Eagle.
His 2015-16 campaign featured a school-record 33 wins, highlighted by a 20-1 mark in dual action. Mena also put himself in rarified air after entering the spring of 2018 ranked No. 28 in the Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s national singles rankings, the highest spot in school history.
In addition to success on the court, the Golden Eagle tennis team has enjoyed sensational academic success under Doyle.
The Golden Eagles were named a 2015 All-Academic Team and three players (Alberto Esteban, Gagan Jain and Alex Arovin) were recognized as Scholar-Athlete Award winners by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
As a team, the Golden Eagles achieved a team GPA of 3.35 for 2014-15. Arovin posted a 3.78 GPA while being named the 2015 OVC Player of the Year. He earned all-OVC honors and was selected as Tech's Outstanding Male Athlete of 2014-15. Jain was the President's Award winner in tennis and owned a 3.75 GPA. Esteban also earned all-OVC honors while compiling a 3.65. All 11 players on the roster figured into the team GPA, with all 11 recording a GPA above 3.0 for the academic year.
A veteran coach, he came to the university in 2009 and coached both the men’s and women’s teams in his first year.
Prior to his arrival at Tech, Doyle was an assistant tennis coach at Winthrop University for three years and former head coach at Campbell University for 10 years.
In his first two seasons with the Golden Eagles, Doyle’s squad went 20-14 overall and 11-3 in OVC play. In his first season, Tech advanced to the championship match of the OVC Tournament. The following year, he led the Golden Eagles to the semifinals.
In Doyle’s third season, the Golden Eagles finished with an 11-8 overall record and went a perfect 8-0 in conference matches. Doyle was awarded 2012 OVC Coach of the Year.
In 2012-13, after a grueling non-conference schedule in which the team was winless, Doyle’s squad did an abrupt about-face and rolled through the OVC unbeaten with a 9-0 record. That also earned him OVC Coach of the Year laurels.
After a 4-5 OVC mark in 2013-14 in which Tech missed the OVC tournament via a tie-breaker in the standings, the veteran coach got the team back on the championship path the following year and the Golden Eagles chugged through another stellar season in OVC play in 2014-15 with an 8-1 record. That netted Doyle his third OVC Coach of the Year honor.
Doyle enjoyed a high level of success in both his roles as a head coach and assistant coach.
A 1980 Campbell graduate with a degree in business administration, Doyle worked for four years in private business before embarking on his coaching career in 1985 when he was named head coach of the men’s team at his alma mater.
His men’s team at Campbell reeled off a string of 31consecutive Big South Conference dual match victories between 1988 and 1994, winning four league titles.
In 1990, he was also given the reins of the women’s team and went 71-22 with two championships and three second-place finishes. Overall, he led the Fighting Camel squads to six Big South Conference championships and was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 1993.
He posted a combined 190-131 men’s and women’s record while at Campbell, and his 1993 women’s team was considered one of the nation’s top 40 programs. Under his direction, Campbell’s teams produced 44 all-conference players and earned Player of the Year honors eight times. One of his women’s team members was named All-America and four players earned national rankings.
In addition to their success on the court, Doyle’s teams at Campbell also notched winning marks in the classroom with 35 student-athletes named to the conference honor roll and one named CoSIDA Academic All-America. Twice his teams ranked first among all of Campbell’s athletic squads for highest combined team grade-point average. One of his players won the Big South Award for Academic Excellence and finished first in the Campbell graduating class. Another of his players finished third in the graduating class a year later.
Doyle left Campbell after the 1995 season, and following 12years in private business he returned to collegiate coaching in 2007 as assistant coach at Winthrop. He helped the Eagle teams enjoy a high level of success in the Big South Conference during his three years on the staff. The women’s team won the regular season title all three years, and after a second place finish in 2007, the team won league tournament championships twice and advanced to the NCAA tournament. The men’s squad won the 2007 regular season crown and was conference tournament runner-up all three years.
During his undergraduate days, Doyle was a four-year letterman for Campbell.
Doyle is married to the former Cathy Oliver and has two grown sons, Nick and Christopher.