Former Georgia Tech All-American tennis player Kevin King joined the Yellow Jackets’ men’s tennis program as a volunteer assistant coach in January of 2015.
King, who starred for Tech from 2008-12 and graduated with honors in mechanical engineering in 2012, is taking time off from professional tennis to recover from injuries to both his hips and is replacing Brad Horton, who served as volunteer coach the last four years.
“When Kevin decided to play for Georgia Tech in 2008, I said he was the perfect Georgia Tech student-athlete fit,” said Thorne. “Eight years later, I am still saying he is the perfect Georgia Tech fit. He excelled in the classroom and on the court. We are honored to have him on our coaching staff this year. He will bring the highest level of college experience as well as the highest level of current pro experience to our staff.”
The highest-ranked American recruit ever to enroll in Tech’s men’s tennis program, King left as one of its best-ever doubles players, earning ITA All-American honors in 2011 and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He played near the top of Tech’s singles lineup (ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation as a senior) and teamed with Juan Spir to form one of the nation’s best doubles teams (ranked as high as No. 2 during the 2011-12 year), and the best ever to play at Tech. The Peachtree City, Ga., resident finished his career with 87 doubles wins (87-39 record), breaking the previous mark of 82 set by Sergio Aquirre. He teamed with Spir for 66 of those wins (66-22 career, in dual matches, 19-8 vs. ACC), and also compiled an 80-41 career singles record, 25-15 in ACC matches.
“I’m excited to be back at Tech and help Kenny and Derek (Schwandt, assistant coach) any way they need me,” said King, who has undergone surgery on one hip and will do the same on his other hip later in the spring. “It’s good to have another set of eyes on what our players are doing and help them with the perspective of a guy who’s ben on tour. I love tennis, love playing and love being around it. I like the guys here a lot. They’re hard workers, and they have a lot of talent. Kenny and Derek are great coaches.”
He has played professionally on the ITF Pro Circuit and ATP Tour since his graduation in 2012, and has earned berths in the Wimbledon championships and the BB&T Atlanta Open. He has won three ATP Challenger doubles titles playing with his former Tech teammate Spir, two of them on clay-court surfaces and one on hard-court. His high-water marks in the ATP rankings have been No. 202 in singles (Nov. 6, 2017) and No. 114 in doubles (July 28, 2014). He is currently ranked No. 202 in singles and No. 285 in doubles.
“We have been extremely blessed in our volunteer assistant coaching position,” continued Thorne. “Brad Horton is a champion coach and has helped us build a team with excellence being in the forefront in all areas. I love his passion for the team and more importantly his passion for people. I could never thank him enough for coming in and helping this program when we needed it the most. He inspired our guys like no other coach. We want to continue to have him closely involved with the program.”