Tide Tennis Coach Gets Elite Post
"Being able to coach the top college players in the country last summer was an absolute thrill for me," Hodge said. "I cannot wait to get on the road again this year and help these young men live out their dream of being professional tennis players. I want to thank Patrick McEnroe, Jay Berger and Erica Perkins from the USTA for giving me this opportunity for the second year in a row."
Hodge, who is in his third year at Alabama, helped lead the Crimson Tide to its 15th and 16th NCAA Championship appearances in his first two seasons. Before arriving at the Capstone, Hodge served as a volunteer coach with Georgia, where the Bulldogs won consecutive NCAA Championships. He was also the hitting partner for Serena and Venus Williams in 2005-2006 before serving as the coach of current professional player Mardy Fish in 2007.
The USTA Summer Collegiate Team, which began in 1996, provides an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players. The program gives these players exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit through a team environment. The USTA Player Development will host two Pro Tour transition camps during the summer, one for the men's team and one for the women's. The men's camp will be held June 9-15 in Boca Raton, Fla., on clay courts.
Each team will have 12 members, with the members being announced at the NCAA Championships in May. The selection process takes into account a player's performance at the NCAA Championships, the ITA All-American and National Indoor Championships, and the final rankings released by the ITA at the end of the season. Current pros such as James Blake, John Isner, Laura Granville, and Bob and Mike Bryan were all former participants.
Hodge's playing resume is equally as impressive. He was a four-time All-American at Georgia from 2001-2004. Hodge was a part of three SEC Championship teams and one NCAA Championship team and was ranked in the top five in both singles and doubles for much of his career. In addition, Hodge reached the 2004 NCAA Doubles Championship Final with Isner.
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