Tide Men's Tennis Adds Assistant

University of Alabama Men's Tennis Coach Billy Pate has added Bo Hodge as an assistant coach. Hodge, formerly one of the nation's top collegiate and junior players, began working with the Tide Monday.



Alabama is getting a high profile addition. A former tennis star for the Georgia Bulldogs before pursuing a career on the professional circuit, Bo Hodge recently completed work on a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications at UGA where he returned to complete his studies after several years on the professional tour as a player and coach.

"I am excited to have Bo Hodge join our staff as an assistant coach," said Pate. "Bo's experiences as both a player and a coach will be of tremendous benefit to our players. He brings insight and perspective to our program, having played and coached at the highest levels of collegiate and professional tennis. Having competed in the SEC, Bo understands the rigors of our conference and what it will take to build on the outstanding momentum we have experienced the last few years."

"I am excited and honored to join the Crimson Tide coaching staff and to work with Coach Pate to help The University of Alabama compete for the SEC and national titles," Hodge said. "Coach Pate and I have known each other for several years and I think our experience as both a player and a coach can bring a tremendous amount to the program. I am proud to wear the crimson and white, and also to become a part of Alabama's storied sports history."

Hodge brings impressive credentials as both a player and coach to the Crimson Tide staff having served stints as a coach and hitting partner for Venus and Serena Williams in 2005-06, and serving as coach of ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) professional Mardy Fish in 2007. Hodge served as a volunteer coach at Georgia under head coach Manuel Diaz from August 2006 to May 2008, helping lead the Bulldogs to consecutive NCAA national championships while completing his undergraduate degree in preparation for a coaching career.

A touring professional on the ATP Tour from 2004-06, Hodge embarked on a coaching career when his playing days ended. Having played and coached in Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and the United States, Hodge brings experience and impressive international connections to his post on Pate's staff. As a player, Hodge was a four-time All-American at Georgia from 2001-04 while playing on three Southeastern Conference championship teams (2001, 2002 and 2004) and one national championship team (2001). The No. 2-ranked collegiate player in the nation in both 2001 and 2004, Hodge spent much of his college career ranked in the nation's top five in both singles and doubles and reached the NCAA Doubles finals in 2004 with teammate John Isner.

Prior to attending Georgia, Hodge had an outstanding career in junior tennis capped by leading Athens Academy to the 1998 Class A High School state title as a sophomore. After helping the Spartans win the title, Hodge moved to Boca Raton, Fla., to study under famed South African coach Stanford Boster while attending Boca Prep, where he also played on the basketball team. His teammates at Boca Prep included Andy Roddick.

A native of Athens, Ga., born December 13, 1981, Hodge is the son of Mark and Suzette Hodge. His father is a former Georgia football star and was a tight end and offensive captain of the 1978 Bulldogs.

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