Hipp brings experience to Flagler’s tennis team

By Andrew Zuker | gargoyle@flagler.edu

On August 21, 2013, former Barry University tennis star Thomas Hipp assumed the role of Flagler College’s director of tennis. After a stellar four-year career at Barry University, Hipp aims to take what he learned and bring it to Flagler.

Jud Damon, Flagler’s director of athletics, announced the appointment of Hipp to the vacant position late July. His role consists of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Flagler Tennis Center, as well as serving as the third men’s tennis coach in the 40-year history of the program, according to athletics.flagler.edu. Hipp will also inherit the women’s program at the beginning of the 2014 season.

Hipp brings a wealth of experience to the table, both on and off the playing field. After graduating from high school, Hipp, a German native, had aspirations to become a professional tennis player. Due to the insufficient sponsorship from the German Tennis Federation, he then began to explore the opportunities available in college tennis.

Hipp had a successful career as a player. While attending Barry University, Hipp earned a nod as a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American in singles and doubles, and was recognized as a four-time ITA Scholar All-American as well.

In 2003, he was tabbed the “Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Freshman of the Year.” During his senior year, Hipp became the second student athlete to achieve both SSC Athlete of the Year and Player of the Year awards. He went on to be named All-SSC in singles four times, including a three-time All-SSC title in doubles.
Not only did he achieve such honors, Hipp holds Barry University’s current record for career wins in singles play with a total of 67 wins against 13 losses. He yielded a .837 winning percentage, ranking him fourth all-time. March 2012 capped off his greatness, as Hipp was inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame.

Before Flagler, Hipp served as the assistant tennis coach at Barry University (Divison II) for seven years. He was an assistant to both the men and women tennis teams.

During his time there, he helped the Buccaneers reach a perfect 29-0 record, along with winning the NCAA Division II title for the 2012-13 season. Hipp served on the staff of the 2010 Men’s championship team and helped lead them to national runners-up status in 2008, 2009 and 2011. He helped coach the women’s team to a national title in 2011, too.

Hipp says he was attracted to Flagler College because of the “opportunity to compete for Division II titles in the near future.” His connection with Division II tennis was an attraction as well. Given his credibility, he has the knowledge that can be passed down to players, and he understands the level of what it takes to win titles. He also believes the location and academics provided at Flagler will be conducive to the recruitment of quality international talent.

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