John Currie is introduced Thursday as Tennessee’s new athletic director.
Mike Strange/News Sentinel

Tennessee athletic director John Currie has made his first hire.

Currie, who has been on the job since April 1, announced Friday that Chris Woodruff has been promoted to coach of the men’s tennis team.

Woodruff, a graduate of Bearden High School and former standout for the Vols, will be introduced at a news conference at 4 p.m.

Currie announced on May 4 that Sam Winterbotham would not return as coach and that Woodruff would serve as interim coach.

Currie led an internal four-person committee in selecting Winterbotham’s replacement.

Woodruff will receive a five-year contract with an average base salary of $141,000.  Winterbotham was earning  $181,873.

Woodruff has been a member of the UT coaching staff since completing his professional career in 2002.

He won an NCAA singles championship for the Vols in 1993.

Woodruff served as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons before being promoted to assistant coach in 2004.

“For a quarter century now, Chris Woodruff has epitomized the spirit and excellence of Volunteer tennis while representing UT and his hometown of Knoxville with class and dignity on the world stage,” Currie said in a school release. “There is no one more committed to ensuring that Tennessee tennis consistently competes at a championship level. No individual is going to work harder to ensure that our student-athletes achieve at a high level academically while also making a positive, meaningful impact in this community. He literally and truly is a Vol for life.

“College athletics, at its core, should be about education. From tennis experts across the country and the world, Chris Woodruff’s reputation as a teacher of the game and a mentor of young men is unparalleled. Chris is absolutely the right man to lead our Tennessee tennis program.”

Woodruff was an All-American for his two seasons with the Vols and finished his sophomore season with the No. 1 ranking and was named ITA Player of the Year.

He left UT after his sophomore season to turn pro. He won two titles and No. 29 was the highest ranking from ITA. He reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2000 and was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team in 2000.

During his career, Woodruff defeated seven players who at one point had held the world No. 1 ranking: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Thomas Muster, Gustavo Kuerten, Marcelo Ríos and Carlos Moyá.

Woodruff was inducted into the ITA College Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Tennessee Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.