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Backed By Players, Whitlinger Promoted to Furman Head Coach

Any time J.J. Whitlinger needed some encouragement during the extended hiring search, he would sift through his email inbox.

J.J. Whitlinger

Whitlinger had been an assistant men’s coach at Furman under Kelly Jones since 2015, and grown extremely close with the team. Once Jones left this summer to become the USTA men’s national coach for player development, Whitlinger was a natural candidate to take over the program in Greenville, South Carolina.

Many of the Furman players wrote to the administration expressing their support for Whitlinger and championing his promotion.

“Some guys cc’d me on what they sent, and reading those got me through any bad spots mentally,” Whitlinger said. “Those made me feel a lot better, and me feel like I had done everything I could. If that was how they really felt about me as a person and a coach, that is really all I could ask for.”

Whitlinger’s wait finally ended on Aug. 27th, when he was officially named the new head coach at Furman. After 14 years as an assistant, Whitlinger will be running his own program for the first time.

“I felt a lot of relief when I found out. I am not sure how to put into words really,” Whitlinger said. “Just knowing that I didn’t let anybody down and I didn’t let any of the guys on the team down. I finished the job and we could get to work.”

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Page updated on Thursday, July 29, 2021
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