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Meet The Assistant: Tennessee's James McKie
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They fill a crucial role in every college program. They juggle multiple responsibilities and put in long hours behind the scenes. They arrive early to hit balls, they stay late to provide advice and they keep in contact with potential recruits.

They are assistant coaches.

Although they may not get as much attention as head coaches, they are highly valued by many.

In this edition of Meet The Assistant, we profile University of Tennessee assistant coach James McKie:

Why did you get into coaching?

I played at Drake University from 2009-13 and we had a very good team. Upon graduating, I knew I wanted to stay in college tennis and my former coach, Evan Austin, offered me the graduate assistant position for the men's team at Fresno State. Since then, I have enjoyed coaching college tennis and learning from many different people. I actually got very lucky where I am today. My wife and I were already moving to Nashville from New Orleans when I worked at Tulane University and I randomly got a call from Woody (Tennessee head coach Chris Woodruff) asking if I was interested in the position. I was immediately attracted not only because I wanted to stay in college tennis, but also when playing college tennis, Tennessee was always one of the best teams in the country. They won the SEC and played in the NCAA and national indoor finals multiple times. I'd like to think we are now very close to getting back there!

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Page updated on Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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