Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach
Campus Phone: Ext. 5732
Campus Mail: P.O. Box 5070
Office: Rankin Hall 105
Campus or Site Location: Greeneville
Tommy Arnett is the Tusculum College tennis program. He has guided both the men and women’s teams to the most successful period in the programs’ histories. Under his tutelage, the Pioneers have advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament in eight of his 11 seasons at the Greeneville, Tenn. school, while producing eight South Atlantic Conference Championships and four SAC Tournament titles, combined.
Since his arrival at Tusculum in 2001, Arnett’s teams have posted a combined 332-133 overall record (.714 winning percentage) including an amazing 117-39 league slate (.750 winning percentage). His women’s teams have accounted for 11 straight winning campaigns while his men’s squads have had winning records in 10 of his 11 years.
During the 2007-08 season, he guided the Pioneers to one of its most successful combined seasons in school history as both programs accounted for 20-win campaigns. The men’s team posted a 20-2 worksheet, including a perfect 7-0 mark in SAC play to capture the program’s third league title. Led by SAC Player of the Year Carlos Garcia, Tusculum rattled off a school record 17-match winning streak, including three in a row to win the Food Lion SAC Tournament title and earning the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, the Pioneers’ sixth postseason trip in seven years. Garcia continued his stellar play, earning tournament MVP honors.
The 2008 women’s team tied a school season record with its 20-4 campaign, while returning to the NCAA II Tournament. The Pioneers finished second in the conference, but mustered a 12-match winning streak towards the end of the season, including three straight to win the Food Lion SAC Tournament to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA postseason.
He guided the 2009 women’s program to a 17-6 record, including a perfect 8-0 mark in SAC play as Tusculum won its fourth women’s title. The team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year and seventh time in school history. In 2010, Arnett led the Pioneers to their fifth women’s title in 2010 as TC parlayed a nine-match winning streak to a 17-4 record.
In 2004, the Tusculum women’s team enjoyed a remarkable run winning its first 20 matches en route to a 20-1 mark while capturing its third straight conference crown and first SAC Tournament title. For his efforts, he wasnamed the South Atlantic Conference Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year. That squad included four All-Conference players, including SAC Player of the Year Lesley Murray, who earned that honor for a remarkable fourth time in her illustrious career. Only two players in league history have been named player of the year for their respective sports. She was tabbed the 2003-04 SAC Female Athlete of the Year, becoming the first woman in TC history to earn this honor. Murray was also selected as the SAC Scholar Athlete of the Year for Women’s Tennis for a second time in 2004. She was inducted to the SAC Hall of Fame in June, 2009, becoming the first Pioneer student-athlete to earn that prestigous honor.
In his first season, Arnett guided both the men and women’s teams to a pair of South Atlantic Conference Championships, two national rankings and berths to the NCAA Tournament.
The Tusculum men established a school mark with an 18-2 record including a perfect 6-0 league slate to claim the Pioneers’ first SAC title. In 2002, the Pioneers also tallied a new school record winning 14 consecutive matches including the SAC Tournament title. TC ended the year ranked 40th in the nation and for his efforts, Arnett was named SAC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year.
In 2005, Arnett led the men’s team to a 13-7 record, while going undefeated in conference play for the second time in three years winning the program’s second SAC Men’s Title. Once again, Arnett was honored by his peers and named Conference Coach of the Year.
The TC women went 15-4 in 2002 and won a share of its first SAC title. Tusculum knocked off nationally-ranked Presbyterian College, ending the Blue Hose 56-match winning streak in league play. For a second straight year, the Tusculum women advanced to the NCAA Tournament and ended the year ranked 38th in the country.
In 2003, the women’s team repeated their performance from a season before winning a share of its second SAC title. The Pioneer women finished 15-4 and advanced to the NCAA postseason, while moving to the second round for the first time. TC finished the year ranked fourth in the region and 37th in the nation. The men’s team recorded its third straight winning season going 11-8 and finished second in the SAC standings.
Arnett took over the Pioneer program in June 2001, after serving as head coach for two seasons at South Atlantic Conference member Newberry College.
He has mentored 40 All-South Atlantic Conference performers at Tusculum, including three Women’s Tennis SAC Freshmen of the Year, including Gabriela Mora (2002), Maria Nevarez (2003) and Danae Valderrama (2004). In 2002, Roberto Robles captured SAC Freshman of the Year honors on the men’s side. In 2005, Sergio Espinosa was named SAC Freshman of the Year while Lukas Winkelmann earned the honor in 2012.
In 2002, Arnett also coached Pam Holt, who became the program’s first CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Four of his players have garnered Academic All-District recognition including Holt, Lesley Murray, Jobria McCracken and Blake Thompson. Murray (twice), McCracken (in 2005) and Thompson (in 2011) have also been honored as SAC Scholar Athletes of the Year. In 2009, Hunter Beal became the first Tusculum men’s tennis player to earn the SAC Scholar Athlete accolade. Henrique Rodrigues (2010) and Luis Zamora (2012) gave the Pioneers the SAC Scholar Athlete winner three times in a four-year span.
Under Arnett’s watch, the Pioneers have also demonstrated success in the classroom. In 2008-09, his netters posted the top two team grade point averages in the Tusculum athletic department, while both the men and women’s teams earned the ITA Academic Team Award, making TC one of only eight tennis programs in the nation (NCAA II) to have both its squads honored.
It has been homecoming for Arnett, a native of nearby Elizabethton, Tenn. He guided the Newberry women’s team to the NCAA Division II Tournament with a 15-11 record.
Prior to his arrival at Newberry, Arnett was the head coach at Bluefield College, where he led the men’s program to a 63-47 slate over seven seasons. He was also given the task of beginning the women’s program at Bluefield and posted a 13-29 slate during his four seasons over the women’s team. While in Bluefield, he also ran the Sedgewood Tennis Center for 21 years. He is a 20-year member of the United States Professional.
He is also a Class 1 Professional and mentored pro tennis star Mark Dickson, who reached a world rank of 26th and was 13th on the money list before an injury ended his career prematurely.
He also serves as the Director of Tennis at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville.
Arnett is a 1972 graduate of Carson-Newman College, where he was a member of the Eagles tennis team. During his collegiate career, he played on two nationally ranked teams at the Jefferson City, Tenn.
Coach Tommy Arnett Year-By-Year
Overall SAC SAC
Year W L Pct. W L Pct. Fin.
2001-02 18 2 .900 6 0 1.00 1st
2002-03 11 8 .579 5 1 .833 2nd
2003-04 16 8 .667 5 1 .833 2nd
2004-05 13 7 .650 6 0 1.00 1st
2005-06 12 8 .600 4 2 .667 T2nd
2006-07 15 7 .682 5 1 .833 2nd
2007-08 20 2 .909 7 0 1.00 1st
2008-09 14 10 .583 4 4 .500 5th
2009-10 14 5 .736 6 2 .750 3rd
2010-11 6 12 .333 2 7 .222 8th
2011-12 12 10 .545 5 4 .556 4th
Totals 151 79 .657 55 22 .714
Overall SAC SAC
Year W L Pct. W L Pct. Fin.
2001-02 15 4 .789 5 1 .833 T1st
2002-03 15 4 .789 5 1 .833 T1st
2003-04 20 1 .952 4 0 1.00 1st
2004-05 17 5 .773 6 1 .857 2nd
2005-06 17 7 .708 6 1 .857 2nd
2006-07 15 6 .714 4 3 .571 T3rd
2007-08 20 4 .833 6 1 .857 2nd
2008-09 17 6 .739 8 0 1.00 1st
2009-10 17 4 .810 7 1 .875 T1st
2010-11 11 9 .550 4 5 .444 6th
2011-12 17 4 .810 7 2 .778 3rd
Totals 181 54 .770 62 16 .795