Archived Story

‘Total Tennis Training’ camp features coaching legend Chuck Kriese

Published 5:39pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

by Mark Schmerling

Championship tennis players no longer spring from country clubs.

They often hail from more rural areas like Polk County and the upstate of South Carolina, according to Cary Davenport.

As organizer of the Carolina Junior Tennis Clinics, Davenport is putting his energy where his philosophy is. These year- round clinics, are designed to produce winning players.

In addition, Davenport has secured a separate July 21-26 clinic at O.P. Earle Elementary School in Landrum, headed by college coaching and teaching legend Chuck Kriese.

The clinic is open to boys and girls age seven through 17. Registration and other details are available at, or by calling 304-476-6518. This is part of Kriese’s Total Tennis Training program.

Kriese has coached five Junior Grand Slam champions, and was a prolifically successful head men’s tennis coach at Clemson University for 33 years. During that time, Kriese became the all-time most winning tennis coach in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history, with 685 wins. His teams also earned 10 ACC championships. From 1980-82, Kriese also served as the USA National Coach.

“We’re talking the Nick Saban (head football coach at the University of Alabama) of tennis here,” remarked Davenport. “You can’t get a higher pedigree than that.”

Davenport said he and Kriese met in Charleston.

Kriese told him that he could build champions here.


Because, said Davenport, “They (young tennis players in areas like this) work hard. They don’t feel as privileged.”

Besides Kriese, instructors will include five college coaches and two college stars. One of the latter is Nestor Vargas, who plays No. 1 at West Alabama University. Another is Edgar Rodriguez, who played on the professional tour for two years. Rodriguez was once ranked 65th in the world as a junior at Wimbledon, where he reached the junior quarterfinals. Rodriguez received a full scholarship to the University of South Carolina Upstate, where he plays as No. 1.

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