Rod Ray is in his 13th year as the head tennis coach at Wofford College. He also served as the Terriers’ head women’s coach for eight years until the 2007-08 season. Ray took over the Wofford tennis teams in 2000, three years after the transition to Division I, and took a struggling tennis program and transformed it into a reputable program that improves every year. As a coach, Ray’s team has continually improved their record nearly every year.
The 2011-12 squad posted an overall record of 6 -12 and 5-5 in the Southern Conference. Two members of the squad earned spots on the SoCon Spring Academic All-Conference Team, while nine earned SoCon Academic Honor Roll honors.
Coach Ray’s 2010-11 team finished with an 8-13 overall record and a 4-6 standing in the Southern Conference. Ray’s most successful year was in 2008-09, when he led his team to a 13-11 record and a 7-4 standing in the Southern Conference.
The 2008-09 team was the only men’s team in the Southern Conference to earn special recognition from the NCAA for being in the top ten percent in their sport with regard for outstanding academic achievement (APR). The program had earned this recognition four years in a row. In addition, the squad was also recognized by the NCAA for having outstanding sportsmanship. In 2009, they won a national award by the NCAA ITA Ethics and Infractions Committee for exemplifying outstanding sportsmanship, character, and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition.
In his 12 seasons at Wofford, Ray has led six players to All-Southern Conference recognition including: Lee Porter (2003), Kent Ball (2004), Chris Barlow (2006), Andrew Stubbs (2005-08), Alan Donald (2009), and Tinus Van Wyk (2009). One of Ray’s most successful players, Andrew Stubbs, finished his career in 2008 with four straight All-Southern Conference accolades. Stubbs was the first Terrier men’s player to earn league honors more than once. He joined former women’s player, Ellen Rogers ’06, as the only Wofford tennis players in school history to receive All-SoCon honors all four years. Ray also coached George Kernoodle to a Southern Conference Freshman of the Year award in 2007.
Ray has led his team to Southern Conference tournament appearances eight of the past nine seasons, taking his program as far as the semi-finals in 2008.
Ray came to Wofford from the Topspin Racquet and Swim Club in Lexington, S.C., where he served as the tennis director for nearly 10 years. He has been a prominent fixture in South Carolina tennis, serving as coach for the South Carolina Junior Davis/Federation Cup Team, USTA Junior Player Development Program, Zonal Coach, and as president of the South Carolina Tennis Professional Association. In 1998, Ray was named South Carolina Tennis Association Professional of the Year. Certified by the USPTA, he has obtained a Professional 1 rating. Each summer he runs the Rod Ray Tennis Camp at Wofford, bringing in youth from across the Southeast.
Ray earned a bachelor of science degree in political science from East Tennessee State in 1987, where he played on the Buccaneer tennis team in 1984 and 1985. He and his wife, Merritt, have two sons, Cole and Ashe.