Phil Chamberlain
Phil Chamberlain

Hometown:
Perth, Australia

Last College:
Memphis State, 1976

Position:
Volunteer Assistant Coach

2001:
Inducted into Tennessee Tennis Hall of Fame


Phil Chamberlain returned to the University of Memphis athletic department as a volunteer assistant coach for the Lady Tigers' tennis team in June of 2007. The former men's tennis coach for the Tiger men's team, Chamberlain also currently serves as the tournament director for the Regions/Morgan Keegan Championships, an ATP tournament held at the Racquet Club of Memphis each February. Chamberlain also serves as the tournament director for the Cellular South Cup, a women's WTA event held concurrently with the men's tournament each February in Memphis.

An inductee of the University of Memphis M Club Hall of Fame, Chamberlain was a Tiger letterwinner from 1973-1976, playing No. 1 singles for then-Memphis State University. A native of Perth, Australia, Chamberlain was a Metro Conference Singles and Doubles Champion in 1975 and 1976. He also teamed with Keith West to win the NCAA Southern Doubles Championship in 1974.

A member of the Australian team that won the Linton Cup in 1973, Chamberlain quickly made a name for himself in tennis circles in Tennessee. He was the top-ranked player in the Tennessee Open Men's Doubles from 1975 through 1980. During that same period, he ranked between first and fourth in the Tennessee Men's Open Singles. From 1972 to 1982, Chamberlain filled his personal trophy case with 14 Singles USTA sanctioned titles, and 37 Doubles USTA sanctioned titles. In 1989, he finished third among the 35's in the Tennessee Southern Cup Challenge.

Off the court, Chamberlain began a long and prosperous coaching career in Memphis. From 1976-1980, he coached three people to number one rankings in the United States. He also coached 12 collegiate All-Americans, 240 sectionally-ranked juniors, and led 104 juniors to collegiate scholarships. Chamberlain also coached seven touring professionals, including Jimmy and Ricky Brown, Audra Keller, Keith Evans, David Pollack, Stacey Schefflin and Susan Gilchrist.

Chamberlain also served as an assistant coach to his collegiate coach, Tommy Buford, during the 1979 and 1980 seasons. Chamberlain began coaching the Tennessee Junior Davis Cup team in 1983 and coached both the Tennessee Junior Davis Cup team and the Wightman Cup teams from 1984-1988, with his 1988 Wightman Cup team winning the championship. Chamberlain then coached the STA Girls Intersectional team, which won the national championship during the 1990-91 season.

In 1999, Chamberlain took over as the head coach of the University of Memphis men's tennis team. On taking over the program, Chamberlain immediately began working to upgrade the men's program's image in the national collegiate tennis community, signing recruits from around the world, while fundraising money to upgrade the on-campus facilities used by both the men's and women's tennis teams. He also developed relationships with college head coaches of nationally-ranked teams, trying to earn the Tigers' a spot in their spring dual season schedule.

The result was the program's first-ever appearance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings in 2001. Memphis' last appearance before the 2001 honor came in 1975, a team that Chamberlain played on. The Tigers then spent all of 2002 and 2003 in the national rankings.

In Chamberlain's time at the helm of the Tiger men's tennis team, he coached eight all-Conference USA honorees, including Lee Taylor Walker, the program's first-ever Conference USA First Team honoree. Walker and his doubles teammate, Ben Stapp, Chamberlain's first signee to Memphis, became the first doubles tandem since Chamberlain was a player at Memphis to break in to the national doubles rankings, ranking as high as No. 12 in the country at one point in the season. Stapp would cap his four-year Tiger career with a 72-45 mark in singles, including second team all-conference honors, while adding an impressive 84-34 mark in doubles, playing a majority of his career at No. 1 doubles.

Off the court, Chamberlain's Tigers received numerous awards for sportsmanship and academic recognition. In 2003, the Tigers received the ITA Team Sportsmanship Award after receiving the 2002 HEB College Team Sportsmanship Award the previous season. In the classroom, the Tigers named an ITA All-Academic Team for three straight seasons, from 2002-2004, for having a cumulative team GPA of 3.2 or higher, while five different Tigers were recognized seven different times as ITA Scholar Athletes.

Outside of the University of Memphis, Chamberlain served as the Assistant Tournament Director of the Kroger/St. Jude Tennis Tournament (the previous name of the Regions/Morgan Keegan Championships) before taking over the tournament director duties in 2004. He has also served as the tournament director for the NCAA Division II and III Championships, the ITA Southeast Regional Championships, the Junior College Championships and the NAIA Championships.

For all his extensive tennis background as a player, coach and tournament director, Chamberlain was inducted in to the Tennessee Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001.

Chamberlain and his wife Ginger have three children. Their son, Michael, was also a Tiger letterwinner from 2001-2002, earning Conference USA Third Team honors in 2001 after transferring back to Memphis from Middle Tennessee State. The couple also has two daughters, Kristin and Kara. Kristin will be a junior on the Lady Tiger tennis team beginning in 2007-08 after spending the previous two seasons at Cleveland State University.

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