Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie announced Thursdaythat Sam Winterbotham has been relieved of his duties as head men’s tennis coach, effective immediately.
Currie will lead an internal, four-person committee in a national search for Winterbotham’s replacement.
“Associate AD/tennis administrator Dara Worrell and I met with Sam this afternoon, and we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to step away from the program at this time,” Currie said. “I want to thank Sam for his 11 years of service to the University of Tennessee, which were highlighted by three SEC titles and an appearance in the NCAA team final.
A two-time SEC Coach of the Year, Winterbotham led the Volunteers to a 217-104 record during his tenure as head coach. Tennessee won SEC regular-season championships in 2010 and 2011 and captured the SEC Tournament title in 2010. That 2010 squad also reached the final of the NCAA Championships and was one of six Winterbotham-led UT teams that advanced to the Round of 16 or beyond.
Individually, Winterbotham coached one NCAA singles or doubles finalist every year from 2008-2011. In 2014, Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese won the NCAA Men’s Doubles Championship. Libietis was named the 2013 SEC Player of the Year, while John-Patrick Smith claimed that honor under Winterbotham’s tutelage in both 2010 and 2011. Six Vols coached by Winterbotham also went on to reach the top 200 in the ATP World Tour Rankings.
Winterbotham will receive a buyout of one year’s salary ($181,873) in monthly installments through June 30, 2018, which is the expiration date of his contract. Should he accept another job prior to that date, his buyout will be mitigated accordingly.