By Miles McNulty, Chattanooga, Tenn., — University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student assistant coach Ankit Chopra is taking on a different role this year in the men’s tennis program.
Chopra transferred from Chicago State and played his final two seasons at UTC. During his career, he was named to the Second Team All-Southern Conference in doubles his senior year and finished with an overall singles record of 31-28.
This year he has transitioned from player to coach.
“The transition has been fairly smooth because of Coach Garcia,” Chopra said. “Under his guidance I learned what a coach goes through in order to bring the best out of his players not only on the tennis court but in life in general.”
The coaching transition was not very difficult because of his familiarity and knowledge of the current roster. He also played alongside most of current roster last year.
“I have been a part of the UTC tennis program and played for Coach Garcia for two years, so it wasn’t like I was introduced into a completely new environment when I started as a student assistant this year,” he said. “Also, half of the team this year comprises of my teammates from a year before and they do their part by reinforcing the importance of work ethic to the new members of the team and when you have that going for you, coaching becomes easier.”
He transitioned into coaching because he wanted to continue to be part of the tennis program at UTC.
“The UTC tennis program under Coach Garcia has molded me into the best player and person I could be,” Chopra said. “The reason I decided to coach is because I wanted to have the same positive impact on these talented group of guys who make me feel proud friend, teammate and coach.”