Andy Brandi, one of the most successful coaches in the history of collegiate tennis, along with his son, Chris, have been named co-head coaches of the LSU men’s tennis program, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva announced on Wednesday.
As the head women’s tennis coach at Florida from 1985-2001, Andy Brandi led the Gators to three NCAA National Titles and to six National Team Indoor Championships. He also guided the Florida women to 14 Southeastern Conference titles in his 17 years as head coach of the Gators.
During his 17-year run as Florida’s head women’s coach, the Gators posted a 460-43 overall record, which included three undefeated seasons and three others years in which they lost only one match. Andy Brandi’s Florida teams had a 114-match regular-season winning streak and overall winning streaks of 62 and 53 matches.
Andy Brandi, a former professional tennis player and tour coach, was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1993, 1996 and 1998 and was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1996 and 1998, he earned Coach of the year honors from the United States Professional Tennis Registry, recognizing teaching excellence in the sport of tennis. In 1989 and 1996, he was voted the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year.
“This is without a doubt a great hire for our men’s tennis program,” Alleva said. “Andy brings to LSU a distinguished career that includes recruiting and developing great players along with producing teams that challenged for national titles on a yearly basis.
“We are excited to welcome Andy and his son Chris to LSU and look forward to watching them bring our men’s tennis program back to national prominence.”
Andy Brandi comes to LSU after serving since 2010 on the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Player Development staff as a national coach.
“Andy’s time at the USTA coaching the very best young talent in America is something that was obviously very attractive to us,” said Alleva. “And when you add his son Chris to the mix, who brings impeccable credentials and a top-tier reputation, we believe we have a winning combination in recruiting and coaching for years to come.”
After playing collegiate tennis at Trinity University in San Antonio, Andy Brandi trained with the legendary Harry Hoffman and worked to establish himself on the pro circuit. He then realized his calling was as a coach, becoming a tour coach for top 10 WTA players Kathy Rinaldi and Carling Bassett as well as serving as executive director at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
In 1984, he was named the head coach of the Gators’ women’s tennis team, developing the Florida school into a national powerhouse. In his time at Florida, the Gator women never lost a home match, dropped only five SEC dual matches, and claimed nine SEC Tournament titles in 17 years.
His overall winning percentage of 91.5 percent ranks as the highest for any coach in the history of women’s collegiate tennis with at least five years of experience. In addition to his three NCAA national titles, his teams finished as national runner-up at the NCAA Tournament five times.
After leaving Florida, Andy Brandi worked at the IMG Bollettieri Academy, the Evert Academy and the Harold Hopman Tennis Institute before joining the USTA in 2010.
“The Brandi team is very excited to now be a part of the LSU family,” said Andy Brandi of coming to Baton Rouge with his son. “Chris and I look forward to building the program up to a perennial national level contender. Working alongside the Sells as well will make this an awesome experience.”
Chris Brandi started his tennis career at TCU before transferring to Florida, where he was an All-America in doubles in 2004 and All-SEC singles in 2005. He helped the Gators claim the SEC regular season and tournament titles that year. Florida went on to reach the NCAA National Semifinals in 2005.
Chris Brandi, prior to beginning his college career, worked at the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he was a hitting partner for the USA Federation Cup’s tie against Belgium in Oostende, Belgium. He has coached in both the junior and professional ranks and worked with players including Elena Dementieva, ranked No. 4 in the WTA, and 2005 U.S. Open Junior Champion Ryan Sweeting.
Chris Brandi has also served as assistant coach for the men’s tennis team at Wake Forest and assistant director of tennis and assistant tennis coach at Baylor. Brandi most recently served as a tennis coach in Florida and has a website dedicated to tennis talk, TennisBuffet.com.
“To join the family at LSU is a dream come true for me,” said Chris Brandi. “And it’s even sweeter to be able to work alongside my father, whom I believe is one of the greatest coaches in the world.”
Chris Brandi played Davis Cup in his post-college career, winning two singles matches to help Puerto Rico clinch its first Group 2 win in over 15 years. He has also served as coach for players who have won junior championships in elite events such as the Orange Bowl as well as collegiate All-Americas and Top 100 professionals.
The hiring is subject to the requisite background checks and approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)