Kevin Calhoun enters his third year as head coach of the Transylvania men’s tennis team for the 2018-19 season.
A veteran coach with deep roots in the Bluegrass, Calhoun is no stranger to winning and has guided a resurgence of the tradition-rich Transylvania tennis program as he heads into his third season at Transy.
Calhoun came to Transylvania in August of 2016 after a six-year stint as the assistant women’s tennis coach at the University of Kentucky. Before his time at Kentucky, Calhoun served as the head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams at his alma mater, Georgetown College (Ky.). At each of his coaching stops, the constant has been the maximization of individual talent and maximization of the team.
From August 2016 through January 2019, Calhoun headed up both men's and women's tennis programs at Transylvania. After leading the Pioneers women's tennis program to its best conference record and first appearance in the HCAC Tournament Championship match in seven seasons, Calhoun handed the reins of the women's program to Bill Carey. Calhoun continues to guide the men's tennis program as the Pioneers continue their steady resurgence back atop the HCAC.
Aiming to continue the tradition of a winning program at Transy, Calhoun leans upon his time spent as a head and assistant coach at multiple stops around the Bluegrass region to teach the next generation of Transylvania tennis players.
“What I’ve learned through my coaching career is that for the team to be most successful, the whole has to be greater than the sum of its parts,” says Calhoun. “I believe that’s accomplished by having a culture of selflessness and group success. What sets apart this institution and this program is the family environment and the mindset that we practice and play as a united team.”
The 2017-18 season for the Transylvania tennis teams, the second under Calhoun’s stead witnessed regrowth and a seizing of momentum for each team. The Transylvania women’s team produced HCAC First-Team selection Mary Grace Amato and Honorable Mention winners Lili Williams and Merrick Irwin. The Pioneers clinched another HCAC Tournament berth and earned ITA All-Academic Team honors.
After a one-year absence from the HCAC Tournament, the Transylvania men’s tennis team returned to the conference tournament in 2017-18 to set the course for a new chapter of Transylvania men’s tennis. Senior Luke Groene earned his second straight All-HCAC First Team award while freshman Dylan Moore was named an Honorable Mention.
Calhoun's appointment in late summer of 2016 with Transylvania Tennis carried him just a few blocks down Lexington from his most recent position at the University of Kentucky, where he served as the women's tennis assistant coach for the past six years.
During his time as an assistant coach for the Wildcats women's tennis team, Kentucky made great strides, improving from a two-win season upon his arrival in 2010 to an 18-win season and a top-15 national ranking this past season.
Under Calhoun's guidance, the Wildcats produced the doubles tandem of Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjadi, who became the first Kentucky duo to reach a quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament in over a decade. The two were named All-Americans in spring of 2016, becoming the ninth and tenth student-athletes under Calhoun's tutelage to achieve All-American status.
Calhoun has forged a career built upon success and top-level results that preceded his tenure at the University of Kentucky; a 1998 graduate of Georgetown College (Ky.), Calhoun served as the head men's and women's tennis coach from 2000 through 2010, developing eight All-Americans and earning the 2010 East Region NAIA Women's Tennis Coach of the Year award.
"We will recruit young men and women who will represent themselves on the court and off," espouses Calhoun. "I'm very enthusiastic about providing an extraordinary experience for the students, and helping them build relationships with teammates which will never fade."
Calhoun also served as the Assistant Director of Athletics for the Georgetown athletic department from 2002 to 2008.
In addition to his coaching duties at multiple Central Kentucky institutions, Calhoun was an official for the ATP and WTA professional tennis tours. Between 1998 and 2007, these assignments saw Calhoun officiate two women's singles finals at the US Open along with matches at Wimbledon and the Davis Cup.
A return to glory for Kentucky women's tennis in 2016 culminated a six-year odyssey for Calhoun, who coached three All-SEC selections, three All-SEC freshman selections, one regional Rookie of the Year, an SEC Brad Davis award winner, and an Elite 89 award recipient.