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Alumnus named head tennis coach at Clemson

Mar 16, 2009
by Lou Dubois, '06

When speaking about Clemson University’s new head tennis coach Chuck McCuen, Peter Scott talks like a proud father. His body perks up, his voice raises an octave, and the 2004 Flagler Athletic Hall of Fame inductee is almost at a loss for words. “Chuck was such a hard worker, and God, he hated to lose,” recalls Scott, who was Flagler’s first head tennis coach from 1974-1989. “What do I recall about Chuck? You know what the biggest thing is? There are guys on every team that are natural-born leaders. Chuck was pretty much always that guy.”

McCuen came to Flagler from Gainesville Community College in Georgia, played two years under Scott and was a two-time NAIA All-American, graduating in the class of 1983 with a double major in recreation management and history. He went to Georgia State University with intentions of being graduate student that fall, but was quickly named the school’s tennis director, thanks in large part to a gleaming recommendation from Scott.

In 19 years, McCuen coached the Panthers to five conference titles and took them to three NCAA tournaments. He was named conference coach of the year five times and propelled Georgia State into a top-70 nationally ranked program. Perhaps most importantly, McCuen and wife Linda contributed much of their time to Atlanta youth tennis programs and were instrumental in creating the first collegiate wheelchair team in the United States.

“I’ve been coaching tennis for 26 years now, and it’s been a life-changing experience every day,” McCuen says. “From having the opportunity to start the wheelchair program, to building a solid program at Georgia State, and now becoming the top guy at Clemson, it’s been quite a ride.”

McCuen still credits much of his coaching success to the instruction of Scott – along with the legendary Chuck Kriese, whom McCuen is replacing at Clemson.

“I have to give all the credit to Peter Scott,” McCuen says. “He helped me get on my feet at Georgia State, and I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I used the drills, the language and the philosophy that he taught me while at Flagler.”

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