MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois University Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine announced Wednesday (June 23) the hiring of Chris Kane as the head tennis coach. Kane will oversee the Leatherneck men's and women's tennis program.
He replaces reigning Summit League 'Coach of the Year' Michael Hunt who resigned last month.
Kane joins the Leathernecks following a successful eight-year run as head tennis coach at Lake Forest College in which he became the men's program all-time winningest coach (97-65). Kane ended his tenure posting five consecutive winning seasons, including a 20-6 mark this spring that set a LFC record for most wins in a year. The men's team finished as runner-up in the Midwest Conference Team Championship in 2008 and 2010.
This past season Kane also served as associate head coach for the Lake Forest women's team. This season Kane coached the #1 and #5 conference champions in singles play.
"I'm very excited to be named head coach for the Western Illinois University Tennis program. I look forward to making Leatherneck Tennis continually successful. I want to thank Dr. Tim Van Alstine for placing his confidence in me," said Kane. "My philosophy is to have success academically and athletically, and I know both can be accomplished. I've had eight good years at Lake Forest College, and am ready for a number of fine years at Western Illinois."
His tennis reputation encompasses more than a successful coaching career. A former top-ranked player in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Midwest and New England Sections, Kane has ranked among the 'Top 15" nationally in both the junior and senior divisions. He has captured 15 state and three United States tennis championships throughout his career.
A nationally-known recruiter and talent evaluator, Kane served on a three-person USTA committee responsible for compiling year-end national rankings for all Boys 18- and 16-years-old in the United States.
"We are extremely excited to announce Chris Kane has accepted our offer to become the head men's and women's tennis coach at Western Illinois. We received interest from some outstanding applicants, but Chris' impressive credentials as a recruiter and coach, in addition to his work with the USTA, set him apart from everyone else," said Dr. Van Alstine. "Chris built a reputation as a standout player both collegiately and with the USTA, and he has carried that over to a successful coaching resume. In addition to his record-setting tenure at Lake Forest, his teams are well known for their discipline on the court and success in the classrooms. We are looking forward to Chris building on the reputation that (former head coach) Michael Hunt started, and the future of Leatherneck Tennis."
A native of California, Kane was a standout player at the University of Notre Dame playing his final two years as the Fighting Irish's top-ranked singles and doubles player. He received his bachelor's degree in Government and International Relations at Notre Dame, then earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of San Diego.
Kane worked as an Assistant Professor of Business Law at Dominican University for eight years, and served as the women's tennis coach from 1981-83. Since moving to the Chicago-area in 1981 Kane founded his own law firm and worked as an Attorney at Law.