Former LSU standout Tom Hand is in his fourth year as head coach of the UNC Asheville men's tennis program and seventh year with the Bulldog tennis.
He served as an assistant to both the men's and women's team with Lise Gregory for five seasons before being named to the head men's position in the fall of 2013.
In 2016, Hand led the UNC Asheville Men’s Tennis team to an overall record of 11-8 and a Big South Conference record of 6-2, the highest number of regular season conference wins in Bulldog history. His 2016 team was highlighted by five Bulldogs who were honored in the 2016 Big South Conference Annual Postseason Awards.
Freshman Henry Patten was named Singles First Team All-Conference after being named the Big South Freshman of the week twice during the season. Thomas Orestis-Panoulas and Josh Swindler earned Singles Second Team All-Conference honors. The pair of Brett Landau and Alex Croker earned Doubles First Team All-Conference Honors and Asheville’s Patten and Josh Swindler received a Doubles Second Team All-Conference nod. Panoulas was one of nine players in the League to be named the to the Big South Conference All-Academic team.
In 2012, Hand helped lead the men's squad to a 12-10 overall record and 5-2 mark in the Big South Conference. It was the first winning season for the Asheville men's program in seven years. In addition, the Bulldogs finished in second place in the league, the highest finish ever for an Asheville program in BSC play. The Blue & White recorded significant wins over Furman, Coastal Carolina and Winthrop.
Hand brings significant playing and coaching experience to the UNC Asheville program. He served as head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis program at the University of New Orleans for the 2006 season. Hand was the Associate Head Women’s Coach for Tulane during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. The Green Wave advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Tournament both of his years at Tulane.
He has been the personal coach to Melissa Mang, who was the number one ranked junior in the United States. Mang was an All-American at Duke.
Hand had a spectacular playing career at LSU. He was a four-year captain for the Tigers and helped lead LSU to two Southeastern Conference championships and two trips to the “Final Four.” Hand is ranked third on LSU’s all-time wins list with 107. He was ranked 13th in the country in singles and was a part of the number one doubles team in the nation as a senior.
Hand was an outstanding student at LSU as he earned the University Medal for graduating with a 4.0 GPA in just three years. He was the ITA's Academic All-American of the Year for all sports in 1999 and was the national winner of the Arthur Ashe Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service.