National Championship UTC coach Tommy Bartlett dies - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

National Championship UTC coach Tommy Bartlett dies

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(GoMocs.com) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga mourns the loss of former tennis and basketball coach Tommy Bartlett, who passed away this week.  Bartlett, who turned 88 in June, was a legendary figure for years at UTC, earning numerous honors on the hardwood and hardcourts for the Mocs.

"Chattanooga lost one of its greatest sports figures," stated UTC men's tennis head coach Carlos Garcia.  "He taught all six of my brothers and sisters the game of tennis and I would not be in the sport if it wasn't for Coach Bartlett.  He is one of the toughtest competitors I ever knew and he will certainly be missed."

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., and a 1952 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Bartlett first joined the Chattanooga athletics program as the head men's basketball coach in 1958.  He coached for four seasons (1959-62) and compiled a 56-38 record.  His 1961 squad won a then-school-best 17 games on its way to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

Bartlett spent the next four years as an assistant basketball coach at his alma mater.  In 1963, while still an assistant with the men's basketball team, he took over head coaching duties of the Vols men's tennis program.  He guided Tennessee to the SEC title in 1966.

Following his time at UT, he became the head basketball coach at the University of Florida.  He was 95-85 from 1967-73, advancing to the NIT with an 18-9 mark in 1969.  His first year with the Gators, he guided the team to a 21-4 record and a second place finish in the SEC.  It was the first 20-win season for the Florida basketball program.    

His most prestigious run in Chattanooga started in 1979 when he returned to coach the Mocs men's and women's tennis teams.  He won eight Southern Conference men's titles and five women's championships in his second tenure in the Scenic City. 

He was a nine-time SoCon Coach of the Year and guided the women to the NCAA Division II National Championship in three straight seasons from 1983-85.  He was inducted into the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992.    

Bartlett is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (1986), the ITA Tennis Hall of Fame (1993) and the University of Tennessee Hall of Fame (2009). 

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Tommy Bartlett, who coached the Florida men's basketball team for seven seasons, has died. He was 88.
    
Bartlett had a 95-85 record at Florida from 1966-73. He also coached Chattanooga from 1958-62 and was 56-38.
    
Before coaching, Bartlett lettered at Tennessee from 1949-52. He also played tennis at Tennessee, where he won six Southeastern Conference individual titles and led the Volunteers to an SEC team championship in 1951.
    
Bartlett coached men's tennis at Tennessee from 1963-66. He later coached men's and women's tennis at Chattanooga. Bartlett led the Chattanooga women to three straight Division II national titles from 1983-85.
    
He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Chattanooga Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. 

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