Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Derek Schwandt has announced the hiring of Beck Pennington as the Flames' assistant coach.
Pennington joins the staff following a distinguished five-year playing career at the University of Kentucky, including back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Team Tournament. The Wildcats finished No. 9 in the nation in 2013, No. 12 in 2014, including a win over No. 1 Ohio State, and No. 23 in 2016. Pennington, a Bowling Green, Ky., native, climbed as high as No. 39 in the Oracle/ITA Division I singles rankings and No. 23 in doubles.
"Beck is an extremely hard worker and fierce competitor," Schwandt said. "He developed his game and coaching philosophy under Cedric Kauffmann (195 ATP Singles, Kentucky head coach) and legendary ATP Tour coach Bill Tym. I'm excited to see Beck's energy and impact on our training environment and team culture. He knows what it takes to compete at the top level of college tennis."
Pennington served as a team captain for Kentucky from 2014-17. He was a two-time second team All-SEC selection and three-time All-SEC Academic honoree in his time with the Wildcats. Pennington posted wins over No. 12 Austin Smith (Georgia), No. 26 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) and No. 34 Malte Stropp (Mississippi State).
As a senior, he won 17 singles matches in his final spring campaign, which was tied for the most on the team. Pennington led his squad to a second-round appearance in the 2017 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship.
Pennington and doubles partner Enzo Wallart competed in the 2017 NCAA Men's Doubles Championship after defeating five nationally ranked opponents throughout the year.
"I have been given a great opportunity to work under Coach Schwandt with Liberty University," Pennington stated. "I am looking forward to building a new culture for the Flames' tennis program and cultivating leaders on and off the court."
Pennington graduated from Kentucky in May with a bachelor's degree in business communication and a minor in business marketing.