After a four-year hiatus from coaching, Phil Ayers will be back this fall as womenâ€™s tennis coach at Lincolnton High School.
Ayers announced Friday that he has accepted the position, which was made vacant by the retirement of Chris Hoffman.
Ayers, a West Lincoln High School and Western Carolina University alumnus, last coached at Lincolnton in 2000, when he led the Lady Wolves to a conference title and was named conference coach of the year.
Ayers has seven years of coaching experience, having logged five seasons as a tennis coach at West Lincoln and two at Lincolnton.
At West Lincoln, Ayers led the Lady Rebels to the schoolâ€™s first dual-team state playoff appearance in 1998. He earned a conference coach of the year honor that year as well.
He is currently on the faculty at Battleground Elementary as a physical education teacher.
â€œAfter a four-year layoff, I look forward to stepping back on the courts again,â€ Ayers said in a press release.
â€œThe timing seems to be right with a new conference alignment starting this year along with a young group of girls to prepare for competition.
â€œOn the downside, Iâ€™ve lost a lot of scouting knowledge due to the layoff. So, weâ€™ll simply have to focus on assessing our team and preparing the best we can,â€ Ayers said.
The new coach announced that pre-season practice will open Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. Players must have completed physicals in order to work out.
Prospective players may contact Ayers at 704-530-3292.