Volunteer Assistant Coach
Over the past five seasons, the Commodores have reached new
heights. They have made their first NCAA Tournament appearances
and they have achieved the highest national rankings in school
history. This turnaround can be attributed to head coach Ken
Flach. For Flach, it is another chapter of a successful tennis
career that has seen Olympic Gold, Grand Slam championships,
and Davis Cup victories.
Although Vanderbilt University is Flach's first collegiate
coaching position, he does not lack in high-level coaching
experience. In 1996, he guided his brother, Doug Flach, past
Andre Agassi at Wimbledon and has coached part-time with Stan
Smith and Tom Gullickson for the USTA in Key Biscayne, Fla.
He joined the Commodore staff for the 1997 dual match season.
Flach brings a world of experience to the Commodore court.
He has received a No. 1 world ranking in doubles. For the
1993 U.S. Open doubles tournament, Flach teamed with Rick
Leach to win the title. With long-time doubles partner Robert
Seguso, the duo holds 29 doubles titles including the 1987
and 1988 Wimbledon titles, the 1999 and 2000 Wimbledon 35-and-over
titles, the 1985 U.S. Open title and Olympic gold medal and
an 11-2 Davis Cup record.
In Flach's first season, the Commodores won their first
Southeastern Conference matches in two years. The wins, versus
Arkansas and Tennessee, came on the road and helped Vanderbilt
post an 8-12 record, up from 4-15 the previous year. "Vanderbilt
offers students an all-around level of excellence that you
don't find at many universities," he said. "Some schools might
excel in several important areas, but I don't think there's
a school that can match Vanderbilt in terms of the total package.
You get exceptional academics, along with the best tennis
conference and a great tennis center to play in. All located
on a beautiful campus with a feeling of seclusion despite
being right in the heart of a major city that's booming right
now. It's all right there for you."
Flach's positive outlook and passion for the sport helped
guide the Commodores to one of the most successful seasons
in school history in his third year. In 1999 the team beat
Alabama, Louisiana State and Kentucky, all teams which would
receive Top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament, during the regular
season. These important wins helped earn Vanderbilt its first
NCAA Tournament berth ever. The team received a No. 2 seed
for its regional at Illinois. The Commodores defeated Michigan
in their NCAA debut before falling to host Illinois. The team
finished the season with a final ranking of No. 28, the highest
in school history.
Last year the Commodores featured Flach's most heralded freshman
class and a return to the NCAA Tournament. The squad finished
13-13 on the year and upset five higher ranked opponents during
the year. The team finished the season ranked No. 31 after
defeating Arizona State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"From a tennis standpoint, there isn't a whole lot that I
haven't had the privilege of doing," Flach said. "From being
a nationally ranked junior, through college and the professional
ranks I've been able to gain a great measure of experience.
I feel that I've learned a lot along the way which I can pass
along to my players."
Born and raised in St. Louis, he is a big fan of the Cardinals
and the Blues. Flach threw out the season's first pitch for
the 1986 St. Louis Cardinals. He still competes in an occasional
senior tour event. In 2000, Flach and Seguso were co-champions
of the Wimbledon 35-and-over doubles competition, Flach's
fifth championship at the fabled All-England Club.
Flach is married to the former supermodel Sandra Freeman,
and the couple has four children: Dylan, 13; Madison, 11;
Noah, 9; and Hannah, 4.
o 1988 Olympic Doubles Gold Medalist o Member of U.S. Davis
Cup team (1985-91)
o 1987 & 1988 Wimbledon Men's Doubles Champion
o 1985 & 1993 U.S. Open Men's Doubles Champion
o 1986 French Open Mixed Doubles Champion
o 1986 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion
o 1985 No. 1 World Ranking
o 1999 Wimbledon 35-and-over Doubles Champion
o 2000 Wimbledon 35-and-over Doubles co-Champion
o Won 36 doubles titles
o Three-time NCAA Div. II Singles Champion
o 1983 Division I Singles and Doubles All-American
o Guided VU to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 1999
o Part-time coach, USTA Junior Development Program
o Head of Junior Development Program, Horseshoe Bend Country
o 1993 graduate of ATP professional school