Camp Director

Charlie Ellis

Head Tennis Coach


Charlie Ellis was named head coach for the Houghton men's and women's tennis programs in March 2013.

Ellis brings more than 30 years’ experience as a coach at the high school, junior, college and adult levels. He has privately coached numerous top-ranked junior level athletes, including former national junior No. 1 and University of Georgia All-American Al Parker and former University of Kentucky and Texas A&M University standout Sarah Foster.

“We are excited about bringing Coach Ellis in to help launch our tennis programs,” said Lord. “He not only brings a world-class background and knowledge of the sport as a player and coach, but he has a passion for program and player development. He has a desire to develop student-athletes who can compete on the court and in life. The combination of those skills will help our athletic department as we continue our transition into NCAA Division III and the Empire 8 Conference.”

Ellis’ background also includes management of three tennis clubs and multisport fitness facilities, where he gained experience in program development. As manager of the Lexington Tennis Club, Ellis coached 300 junior players annually and coached the Lexington, Kentucky elite juniors for 15 years. He also created the Charlie Ellis Tennis Camp with 60 junior participants annually. As a sports coach at The Club at Harper’s Point in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ellis coached the club’s Elite Tennis Program for college-bound players.

Ellis also served as general manager at Sportime Fitness in Schenectady, N.Y., where he developed the club’s clinic and lesson program and taught weekly lessons to more than 100 participants each week. He created and taught the Quick Start junior beginner tennis program, created the Albany-area’s first adult beginner tennis league, and created and managed the Sportime Junior Tennis Academy. He also coached six high school sectional champions over the past four years.

Ellis served as the head women’s coach at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., and as the assistant men’s coach at his alma mater, the University of Georgia. He also was the head boys coach at Mohonasen High School in Schenectady.

As a player, Ellis achieved NCAA All-America status at Georgia, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals in 1977. He also won Southeastern Conference doubles and team championship. He was ranked No. 8 in college tennis as a senior. Ellis continued to play as a professional following college, earning a No. 1 ranking in the state of Georgia and a World ATP top-300 ranking.

As a junior player, Ellis won 16 Indiana state championships, including a state high school championship, and was inducted into the Indiana Tennis Hall of Fame. 

Ellis also founded and directs Fair Play Tennis, a company that helps parents and aspiring young players develop a game plan for their development, including lessons in motivation and concentration, assistance in choosing tournaments and camps, and tips for selecting the right equipment.

"My wife and I are appreciative and excited about the opportunity to be part of Houghton College. I am committed to building a new men’s and women’s tennis team and cannot wait to move forward and immerse myself in the area and Houghton College," said Ellis. "The bar will be set high as we are entering NCAA Division III. I am anxious to get started and meet all who are interested in Houghton College tennis." 

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