Ki Kroll just completed his second season at the helm of the Golden Eagle men's tennis program. In his second season, Kroll's young team landed in the national rankings for the first time since 2009. The Golden Eagles finished 9-15 after facing 11 nationally ranked opponents.
Kroll comes to Southern Miss after spending the past five years at Vassar College, where he led the men's tennis team to two Liberty League Championships in 2007 and 2010 and three NCAA Tournaments. During his tenure, Kroll led the Brewers to a 12-5 record in 2007, 15-6 record in 2008, and 14-4 in 2010. He was named the Liberty League Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Most recently, Vassar finished 14-4 last year and earned its third consecutive NCAA bid, competing in the NCAA Team Tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
"I am truly honored to have such a wonderful opportunity in front of me, and look forward to working with such a vibrant staff," Kroll said. "The University of Southern Mississippi has a history of strong athletics, and I hope to continue building upon the foundation and hard work of Coach Teddy Viator in building a top ranked program. I'd like to thank Athletic Director Richard Giannini, Senior Associate AD Sonya Varnell and the search committee for their confidence in my abilities. I look forward to meeting the tennis community in the near future and hope for their continued support."
Some of Kroll's accomplishments in his five years at Vassar include three All-Americans, the 2010 ITA Northeast Singles' champion, the 2009 ITA Northeast Singles & Doubles Runner-up, 2008 ITA Northeast Doubles Champions, the 2006 ECAC Singles Runner-up, three Liberty League "Rookies of the Year," 12 "All-League Singles," nine "All-League Doubles," 18 "All-Academic" and one National Student Athlete Award recipient.
Kroll is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University where he earned his bachelor's degree in History, but played his collegiate tennis at Penn State. Following graduation, he entered the US Army as an officer for three years. Upon completion of his obligation, he served as the Director of Tennis for numerous private tennis clubs in the west. Certified both as a USPTA Pro 1 and USTA High Performance Coach, Kroll is noted for developing the Andre Agassi Boy's & Girl's Club inner city tennis program in Las Vegas, Nev., into one of the most successful programs of its type in the United States. Additionally, Kroll represented Agassi in several public relations and media events that included HBO, Sports Illustrated, the USTA and ESPN. He competed professionally on the European Circuit, and played in one of West Germany's top leagues.
As the Director of Tennis at the Andre Agassi Boy's and Girl's Club, Kroll received two top awards; the October 2001 "Citizen of the Month" for the city of Las Vegas presented by Mayor Oscar Goodman, and also the 2001 "Employee of the Year" for the Boy's & Girl's Club.
Prior to Kroll's arrival at Vassar, he coached numerous top-ranked juniors. Currently, one of Kroll's former students is ranked in the top five nationally and has represented the US in international play. Several of his former students went on to play Division I tennis, and some competed professionally. One played at Stanford, winning the 2002 NCAA Doubles Championship and helped lead the Cardinals to an NCAA Team Championship in 2001 & 2002.