Bizot resigns from UT Tyler; Vann named interim @patriotstennis head coach
Chris Bizot celebrates winning the 2016 American Southwest Conference Women's Championship with the Patriots.
Chris Bizot celebrates winning the 2016 American Southwest Conference Women's Championship with the Patriots.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – Chris Bizot has resigned as the UT Tyler men’s and women’s tennis coach to start the new women's tennis program at Angelo State University after leading the Patriots to 16 American Southwest Conference Championships and 400 overall wins in 12 seasons.

Bizot led the UT Tyler men’s program to eight ASC titles, nine NCAA regional appearances and a 207-81 record, while the women’s program won eight ASC tournaments, advanced to eight NCAA regionals and amassed a 193-80 record. UT Tyler student-athletes earned 158 All-ASC and 15 all-America tennis selections under his leadership and have won three straight ASC Men’s and Women’s Championships.

“It has been an unbelievable journey as the tennis coach at UT Tyler,” Bizot said. “I would like to thank Dr. Rodney Mabry, Dr. Howard Patterson, the Tyler Tennis Community and most importantly all the players and coaches that I have had the honor to work with in my time here. Our success is and will always be attributed to the student-athletes who worked so hard to build these programs to where they are today.”

Bizot, who also served as UT Tyler’s Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, earned 16 ASC Coach of the Year honors during his tenure which started in 2005 as the Patriots men’s and women’s coach. He led the men’s program to nine straight NCAA tournaments and the women’s program to eight in nine seasons after coaching the programs under NCAA provisional status for three seasons.

“Chris has done an outstanding job developing the UT Tyler men’s and women’s tennis programs to national prominence,” said UT Tyler Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Howard Patterson. “He has an outstanding reputation as a coach, recruiter, and teacher of the game. As an Assistant AD, he has overseen compliance and has done an outstanding job. He and his family will be greatly missed, but we wish them the best of luck in his new position.” 

Patterson has selected Joe Vann as the interim head coach to lead the tennis programs in 2017 after he has been a full-time assistant for four years with the Patriots after serving in an assistant’s role from 2007-10. A 2009 graduate from UT Tyler, Vann has been back in Tyler as Bizot’s assistant for the past three ASC Championship seasons after serving as the head coach at East Texas Baptist in 2012 and 2013. A former UT Tyler student-athlete who played for Bizot, Vann was an ASC All-Conference and Academic All-Conference selection before embarking on his collegiate coaching career.

“Coach Bizot is leaving UT Tyler’s men’s and women’s tennis the program in tremendous shape and in competent hands in Joe Vann, who has served as a fulltime assistant for the past four seasons,” Dr. Patterson said. “Coach Vann is a former UT Tyler men’s tennis team member, ASC East Division Honorable Mention and Academic All-Conference player.  Coach Vann is an accomplished teacher and student of the game.  He has played a major role in recruiting, scheduling, and team management both on and off the court.”

The UT Tyler women’s tennis team will open its season on Saturday, Feb. 4 against Dallas Baptist at the Summers Tennis Center, while the men’s team takes on St. Edward’s on Sunday, Feb. 5 in College Station. Vann and his teams will open ASC play in Abilene against Hardin-Simmons and McMurry on Feb. 11 and will host Texas-Permian Basin in a non-conference match on Feb. 17 at the STC.

“Coach Bizot’s tenure here has been marked with great success for both the men’s and women’s tennis programs,” Vann said. “The teams he built and the championships won are all due to his leadership, on and off the court. I’m honored to have worked and learned from Coach Bizot. The experiences we have had over the past several years have prepared me to lead a national level team. We will make him proud by continuing the work ethic and dedication to a high level of tennis here at UT Tyler. He has helped me learn, as a player and a coach, what UT Tyler Athletics represents, and I look forward to carrying on that tradition through this interim period.”