Meridian Community College alumnus Timothy Carter is looking forward to a new chapter in his life: the school’s new head tennis coach.
"I could not be more excited to return to Meridian Community College as their new men's and women's head tennis coach. To be the head coach at the most decorated community college tennis program in the state is a huge honor," Carter said. "I would like to thank MCC Athletic Director Sander Atkinson, the interview committee and MCC President Dr. Tom Huebner for their trust in me leading the programs."
Said Atkinson, "I am excited to have TJ take over our tennis program. He was an outstanding player during his time here and has become a terrific young coach. I fully expect that he will continue the program's tradition of excellence both on the court and in the classroom."
Carter comes to Meridian after serving as an assistant tennis coach at Jones College for one season. Before joining the Bobcats’ staff, he was an assistant at Hinds Community College for three seasons, where he won the 2019 ITA Region III Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
"I owe so much thanks to Jacki Millet, Brooks Buffington, and so many others in the administration of Hinds Community College and Jones College,” Carter said.
A native of Flowood, Carter played high school tennis at University Christian School (now Hartfield Academy). While there, he was a three-time district champion, south state champion and state champion, and he was selected to the Mississippi High School Activities Association All-State and All-Star teams.
After high school, Carter joined the MCC tennis team under the direction of hall of fame coach Wanda McPhail. As an Eagle, Carter was a member of back-to-back Region 23 championship runner-up teams and earned two national tournament bids.
"I owe so much to Coach McPhail as well,” Carter said. “What she instilled in me on and off the tennis court during my time at MCC is a major reason I'm in this position. Those lessons are what I will bring to all my players, not only helping them grow as tennis players but also leaders who can immediately impact their communities and careers."
After leaving MCC, Carter earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology in 2016 from Mississippi State. Two years later, he received his master’s degree in sport management from Southern Mississippi.
Carter takes over the program for another former Eagle, Simon Bardel, who led the Eagles for two seasons but moved to another state to be near family.
"I was sad that Simon had to step down, but I am excited to work with the teams this fall," Carter said. "Even with the shortened tennis season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a lot of talent returning, and he signed some impressive players that will make an impact for us right away."