Kenny Thorne

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Kenny Thorne during his tennis career

Kenny Thorne (born January 24, 1966, in Honolulu, Hawaii), was an American tennis player. He is considered one of the most successful tennis players to come from the state of Georgia. Thorne currently resides in Gainseville, Georgia where he acts as the director of Georgia Tech's Mens Tennis Team. [1]

Contents

Biography

Kenny Thorne was born on January 24, 1966 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Even though tennis is his career, he did not spend his childhood playing the sport. He and his family lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas. There he used to waterski two or three times every day; even in the winter Thorne could be seen in a wetsuit waterskiing. He participated in the waterskiing activities of trick, slalom and jump.[2]

Thorne attended Georgia Institute of Technology and received an Industrial Engineering Degree in 1989. Throughout his tennis career he has won seven professional tennis titles and achieved a career high doubles ranking (No. 67). His achievements also include defeating three of world's top ten tennis players in the 1990's.

Kenny Thorne later settled down in Gainesville, Georiga with his family. He is happily married to Bridget Koster who is a former Yellow Jacket Cross Country Star and Hall of Fame Inductee. The couple has two daughters, Rachel and Kenedy, and two sons, Zachary and Daniel.

Tennis career

Before he began coaching at Georgia Tech, Kenny Thorne was widely regarded as one of the best tennis players from Georgia. At Tech, Kenny Thorne finished as a four time Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) honoree. His real expertise was in doubles matches. Throne and his partner Bryan Shelton made their way to the 1988 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) doubles tournament. With Thorne on the Georgia Tech's tennis team, the team had a 70-38 dual match record and 20-7 ACC mark. Highlights of that year included wins over rivals Georgia and Clemson. He is a leader in singles matches with 112.

Thorne decided to enter into the professional league in 1989, where he spent eight years competing at the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour.

In September of 2006, Kenny Thorne was inducted into the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame. The reward was not only a recognition for himself but for the people he cares about. When receiving the reward Thorne said, "It [The Hall of Fame Award] gave me the opportunity to recognize the people around me like my family, my wife and kids."

Record and statistics

  • Played Professional: 1989-1997
  • Career Record- 85-57 .599 (Over 6 years)

Awards

  • 1988 All American and International Christian Tennis Association (ITCA) Region II Senior Player of the Year[3]
  • Highest World Singles Ranking- 121[3]
  • Highest World Doubles Ranking- 67[3]
  • One Career Challenger Singles Title, Four Career Challenger TItles, Two Career Challenger Doubles Titles[3]
  • Four Time All-ACC- 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988[3]
  • Georgia Tech Hall of Fame[3]
  • 2 Time ACC Academic Honor[3]
  • Six-time Wimbledon, U.S. Open, French Open and Australian Open Participant[3]

Notable matches

Although Thorne excelled at doubles, the highlights of his tennis career include defeating three the worlds top ten in the 1990's:

  • Richard Krajicek[4]- Richard and Kenny had a tennis match in Tokyo in a series of two matches. Kenny won them both 6-3 and 7-6.
  • Wayne Ferreira[5]- In a slightly lopsided match, Kenny Thorne bested Wayne in two matches in Key Biscayne. Both of them ended with the same score 6-1, in favor of Thorne.
  • Todd Martin[6]- In the first game at Bermuda, Kenny gave Todd Martin a true showcase of his skills as he jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first match.

Coaching years

Head coach of Georgia Tech men's tennis team

Thorne was the assistant tennis coach for Georgia Tech from September 1997 through May 1998. He was promoted to head tennis coach for Georgia Tech June 1998 and is currently holding that position.

Kenny Thorne became the first Director of Tennis for Georgia Tech in June 30, 1998 and is the ninth head coach for the men's tennis team in Georgia Tech history. Before obtaining the position as head coach, Thorne spent a year as the assistant head coach which allowed him to study the players in preparation for his new position as head coach. Kenny Thorne believed that Georgia Tech's tennis team could be a great contender, and he set his goals for his tennis team to achieve greatness. During his first year as coach, he began to build up the tennis team to what it was while he was a player. In their first year, Thorne's men tennis team tied for second place in their regular season conference. The team secured an NCAA Regional berth, and they also received a good ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. For this accomplishment, Thorne was named ACC Coach of the Year.

Kenny Thorne also helped individual players reach success. He taught the team better ways to move on the court. During his second year of coaching, Thorne had a athlete named Roger Anderson. Under Coach Thornes guidance, Anderson won the Rookie of the Year award. The Yellow Jacket team obtained a singles record of 24-8 that season, along with a 15-5 record in dual matches.

In the 2000-01 the Yellow Jacket tennis team had a breakout season. Thorne's team obtained a rank of 12 in early April and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament, where they advanced to the second round. This was the team's highest ranking since Thorne himself had been an active player in 1988. Roger Anderson received the All-ACC honors that season. To complete the season, three of the players on his team won ACC Flight Championships in both singles of doubles.

In 2002, Tech reached the finals of the ACC Championship by defeating eight ranked teams. Roger Anderson earned All-ACC honors again and made his first showing in the NCAA Individual Championship. He was the first player from Tech to do so since 1999. The team as a whole had a 15-11 record, and they reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. At the tournament the Yellow Jackets beat Duke , 4-0 , ending the Blue Devils' four year reign as ACC Champions.

During the 2004 season, Kenny Thorne's tennis team once again made it to the NCAA Tournament where they had an individual compete in the singles competition. Thorne's tennis team had a 5-0 record early on in the Tournament. The Yellow Jackets then suffered three losses against ranked opponents. They began to recover and won five straight matches. The team's highlights included a win over Florida State and a comeback win at South Carolina.

Georgia Tech's tennis team continued its success through the 2005 and 2006 seasons. For the first time since 1994, Georgia Tech Mens Tennis had a doubles team compete in the NCAA Tournament. The team received an invitation from the NCAA Tournament to compete. They lost their first round to Vanderbilt with the score of 4-3. By 2006, Thorne had lead the team to its sixth winning season with a record of 12-10.

The Tech Mens Tennis team faced some troubles during their eight season with Thorne, but eventually they secured their spot in the NCAA Tournament. They defeated Clemson who was No.20 and Florida state who was ranked first. Despite these wins, Georgia tech finished with just a 4-7 conference record. Thorne also helped David North to his first NCAA Singles Competition.

In 2008, Thorne coached the team to a 13-12 record, while having only one upperclassman in the lineup. He also guided ACC Rookie of the Year and All-ACC Honoree Guillermo Gomez to an excellent singles record (27-12) and a NCAA Singles Championship berth.

The team continues its excellence even now. The 2010 team reached the second round of the NCAA tournament and ranked fourth in the ACC.[7]

Awards and accomplishments

  • 1999 ACC Coach of the Year
  • Nine NCAA Tournament Berths
  • Twelve Years Experience

Sources

The Official Home of Georgia Tech Athletics; Men's Tennis; Kenny Thorne; http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-tennis/mtt/thorne_kenny00.html

The Technique Volume 92, Issue 9; Tennis Ace in Hall of Fame; Kenny Thorne

Atlanta Journal Constitution;June 3, 2010; Georgia Tech Sports; Tech's Kenny Thorne grew up on water

References

  1. Kenny Thorne(1 October 2010). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved September 29, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Thorne
  2. Hiskey, Michelle. "Tech's Kenny Thorne grew up on water." Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2010): n. pag. Web. 3 Oct 2010. <http://www.ajc.com/sports/georgia-tech/techs-kenny-thorne-grew-537956.html>.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 "Tennis Staff." College Tennis Online. Interactive Sports Media, 01 Jan 2010. Web. 1 Oct 2010. <http://www.collegetennisonline.com/GeorgiaTech-M-Tennis/TennisStaffDetail.aspx?tmstId=291>.
  4. "Richard Krajicek vs Kenny Thorne." Tennis Live. Tennis Live, 01 Mar 2004. Web. 3 Oct 2010. <http://www.tennislive.net/atp/match/kenny-thorne-VS-richard-krajicek/tokyo-1992_1/>.
  5. "Wayne Ferreira vs Kenny Thorne." Tennis Live. Tennis Live, 01 Mar 2004. Web. 3 Oct 2010. <http://www.tennislive.net/atp/match/kenny-thorne-VS-wayne-ferreira/key-biscayne-1993/>.
  6. "Todd Martin vs Kenny Thorne." Tennis Live. Tennis Live, 01 Mar 2004. Web. 2 Oct 2010. <http://www.tennislive.net/atp/match/todd-martin-VS-kenny-thorne/bermuda-1995/>.
  7. "Kenny Thorne." Georgia Tech Official Athletics. CBS Interactive, 01 Jan 2010.Web. 1 Oct 2010.<http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/mtennis/mtt/thorne_kenny00.html>.
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