Friday, June 9, 2023

Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes: Jackson’s Billy Chadwick


William Lyon “Billy” Chadwick, a native of Jackson, played on nationally ranked tennis teams at Belhaven and then coached nationally ranked teams at Ole Miss. The best way to sum up Chadwick’s coaching success at Ole Miss: His tennis coaching record rivals Hall of Famer John Vaught’s football record. Chadwick’s teams finished in the nation’s top 10 in 15 of his last 21 seasons before he retired at the end of the 2014 season.

Billy Chadwick Photo courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
Billy Chadwick
Photo courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

His teams won 10 SEC Western Division titles, five overall SEC titles. Individually, Chadwick has coached three NCAA Champions, six SEC Champions, 28 All-Americans, 72 All-SEC selections and 76 NCAA individual qualifiers. Seven of his players were ranked No. 1 in the nation. His players earned numerous ITA national and regional awards, including Mississippi native Dave Randall’s winning the Rafael Osuna National Sportsmanship Award in 1989.

Chadwick was named USPTA National College Coach of the Year in 2009 and was SEC Coach of the Year three times. There are many Hall of Fame connections for Chadwick: His first lessons were from Hall of Famer Dorothy Vest. He played collegiately at Belhaven for Hall of Famer Charles Rugg. He was hired at Ole Miss by Hall of Famer Warner Alford.


Courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum director Rick Cleveland, author of Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes. Cleveland can be reached at