Missouri officially named Chris Wootton the school’s tennis coach Monday after he served as the interim coach for the 2020-21 season.

Wootton led Missouri to a 15-16 overall record last season with the program’s first Southeastern Conference win since April 16, 2017. Missouri beat then-No. 25 Mississippi State on Feb. 20 in Columbia and finished the year with a 1-12 SEC record.

Missouri also had its first regional champion under Wootton last season. Junior Bronte Murgett won the ITA Central Regional in October to earn the third individual invite to the NCAA Tournament in program history.

“Chris Wootton did an excellent job of managing our women’s tennis program through many challenges during the 2020-21 academic year, the biggest of which was COVID-19, and his student-athletes came together to produce one of the winningest seasons in program history,” Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said in a news release.

Wootton became the interim coach after Colt Gaston resigned April 13, 2020. Gaston and his predecessor, Sasha Schmid, were found to have forced players to play through injuries and ignored NCAA rules in previous Missourian reporting.

Wootton joined the Missouri staff as an assistant in 2019-20 after being an assistant at USC.

  • Assistant Sports Editor, spring 2020. Studying Print and Digital Journalism. Reach me at awkimball@missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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