Eric LaRue will be entering his fourth season with the Hanover men's and women's tennis programs in 2020-21 after he was added to the athletic department staff in the summer of 2017.
“I want to thank Lynn Hall and the rest of the administrative staff at Hanover for the opportunity to be the head tennis coach at the College,” stated LaRue. “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to build on the success Coach [Ryan] Miller and Coach [Devon] Sharpe have built.”
LaRue's first season at Hanover was highlighted by the women's program returning to the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the fourth time in the past five seasons. The Panthers also defeated Webster (Mo.) in the opening round, earning the program its first national tournament victory. The women, who tied a school record for wins in a season, 16, also won their fifth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title and carry a 39-match HCAC regular season winning streak into the fall of 2018.
He carried the success into the 2018-19 season, where they pushed the HCAC regular season winning streak to 47-matches, while earning the program its fifth NCAA Division III National Tournament birth in the past six seasons. He also guided the program to its sixth straight HCAC Tournament Championship and second HCAC Regular Season Title under his tenure. The back-to-back HCAC Coach of the Year also landed eight All-Conference selections including two time Most Valuable Player Cami Jones. He currently holds a career 37-15 record with the Panthers, posting a 23-1 record in Conference play.
The 2019-20 campaign was highlighted with a return trip to the HCAC Tournament. Under LaRue, Hanover posted an 8-4 overall record with a 7-1 conference mark. He saw five Panthers garner All-Conference accolades, highlighted by First Team honors from Cami Jones, Meghan Farrell, and Mia Katzenberger.
On the men's side, LaRue's guidance during the 2018-19 season led the prgoram to its best Conference record (6-1) dating back to the 2007 season. He guided the Panthers to a 10-7 overall record and the teams fourth consecutive HCAC Tournament appearance. Hanover finished the year with eight All-Conference selections.
In 2017-18, he led the program to an HCAC Tournament semifinal appearance. The Blue and Red went 12-11 overall, including a 5-2 mark in conference action. Highlighting the main spring season was an eight-match winning streak, which was snapped in the conference tournament semifinals. During the winning streak, Hanover conceded three or fewer team points in every match, including a pair of shutouts.
LaRue comes to Hanover after spending the last five seasons as the head men’s and women’s coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University. In his five years with the Bulldogs, LaRue compiled a 70-26 overall record with the men and a 51-41 mark with the women’s team. The TWU men also won the 2015 Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season title and made it to each of the last four AAC tournament championships, compiling a five-year record of 27-4 in league play.
On the women’s side, the Bulldogs went 12-4 in 2014, setting a new school record, as the team has also made it to four straight AAC tournaments, including a runner-up finish in 2017. Tennessee Wesleyan women went 22-13 in conference action during LaRue’s tenure.
Overall, LaRue produced five National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-Americans, seven Daktronics NAIA Academic All-Americans, 25 all-conference and 35 academic all-conference selections between the two teams. LaRue also coached three men’s and two women’s AAC Players of the Year, while adding two AAC Coach of the Year accolades.
Prior to his time at TWU, LaRue spent one season as an assistant coach with NCAA Division I institution, Austin Peay (Tenn.) and three years as the head women’s tennis coach at NCAA Division II, Kentucky Wesleyan.
LaRue currently resides in Hanover, Ind., and has a 12-year old daughter, Natalie.