BOSTON, Mass. – Vice Chancellor of Athletics and Recreation Charlie Titus has named Charles Lai the men's and women's tennis head coach effectively immediately.
Lai, who is a 2015 graduate of UMass Boston, replaces longtime head coach Eric Berg, who resigned in the fall. Lai, a former Beacons assistant, will serve as the primary recruiter for both programs. A member of the 2013 Little East Conference championship men's tennis team, Lai will look to steer both programs towards consistent success in the years to come.
"I can not thank Charles enough for coming back to UMass Boston to help both tennis programs. Charles was an exemplary student-athlete and I know he will continue that tradition throughout his time as our interim head coach," added Titus.
Lai is the all-time leader in men's tennis program history in career matches won (97), doubles victories (50) and total matches played (143). He earned All-Conference honors in singles and doubles all four seasons and was named to the LEC First Team on five occasions. During his playing career, UMass Boston won their first LEC Regular Season Title and Tournament Title in over 20 years and made the LEC Tournament all four seasons.
He served as a captain in each of his final three years and also was the UMass Boston Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President as a senior. At the end of his senior season, Lai received the William Puerto Award, which is presented to the student-athlete who displays an exemplary level of sportsmanship, ability and overall contribution to the department and athletic program at UMass Boston.
"I want to thank Vice Chancellor Titus for this tremendous opportunity. I enjoyed being a student-athlete at UMass Boston, and I cannot be more excited to come back and coach both programs," said Lai.
After graduating from UMass Boston with bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Communications, Lai continued to stay active in the UMass Boston Athletics community.
He served as an assistant coach for the women's and men's tennis teams during the 2015-16 academic year. He also worked alongside Assistant Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Support Service Marybeth Maneen to help UMass Boston student-athletes academically. Lai was responsible for working with student-athletes from seven teams to provide academic and advising support.
Since leaving UMass Boston in 2017, Lai has worked as a Student Success Coach at Benjamin Franklin institute of Technology in the South End. He has served as an academic advisor for almost 100 students, while coming up with new curriculum and plans to help incoming students.