Charles Lai returned to his alma mater as the head women's tennis coach, after producing one of the most successful tennis careers in UMass Boston history. He took over the UMass Boston women’s and men’s tennis programs in February 2019, after serving as an interim coach late in the fall season of 2018.
Prior to taking over as the head coach of the Beacons, Lai worked as an assistant coach for both programs during the 2015-16 season and the fall of the 2016-17 season. During the 2016 season, Lai helped guide the women's tennis team to a share of the program record for wins in a single-season (eight). The Beacons also made the Little East Conference Tournament in back-to-back season for the first time since 2007-08 while Lai was working with the team.
Lai also worked with UMass Boston student-athletes as an Athletic Academic Assistant Advisor, working to help student-athletes on a one-on-one basis.
As a player, the Boston, Mass. native set new career program records with 97 total wins, 50 doubles victories and 143 total matches played. Over the course of his four seasons, Lai earned First Team All-Conference honors on six occasions and was named All-Conference in singles and doubles in every season he played. Lai captained the Beacons for his final three seasons and led UMass Boston to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013.
In addition to his accolades on the court, Lai also served as the UMass Boston Student Athlete Advisory Committe (SAAC) President during his senior year. He also founded the Athletes Intervarsity group at UMass Boston, that worked to provide a community for student-athletes that were interested in exploring their faith.
During his summers, Lai worked as an Assistant Tennis Director with the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead (2014) and the Wayland Swim & Tennis Club (2015).
Lai graduated from UMass Boston in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Communication.