Chuck Merzbacher returned to Minnesota, his alma mater, in August 2012 to helm the women's tennis program and continue the tradition of the Maroon and Gold.
In his first season with the Golden Gophers, Merzbacher led the team to a 10-15 overall record on the court. Earning the No. 10 seed, the squad participated in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament and defeated Penn State (4-1) in the opening round before falling to Nebraska in the quarterfinals. Merzbacher coached junior Natallia Pintusava to receive Second Team All-Big Ten honors. Pintusava was one of the Gophers' top players during the 2012-13 season, competing at the No. 1 spots in both singles and doubles. Rounding out the year, she garnered a 14-22 overall record with a 5-6 mark in league play.
"We are certainly excited to welcome back Chuck Merzbacher to the Golden Gopher family," said Teague. "Not only will he come to Minneapolis with a working knowledge of the program, having competed against Minnesota for many years, but also the understanding of what it means to be a Gopher. His resume speaks for itself and I am confident that he will continue to build the Gopher Tennis brand."
Merzbacher joined the staff after spending the last 16 years at fellow Big Ten member Ohio State. During his tenure with the Buckeyes, Merzbacher coached his squads to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and a total of 209 victories, becoming the winningest coach in program history and leading Ohio State women's tennis to national prominence.
The Findlay, Ohio native graduated from the University of Minnesota as the all-time career wins leader with 137, a record that still stands today. He also holds the No. 3 and No. 11 spots for victories in a single season. Merzbacher finished his Gopher career as a three-time All-Big Ten selection and two-time NCAA national qualifier. As a freshman in 1984, he established his collegiate credibility with a Big Ten Conference No. 4 singles title. During his Gopher career, Minnesota won Big Ten titles in 1984 and 1986 and amassed a record of 42-7 in conference play.
After a brief stint as Minnesota's assistant coach in 1987, Merzbacher tried his hand on the professional circuit. He was ranked as high as No. 354 in singles and No. 335 in doubles, making international showings in both the Australian Open and the Wimbledon qualifier in 1989.
Merzbacher launched his head coaching career with the men's program at Northern Illinois University, staying for three seasons and earning back-to-back Mid-Continent Coach of the Year honors. He then moved to coach the women's side at the University of Kansas from 1992 to 1996, gathering four consecutive Big Eight Conference championships, two Big Eight Coach of the Year titles (1993, 1994), one Central Region Coach of the Year award (1994), and an impressive 39-1 conference record (983-29 overall) with the Jayhawks.
Merzbacher earned the head coaching assignment at Ohio State in 1996 and began building the program to its success both on and off the court.
With more than 21 years of coaching experience under his belt, Merzbacher has totaled 342 career wins and coached six individual All-Americans. Collectively, his teams have claimed seven conference titles and have made 12 postseason appearances.
Merzbacher and his wife, Cherie, are the parents of Chad and Caitlyn.