Caroline Wheelen (Hora) returned to south Florida in July of 2016 as Florida Atlantic University’s assistant women’s tennis coach joining her sister Marcy Hora-Cava, FAU’s head women’s tennis coach. Wheelen brings nearly 20 years of professional tennis instruction to the Owls and was FAU’s head women’s coach when the Owls were still playing on campus. FAU moved to Patch Reef Park in 2005 and will return to on-campus play this fall when the new on-campus courts open in October.
Most recently, Wheelen instructed dozens of private clients that included women’s interclub teams, juniors and private players of all levels including wheelchair tennis clients in Glendale, Arizona. She moved into that position after her work as a tennis professional at Arrowhead Country Club in Glendale, a position she served from 2008-2013. At Arrowhead, Wheelen was responsible for league organization, team practices, social and charity events. She coached at all levels, including ladies interclub teams, competitive juniors, adult tournament players and beginners and tots.
Wheelen’s 12-year career in Arizona was preceded by a three-year position as Florida Atlantic’s head women’s tennis coach from 2000-03. At the helm of the Owls, the squad was ranked in the country’s top 70 each season and she was named the 2003 Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year. That same season Wheelen guided the program to its first NCAA postseason appearance after collecting the program’s first conference title. She concluded her three-year career as a collegiate coach at FAU with a 46-24 record, a .657 win percentage.
Prior to FAU, Wheelen worked one year at the Boca Raton Resort & Club as a tennis professional. The previous summer she worked as the assistant director of tennis at the Meadow Club of Southampton, in Southampton, New York. She moved to New York leaving a tennis professional position at Broken Sound Tennis Club in Boca Raton. The previous summer, Wheelen was the tennis club manager and professional at an exclusive private tennis club in Vienna, Austria.
Prior to embarking on her professional coaching and instruction career, Wheelen played on the WTA Tour in Europe and Asia, held a top three rank as a junior in Florida and a top 20 US rank.
Wheelen played her college career at the University of Miami from 1993-98 while majoring in pre-med biology and earning a sports management and business administration degree. While at UM, the south Florida native held the team’s No. 1 position as a rookie and led the Canes to a top 30 ranking. She was the Big East Conference rookie of the Year as well as a Big East Player of the Year.
She has volunteered with Girl Scouts, Make-A-Wish and with cystic fibrosis. She is fluent in English and Czech and is competent in both German and Spanish.