Lilly Kimbell, a 2014 graduate who played women’s tennis for the University of Georgia, went unexpectedly on Sunday at the age of 31. Kimbell suffered a heart attack as a result of kidney problems, according to her family’s social media posts. Kimbell was given CPR by her family and emergency personnel, who also transported her to the hospital, but she was left without oxygen for a considerable amount of time. The heartbreaking decision to remove her from life support was then made by the family.
“We were stunned and heartbroken to learn of Lilly passing away,” said Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace. “I will always remember how she helped create a culture of excellence with her attitude and work ethic. Lilly was a fantastic teammate and was always smiling and laughing during practice and matches. She ranks as one of the most successful doubles players in Georgia tennis history. During the spring of her sophomore year, she went undefeated in doubles with Maho (Kowase), and their 22-match winning streak is still a school record. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
Lilly Kimbell Career
Kimbell, a New Braunfels, Texas native who played tennis for the teams from 2011 to 2014, amassed 197 victories overall (109 doubles and 88 singles). Kimbell was a member of the 24-5, SEC Tournament champion team from 2014 as well as the 24-4, SEC Championship-winning team from 2013. Four of the teams she played on progressed to the NCAA Quarterfinals. In 2012 and 2014, Kimbell was selected for the SEC All-Tournament team. Kimbell had a 30-8 singles record as a senior and was named the ITA Regional Most Improved Senior of the Year. Kimbell and Chelsey Gullickson won the 2011 ITA Southeast Regional Doubles Championship as freshmen.
She ranks fourth in career doubles victories with a 109-31 record and seventh in doubles wins in a season with a 32-5 record in 2012. She holds the record for the most consecutive doubles wins in a season with 22 with Kowase in 2012.
While employed by the athletic department, Kimbell completed a master’s degree in sport management in 2016 and a bachelor’s degree in human development and family science in 2014. Kimbell worked as an assistant tennis coach at Eastern Illinois and St. Mary’s in San Antonio after her time with the Bulldogs. She also had positions with the Dallas-area-based Addison Group, Supreme Lending, and Paycom.
Funeral plans are pending.
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