During her triumphant time at the University of Georgia, Lilly Kimbell shone as a tennis star. Unfortunately, she tragically passed away due to an unfortunate kidney ailment that ended in cardiac arrest- too soon at only thirty-one years old. She will be remembered for being an exceptional athlete and role model to aspire towards. Despite the Herculean efforts of her family to save her life – from providing CPR in their own home to hospitalization at an advanced medical center – they were unable to bring back the tennis star, whose brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long and suffered irreversible damage.

On February 6th, Samantha Gillas sadly reported on Facebook the heartbreaking news that Lilly had passed away, “Yesterday heaven gained another angel. My sister Lilly passed away. She had some kidney issues. We don’t know how it happened, but she ended up with a massive heart attack. Her brain was without oxygen for too long, and we had to let her go yesterday.”

Lilly Kimbell’s time at the University of Georgia left a remarkable legacy on tennis. She will remain one of the most celebrated players in the university’s history and an iconic figure in UGA Athletics.

In the wake of Lilly Kimbell’s passing, the University of Georgia Head Coach Jeff Wallace issued a statement reflecting on her immense impact. He praised Kimbell for not only cultivating an impressive work ethic but fostering a culture of excellence within UGA’s tennis team as well. It was obvious to him that she had left an indelible mark in her time there.

“We were stunned and heartbroken to learn of Lilly passing away,” Georgia women’s tennis coach Jeff Wallace stated. “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.”

During her four incredible years at the University of Georgia, Kimbell earned an extraordinary 197 wins; 109 in doubles play and 88 in singles. She even took part in the Bulldogs’ 2014 SEC championship victory! On top of this, she advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals a remarkable four times – no small feat by any means.

In the inaugural season of their college tennis career, Kimbell and Chelsey Gullickson astounded onlookers as they valiantly fought to clinch the 2011 ITA Southeast Regional Doubles Championship.

In 2012, Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase astonishingly set a record for the most back-to-back doubles wins on the court with an admirable total of twenty-two victories! This streak of triumphs is truly quite a feat.

Not only was Lilly Kimbell a star athlete, but she also excelled in the classroom. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Georgia with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and two years later earned her Master’s degree in Sport Management. After taking time off to further hone her skills on the court at Eastern Illinois and St. Mary’s, Kimbell is now back as an assistant coach for both schools.