CCU taps Oklahoma coach to lead men’s golf program

Jim Garren, who helped Oklahoma to three straight NCAA Championship appearances and the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf title, was named head men’s golf coach at Coastal Carolina University, Chanticleer Director of Athletics Matt Hogue announced today.

Garren spent the past three seasons as the assistant coach for the Oklahoma Sooners men’s golf program and brings a total of nine years of collegiate coaching experience to Coastal Carolina.

“It is truly an honor to join the Coastal Carolina golf family,” Garren said. “I use the word family because that is how I want our program viewed as we are all a big family trying to accomplish our goals. … The people involved within the program, the athletic department, the women’s team coaching staff and local golf community, is what made me realize this is the place where I want to be.  If you have the support, along with the people and personal relationships, then you’re going to have a successful program. I can’t wait to get started. We are going to work hard, fear no one and build this back into the type of program it should be, a championship caliber program.”

In his first season at OU, Garren helped lead the Sooners to a 20-stroke victory at the NCAA San Diego Regional and the team went on to place 28th at the NCAA Championship. Garren then helped the Sooners take a step forward the following year (2016) as Oklahoma advanced to the match play round at the NCAA finals for the first time in program history and reached the quarterfinals. The Sooners not only made it back to match play in 2017 but advanced to become national champions with a 3-1-1 victory over Oregon in the final match.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Garren into the Chanticleer family,” Hogue said. “Our expectations are to return our men’s golf program to the prominence and tradition we have enjoyed in the past. Jim is well-suited and prepared to take us in that direction.”

Garren also helped several Sooners earn postseason honors. In his first season, a pair of Sooners (Michael Gellerman and Grant Hirschman) received All-America recognition, being named third team and honorable mention, respectively. The following year, Max McGreevy was tabbed third team All-America. In his final season at OU, four Sooners – McGreevy, Hirschman, Brad Dalke and Blaine Hale – earned honorable mention All-America accolades.

Garren came to OU after a one-year stint as the assistant coach at the University of New Mexico. In that one year, Garren helped New Mexico to four tournament wins, including a Mountain West championship and an NCAA Regional appearance. New Mexico’s Gavin Green was named a second team All-American while being the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and individual champion.

Prior to his time at New Mexico, Garren spent five seasons as assistant men’s golf coach and director of recruiting at Southern Mississippi. Over his tenure, the Golden Eagles established five team records and produced four Academic All-America Scholars after having just two prior to Garren’s arrival. The program also shaped two Academic All-Conference selections, one first-team All-Conference USA selection (Paul Apyan in 2010) and one second-team All-CUSA selection in Derek Plucienksi (2011).

Garren began his collegiate golfing career as a member of the Wallace State Junior College team in 2003. While at Wallace State, he helped lead the team to a No. 3 ranking in NJCAA Division I. Garren then transferred to Kennesaw State, where he earned his degree in sports management in 2008.

The Cartersville, Ga., native was a three-time Georgia High School State Champion at Cartersville High School. He was a two-time qualifier for the Atlanta Open and also earned alternate status through qualifying for the 2005 U.S. Open.

The Garren File

Hometown: Cartersville, Ga.

College: Kennesaw State, 2008

Coaching History

2008-13 – Southern Mississippi assistant coach

·   2010 NCAA Regional berth

·   2011 Individual reached NCAA Championship

2013-14 – New Mexico assistant coach

·   2014 NCAA Regional berth

2014-17 – Oklahoma assistant coach

·   2015 NCAA Championship (28th) – NCAA Regional Champion

·   2016 NCAA Championship (match play quarterfinals)

·   2017 NCAA Champion

2017-pres. – Coastal Carolina head coach

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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