Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein announced today that the school will add women’s golf as its 17th intercollegiate program, beginning in the 2015-16 season.
The program will have six full scholarships, which is the full complement allowed by the NCAA, and the new women’s golf team will compete as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
“Women’s golf will give Georgia Southern another opportunity to attract quality student-athletes from our region as well as around the globe and across the country, and we believe we have the resources to become competitive in the Sun Belt in a short period of time,” said Kleinlein. “The strength of our men’s golf program, the Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center, our continued relationship with Forest Heights Country Club and Georgia Southern’s University Park Golf Course, which will be completed this fall, all factored into our decision to add women’s golf.”
Kleinlein also announced that the current men’s golf coach, Larry Mays, will be promoted to Director of Golf/Head Men’s Golf Coach and oversee both programs, while current men’s assistant coach Carter Collins will be promoted to associate head coach of the men’s team. Georgia Southern will hire an associate head coach for the women’s team in the spring of 2014, using a national search. An assistant coach position, which will aid both teams, will be created, as well.
“Georgia has great junior golf on both the girls’ and boys’ side,” added Mays. “We feel that with our prominent university, excellent facilities and great golfing weather, we have the recipe to be successful on the women’s side as we have been with the men’s program.”
Plans are already in place to modify the Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center to accommodate the new women’s golf team.
“We had the foresight when we planned the construction of the Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center to build it so it could be modified to provide first-class accommodations for both a men’s and women’s program,” said Mays.
A total of 262 NCAA schools sponsored women’s golf at the Division I level, including six in the state of Georgia and 11 in the Sun Belt Conference, in 2012-13.