ON COURSE

Men’s golf team posts a new name on the leader board

By DANIEL HOOKER ’01

The Catamount men’s golf team is prowling the fairways and greens under the watchful eye of a new head coach this year as Bryant Odom, a former All-American and All-Southeastern Conference golfer at the University of Georgia, joined the Western Carolina coaching ranks in late July. Odom, just the fourth head men’s golf coach at WCU since 1991, had spent the previous two years as assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin.

Bryant-Odom

Bryant Odom (left) helps golfer Jack Walsh line up a putt.

“Bryant knows what it takes to compete at the highest levels of golf, both as a former player and coach in the SEC, as well as from his career as a professional,” said Gorham Bradley ’04, associate athletic director. “He will be an outstanding leader for the student-athletes in our golf program.”

At Wisconsin, Odom helped head coach Michael Burcin rebuild the men’s program. From 2011 through 2013, UW recorded nine top-10 team finishes. Off the field, the Badgers men’s golf team posted the Wisconsin athletic department’s highest grade-point average in 2013 and earned the 2012 Male Team Community Service Award.

Prior to making the move to Wisconsin, Odom spent two years as the graduate assistant at Georgia during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He helped guide the Bulldogs to the 2010 SEC team championship and a runner-up finish in the NCAA post-season. Odom was a four-year letter-winner for the Bulldogs from 1998-2002, earning All-America honors in 2001 and All-SEC selections in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Following his graduation, Odom played professionally from 2002 through 2005, and again in 2008.

Western Carolina returns seven members from last year’s squad, including the seasonal scoring leader, J.T. Poston. A junior, Poston claimed two consecutive individual championships in play this fall – the Cardinal Intercollegiate, hosted by the University of Louisville, and the season-opening Golfweek Program Challenge at Myrtle Beach, S.C.