DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia College
& State University President Dr. David Potter and Athletic
Director Randy Dunn have announced the addition of men’s and
women’s golf as NCAA Division II sports to the athletic
department starting in the fall of 2009, and have named Tom Fowler
as head coach for the programs.
“We are pleased to initiate these programs at North Georgia,” President Dr. David Potter said. “This should enable us to recruit strong scholar-athletes to the University, and it will provide greater visibility to our institution throughout the region and the state.”
North Georgia has also partnered with Achasta Golf Course to be the new home for the Saints starting this fall. The Jack Nicklaus Signature course is located just minutes from campus in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains along the Chestatee River.
“We are thrilled that North Georgia is going to become a part of the rich history of Division II golf in the Peach Belt Conference," PBC Commissioner David Brunk said. “The addition of the men’s team will enrich the championship experience for all of our players and elevate the stature of the PBC Championship.”
The men’s and women’s teams will be under the direction of head golf professional at Achasta, and now North Georgia Head Golf Coach Tom Fowler. A native of Jasper, Georgia, Fowler has been a PGA professional since 1994 and has served in all facets of the business.
“I am proud and excited to have been asked to coach for North Georgia,” said Fowler. “I am looking forward to coaching a world class team that will proudly serve as ambassadors for the University, Dahlonega, and the game of golf.”
Fowler was named Assistant of the Year for the Georgia Section of the PGA of America and also served as the section’s assistants division as president and tournament director. His Oconee Course golf shop was among the Top 100 Resort Golf Shops in Golf Digest in 2004. Fowler and his wife Dana have been married for 13 years and have one daughter, Hannah.
“We are delighted to establish a partnership with Achasta to make this program a reality,” Potter said. “We are grateful to have this exceptional Jack Nicklaus layout as the host course for our teams, and to have the service of Tom Fowler as our coach.”
With Fowler serving as head coach, Mr. Tommy Aaron, 1973 Masters Champion and PGA tour legend, has agreed to serve as honorary coach. Aaron, a native of Gainesville, Georgia, captured back-to-back SEC individual golf titles for the University of Florida in 1957 and 1958, and played on the PGA Tour from 1961 to 1979.
“The addition of men’s and women’s golf will be a win-win situation for the entire North Georgia family, the Achasta community, and our future student-athletes,” Athletic Director Randy Dunn said. “We are so proud to introduce Tom Fowler as our head coach, and extremely honored to have Mr. Tommy Aaron serve as honorary coach.”
In December, the Peach Belt Conference announced the league had voted to add women’s golf as a championship sport beginning in the fall of 2009, with the first championship tournament to be played in April of 2010.
“Providing championship opportunities to our student-athletes is one of the cornerstones of our conference,” said Brunk from the league office in Augusta. “We have been actively trying to add more championship sports and are thrilled that women’s golf will be a part of the Peach Belt. Men’s golf has been a very successful sport for us and the southeast has the best collegiate golf in the country, at all levels, and the addition of the women’s championship is a natural fit for us.”
NGCSU athletic director Randy Dunn (L), President David Potter (C) and new head coach
Tom Flowler (R) introduced the new North Georgia men's and women's golf programs on Monday.
From left, NGCSU Athletic Director Randy Dunn, Honorary Coach Tommy Aaron,
Head Coach Tom Fowler, and President Dr. David Potter