John Utley Named Head Golf Coach for the Cougars
COLUMBIA - John Utley has been hired as the head men's and women's golf coach at Columbia College. This comes after the announcement in late August that Columbia College would be adding both men's and women's golf teams, women's soccer and men's and women's cross country. The Cougar golf teams will begin competing next school year.
"I would like to thank Bob Burchard and the Columbia College Athletic Department Staff for allowing me this opportunity," Utley said. "I also want to thank all of those who have supported and encouraged me through the process. I am honored to now be a Columbia College Cougar!"
Prior to joining the Cougars, Utley was a volunteer assistant men's golf coach at the University of Missouri - Columbia since 2009 where he worked hands-on with players during practice and competition. John is also the director of instruction at The Club at Old Hawthorne here in Columbia. He works with golfers of all levels in private instruction, group clinics, corporate outings and multi-day camps.
"We are very excited to have John Utley join our coaching staff," said Columbia Athletic Director Bob Burchard. "John is a well-known and respected teacher of the game, has playing experience at the highest levels of golf, is a person of outstanding character, and has collegiate coaching experience. I know John is extremely enthusiastic about challenge and opportunity to build a competitive collegiate men's and women's golf program for Columbia College."
Because the program doesn't start until next year, Utley will handle start-up issues of the program, such as scheduling and recruiting, in the meantime. The team will begin competing in 2012-13 as a member of the American Midwest Conference and NAIA Division I.
John is a 1990 graduate of the University of Missouri. While attending, John was a four-year lettermen with the men's golf program, earning Honorable Mention All-American accolades as a senior. Following graduation John competed as a professional golfer, including competing in the Nationwide Tour in 1992.
Utley, a native of West Plains, Mo., Utley was a member of the MSHSAA State Golf Championship Class 3A Team in 1986 as well as a Medalist Champion.
"This is an exciting time for Cougar Athletics. I too am very excited about being a part of these new beginnings with chance and challenges of building teams from the ground up. Very seldom does a coach get to start from a clean slate like this. I believe that through my golf experiences and contacts, I will be able to bring in the quality of student athletes that Columbia College and the athletic program will be proud to have as members of its institution."