Western Kentucky athletic director Todd Stewart announced Monday the hiring of Chan Metts as the next coach of the WKU golf program.
Metts comes to The Hill following two seasons as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern during which he was heavily involved in tournaments, travel, recruiting, practices, schedules and workouts.
The 34-year-old Dublin, Ga., native takes over for former WKU coach Phillip Hatchett who died in June. Hatchett had led the Hilltopper program since 2010.
"When we initiated our search it was imperative we find someone to carry on the outstanding legacy of Phillip Hatchett," Stewart said in a release. "This required hiring an individual that was an excellent coach and mentor to players as well as having a proven record of professional development on and off the golf course. We have found that person in Chan Metts.
"(Metts) met all of our criteria and his unique and successful experiences within the sport of golf and beyond have positioned him well for this opportunity. I commend associate athletic director Jim Clark, our men's golf sport administrator, for his exemplary efforts in organizing and spearheading a detailed and thorough search. Numerous candidates were vetted, and we felt (Metts) was the perfect individual to lead us moving forward. We are excited about the future of our program under his direction."
Said Metts in a release: "I am extremely excited to join the Western Kentucky University family. I would like to thank Todd Stewart and Jim Clark for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to become the next head golf coach at WKU. Being a head coach has been a goal of mine, and it is truly special to have this opportunity at this point in my career.
"The athletic staff at WKU has been extremely welcoming throughout the entire process, and I look forward to embracing and becoming a part of Hilltopper Nation. Culture is a huge part of every successful athletic program and WKU's athletic department and golf program have that. I look forward to continuing the great tradition and standards that coach Hatchett set in this program. I think a great program is built on recruiting and hard work, and those are two things we will focus on. We will work harder than ever to ensure we make Hilltopper Nation proud on and off the course.
"I would also like to thank Carter Collins for allowing me the opportunity to work under him at Georgia Southern University. I learned so much from him and the great players I was surrounded by in that program. I would also like to thank Tom Kleinlein and Larry Mays at Georgia Southern for allowing me the opportunity to begin my coaching career."
Metts' two seasons on staff at Georgia Southern coincided with a period of tremendous success for the Eagles, a program that has made 13 NCAA Regional appearances since 2001. Georgia Southern competed in the 2017 NCAA Regionals in Metts' first season on staff and twice finished second in the Sun Belt Conference championships in his tenure.
During Metts' two seasons with the program, six Eagles earned all-conference honors, while Steven Fisk and Jake Storey were each named Sun Belt player of the year.
Prior to arriving at Georgia Southern, Metts spent the 2015-16 campaign as a graduate assistant for the men's and women's golf teams at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota.
That followed a seven-year stint working outside of the sport as a juvenile probation officer. While serving in this position, Metts continued to compete as an amateur throughout Georgia. In 2014, he won the Bob White Invitational at the Lavida Country Club in Savannah and took third in the Savannah City Tournament. He qualified for the Georgia State Mid-Am Tournament at the Marietta Country Club in Kennesaw in 2015 where he finished tied for 33rd.
As a collegiate player, Metts walked on the Georgia College and State University men's golf team in 2005 and earned a scholarship in his senior year. As a junior, Metts played in five tournaments, tying for 20th at the conference tournament and seventh at the regional. On the back of his top-10 region finish, Metts nearly led the Bobcats to a national tournament appearance, missing a bid by one stroke.
Metts and his wife, Whitney, have been married for nine years.