For the Tennessee men’s golf team winning the 2007 SEC Men’s Golf Championship was the fruit of several years of hard work. It was made even more special because it was won by a group of athletes who looked at each other a little more like brothers than teammates.
With one senior and three juniors in the regular lineup, the Vols are anchored by a veteran squad that has played more than 100 rounds of golf together. After the time spent together at practice, on the road and around campus, it is no surprise that these teammates work so well together.
Head Coach Jim Kelson attributes this chemistry as a reason for their success.
“As a team they got together and decided to work out five days a week on their own outside of the 20 hour rule,” said Kelson. “They lifted weights five days a week, almost without exception and many times after traveling most of the night to return home from a tournament.
“They have shown a tremendous amount of dedication and discipline. It was just fantastic to see their efforts pay off with a championship.”
Kelson also says that their success comes from the fact that they are some of the best kids that he has been around during his 18 year tenure as a college coach.
“We are very proud and happy for this group because they have been such a pleasure to work with. In my 18 years of coaching this been unquestionably the finest group of young men that I, that all three of us, have had an opportunity to work with,” Kelson said.
When the Volunteers accepted their trophy, there were only five guys who names appeared on the scorecard. But as Coach Kelson and the 10 members of the team know, it took more than that to get them there.
“While our players deserve all the credit for this great win, I must give a special thanks to our coaching staff,” Kelson said. “Bryce Wallor and Randy Wylie have been invaluable to this golf program. Their tireless efforts have made an enormous impact on our players and our program. We simply could not have two finer coaches.”
Along with these coaches who have helped the Volunteers on the links, there are also many who have made an impact off the course as well.
“Dr. Joe Whitney has been instrumental in helping our players mentally,” Kelson said. “Dan Hamilton has done a wonderful job with our strength and conditioning and finally Nancy Cowan has been invaluable in our overall programs administration.”
Winning their first SEC title in 17 years and only third in school history the Vols are humble and want all those who have been a part of their most recent success to know they are appreciative.