Georgia Northwestern Hires College’s First Varsity Golf Coach

Monday, July 15, 2013 - by Don Foley
Jared Willerson
Jared Willerson

A GHSA Golf Coach of the Year winner in Georgia’s prep ranks has accepted the position at Georgia Northwestern as the college’s first-ever head coach for NJCAA Intercollegiate Golf.

After leading Chickamauga, Georgia’s Gordon Lee High School to a third-place state finish this past spring, Jared Willerson has made the decision to make the jump to college for the 2013-14 season. The Chickamauga, Georgia-native is expected to coach both Georgia Northwestern and Gordon Lee’s teams in the upcoming season.

Bobcats Men’s Golf is expected to launch in Spring 2014. However, plans are being made for tournaments as early as this fall. “The first year we will operate as a club sport as we prepare for our first official year in the NJCAA in 2014,” said Willerson. “We are already slated for the Chik-Fil-A Invitational in Rome in which Shorter, Berry, and some of the larger colleges across the southeast will be taking part in this fall.”

So, step two after hiring a top cat to run Georgia Northwestern’s links squad is to recruit. “We already have one signing about to take place out of Catoosa County, Georgia,” said Willerson. “I’m looking for student-athletes who want to go to college, first and foremost. Then, I want a golfer. A true student-athlete that will help this program make a name for itself over the next couple of years.”

The 37-year-old Willerson led his prep squad to five consecutive region crowns in 2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, and ’10. In 2008, the Lady Trojans won the state title and Willerson took home Coach of the Year honors for his efforts. As an assistant coach for the high school’s boys’ team, he helped coach that squad to a team state title this past season.

Willerson attended Cleveland State C.C. in Cleveland, Tennessee, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. The newest Bobcat holds a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s in Finance and Economics.

“He’s a perfect fit for what we are going to accomplishment building what will be a competitive intercollegiate golf program,” said Georgia Northwestern Athletic Director David Stephenson. “This was the next step in our long-term plan to strengthen the athletic program at Georgia Northwestern. There is a bunch to do in the coming weeks and months to make sure this is a success. However, I have full confidence in Jared’s (Willerson) ability to make this happen.”

Willerson is married to his wife, Roni. They live in Chickamauga, with their four children, Hannah, Grace, Will, and Kate.



PHOTOS: Detroit FC Wins 2-1 Over CFC

Generals March Over Lookouts In 13-2 Rout Saturday In Jackson

Jackson, Tenn.  - Making his first start at Double-A, Jackson Generals right-hander  Jon Duplantier  gave up a pair of extra-base hits to Chattanooga in the first inning. The rest of the way, the Arizona Diamondbacks' top prospect had just about everything going his way.  Aided by a seven-run second inning that turned the tables on the Chattanooga Lookouts ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)