July 25, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina Director of Athletics Randy Eaton today named Bryant Odom, a former All-American and All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) golfer at the University of Georgia, to the position of head men's golf coach. Odom spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Big Ten-member University of Wisconsin.
Odom becomes just the fourth head men's golf coach at WCU since 1991.
"We are very pleased to bring Bryant Odom onto our Athletics staff as the next head coach of our men's golf program," said Associate Athletic Director Gorham Bradley who spearheaded the search committee. "Bryant knows what it takes to compete at the highest levels of golf both as a former player and coach in the SEC, as well as his career as a professional. He will be an outstanding leader for the student-athletes in our golf program."
Odom comes to Cullowhee after two years as an assistant coach with the Badgers, helping head coach Michael Burcin rebuild the Wisconsin men's golf program. From 2011 through 2013, UW recorded nine, top-10 team finishes.
Off the field, the Badgers men's golf team posted the department's highest grade point average in 2013 and earned the 2012 Male Team Community Service Award.
"I could not be more excited about the opportunity ahead of me at Western Carolina," said Odom. "My sincerest thanks go to Coach (Michael) Burcin who trusted me as his assistant over the past two years in Madison. I learned a great deal from him and will always be grateful for my experience at the University of Wisconsin."
He added, "Looking ahead at Western Carolina, there is great potential because of the strength of current players, vision within the athletic department and support from the Cullowhee area. This region is also full of talented prospects. Abbi and I fell in love with Cullowhee on our initial visit and can't wait to settle into the community."
Prior to making the move to Madison, Odom spent two years as the graduate assistant at his alma mater, UGA, during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He helped guide the Bulldogs to the 2010 SEC Team Championship and a runner-up finish in the NCAA post-season. Odom additionally coordinated and hosted the Georgia High School Golf Coaches Clinic, as well as worked with the Bulldog Golf Camp.
During his time as the graduate assistant, Odom earned his Master of Science in sport management and policy.
Originally from Cartersville, Ga., Odom was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1998-2002. In 2001, he was the 13th Georgia player to win the Southeastern Conference individual title which was held at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.
He earned All-America honors in 2001 and he was an All-SEC selection in 2000, 2001 and 2002. During Odom's playing career in Athens, the Bulldogs won 13 tournaments, including the 1999 National Championship and the 1998, 2000 and 2001 SEC titles.
Odom also excelled in the classroom as he was named to SEC Academic Honor Roll four-straight seasons. He earned his degree in sports studies in 2002.
Following his graduation, Odom played professionally from 2002 through 2005, and again in 2008 on the NGA Hooters, Tarheel and Nationwide tours. He competed in more than 30 Nationwide events in five different countries and more than 40 tournaments on the NGA Hooters and Tarheel tours. In 2003, Odom won the Alabama Classic on the NGA Hooters Tour.
Upon his return to professional golf in 2008, Odom claimed medalist honors at the Georgia State Open Championship with a 14-under par 274. He also has victories in the 2001 Southeastern Amateur, the 2006 Georgia PGA East Chapter Championship and the 2007 Georgia PGA Assistants' Championship. He additionally reached the match play portion of the 1999 U.S. Public Links and the 2001 U.S. Amateur.
During his two years away from the professional tours in 2006 to 2007, Odom was the PGA Apprentice Professional at Ocean Forest Golf Club on Sea Island, Ga.
In May 2012, Odom won the U.S. Open in an 18-hole qualifier held May 8 at Cherokee Country Club in Madison shooting an even-par 37-32--72.
Odom is married to the former Abbi Francis, who was a two-year letter winner for the Georgia women's golf team.
Western Carolina returns seven members from last year's squad including the seasonal scoring leader, J.T. Poston. The Catamounts recorded eight top 10 team finishes a year ago including placing in the top five three times.