RUSTON – Matt Terry has spent the last 15 years building highly successful men’s and women’s golf programs at Troy University after guiding Shelton State Community College to a national title in 2002.
On Saturday morning, Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland announced that Terry has accepted the head men’s golf coach opening with the Bulldogs.
“Matt Terry is a proven and highly successful Division I golf coach,” said McClelland. “He brings years of knowledge and experience to our program that will benefit our student athletes, campus and local golf community now and in the years to come. We are excited to have Matt, his wife Dixie and their three children join the Louisiana Tech Family.”
Terry just completed his 15th season at the helm of the Troy men’s golf team, his fourth as the Director of Golf. Under his leadership and vision, Troy golf reached its pinnacle in 2015 as both the men’s and women’s teams competed in the NCAA Regionals.
That started a three year stretch for the Troy men’s program where the Trojans competed in the NCAA Regionals in 2015, 2016 and 2017 while the Troy women advanced to the NCAA Regionals in three of the last four years (2014, 2015 and 2017).
“I appreciate the faith that Tommy McClelland, Dr. Guice and the entire search committee has shown in me by selecting me as the Louisiana Tech golf coach,” said Terry. “I’m honored. My visit to Ruston, the Louisiana Tech campus and Squire Creek Golf Course was phenomenal. I am truly excited to get started at Louisiana Tech and for our entire family to become Bulldogs. It’s the right move for me and my family at this time. ”
“For 15 years I have had the opportunity to coach 26 teams at Troy. It was truly an honor to coach that many players at this institution. Troy has a big time golf tradition and hopefully we have been a part of carrying on that tradition and leaving it in a better position than when we arrived here. I appreciate Dr. (Jack) Hawkins, Jeremy (McClain) and the entire administration for trusting this program with me for 15 years.”
During the first 11 years of his Troy career, Terry had the responsibility of coaching both the men’s and women’s teams. He passed the torch on the women’s side to his protégée Bart Barnes two years ago and the foundation Terry had built led to back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships and a pair of berths in the NCAA Regionals; the first in Troy’s Division I history on the women’s side.
Terry saw his hard work pay off as the Troy men’s team won the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Championship – its first ever as a member of the league – while earning its second straight NCAA Regional bid. The Trojans played in the Franklin Regional as the Sun Belt’s automatic selection. The Trojans made their first appearance in an NCAA Regional under Terry after earning an at-large bid to the New Haven Regional in 2015.
The 2017 season saw the program earn its third straight berth into the NCAA Regionals as the Trojans were tabbed as an at-large selection into the NCAA College Grove Regional at The Grove. The Trojans finished in the sixth place, just one spot from qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championships.
In addition to the team accomplishments, Troy has sent two individuals to the NCAA Championships as Tolver Dozier (2015) and Cam Norman (2017) both played their way through the Regionals to advance to the highest stage.
Troy has placed nine golfers on the All-Sun Belt Conference team over the past three seasons while as a team the Trojans set the school record for the lowest 18, 36 and 54 hole scores as well as the lowest individual round.
Four of Terry’s former players are currently playing the pro circuit – Zach Portemont (Sunshine Tour), Tolver Dozier (PGA Latin American), Jake Tucker (PGA Latin America) and Sofia Björkman (Nordea Tour).
One consistent throughout Terry’s career has been his commitment to academics. Dozier earned the NCAA Elite 89 Award for men’s golf in 2015, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at each of the NCAA’s 89 Championships. The men’s team has won six straight Troy Athletics Academic Team Awards (highest team GPA) and two of the last four Sun Belt Academic Awards.
Additionally, four of Terry’s golfers have earned Troy’s Clements Award, which is presented annually to the top male student-athlete in the department.
Troy golfers under Terry have also had success on the amateur circuit as a Trojan golfer has competed in the U.S. Amateur each of the past four years. Dozier played in the 2012 and 2014 event, while Jake Tucker qualified in 2013 and Bettcher in 2015.
Prior to coming to Troy in the fall of 2002, Terry served as the head coach at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. During his three seasons there, he led the Buccaneers to the national tournament three times, finishing in third place twice before winning the championship in 2002.
A native of Moulton, Ala., Terry has been an avid golfer since dropping baseball to concentrate on the sport in high school. He served as director of the Tuscaloosa Junior Golf Tour, supervising up to 175 children ages 8 to 18. Terry also has experience as a teacher, serving as the assistant pro at the Turtle Creek Golf Club in Rockledge, Fla.
Terry has professional experience playing on the Hooters, Central Florida/Tommy Armour and North Florida PGA Winter tours. He also participated in the 1988 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, better known as q-school.
Born in Augusta, Ga., Terry received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Alabama in 1996. He is married to the former Dixie McCreless and the couple has three children, Mya, Alyssa and Sawyer.