After spending the last 15 years building Troy into a respected college golf program, Matt Terry is leaving the Trojans.
Terry, who guided the women’s and men’s programs and was Director of Golf during his tenure at Troy, has accepted the men’s golf head coaching job at Louisiana Tech, according to a release Saturday by the Ruston, La., school. The announcement was made by Bulldog athletics director Tommy McClelland.
“ I appreciate the faith that Tommy McClelland, Dr. (Les) Guice (La. Tech president) and the entire search committee has shown in me by selecting me as the Louisiana Tech golf coach,” said Terry in the Louisiana Tech release. “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.”
Terry was the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Troy for 11 years before handing over the women’s role to Bart Barnes four years ago. He remained as men’s coach and added the title of Director of Golf.
Among the highlights of his tenure came in 2015 when both the men’s and women’s teams competed at the NCAA Regionals as well guiding three straight regional appearances for the men’s team (2015, 2016, 2017) and three of four for the women (2014, 2015, 2017). The men’s golf team also won the 2016 Sun Belt Conference title under Terry – its first ever as a member of the league.
“ For 15 years I have had the opportunity to coach 26 teams at Troy,” Terry said. “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, (athletics director) Jeremy (McClain) and the entire administration for trusting this program with me for 15 years.”
Also under Terry’s tenure, Troy had two individuals qualify for the NCAA Championships as Dothan’s Tolver Dozier (2015) and Cam Norman (2017) both advanced to the highest stage after regional play.
Over the past three seasons, Troy placed nine golfers on the All-Sun Belt Conference team under Terry and 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 on a pro circuit – Zach Portemont (Sunshine Tour), Dozier (PGA Latin American), Jake Tucker (PGA Latin America) and Sofia Björkman (Nordea Tour).
One consistent throughout Terry’s Troy career was also 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 earned Troy’s Clements Award, which is presented annually to the top male student-athlete in the department.
Prior to coming to Troy in the fall of 2002, Terry spent three years as head coach at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, where he guided the program to a national junior championship in his final year. He directed two other teams at Shelton to a third-place national finish.
“ Matt Terry is a proven and highly successful Division I golf coach,” McClelland said. “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, who lived most of his childhood in Moulton in north Alabama after being born in Augusta, Ga., has been involved in golf since dropping baseball to concentrate on the sport in high school. Before getting into coaching, he had 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.
– Some Information for this story was provided through a release from Louisiana Tech University.