Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh has selected former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga assistant coach and player Ben Rickett to build the school's golf program.
Rickett accepted the position as DSC's director of golf on Friday. His responsibilities include starting and coaching men's and women's teams.
"I'm very excited. It's a great opportunity," said Rickett, who will begin fielding teams for NAIA competition beginning next fall with The Farm Golf Club as the home course. "It's going to be a challenge, but there's a beauty of starting a program from scratch. There's no history. Everything is new."
Rickett, who grew up in Surrey, England, played four seasons for UTC and concluded his career in the spring of 2009 with a career scoring average of 73.66. At one point, he was ranked in the top 100 amateurs in the world, and he reached match play of the 2009 British Amateur.
He joined UTC coach Mark Guhne's staff as a full-time assistant in May 2010 and helped with recruiting, purchasing, practice and in-tournament coaching. Rickett, who is married to former UTC runner Shelley Taylor from the Dalton area, was the caddie for the final 19 holes as the Mocs' Steven Fox won the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship.
"He's a great role model and great example for our guys," Guhne said. "It's great for him, but not so good for the rest of us. He's going to be very difficult to replace."
Guhne said he will hire a full-time assistant after the spring season and have longtime volunteer assistant David McKenna help through the semester.
"Ben has international and local ties, and I think he's extremely bright and intelligent," Waugh said. "I'd love to take credit for finding him under a rock somewhere. But he's been around here for years, and we're lucky to have him."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...