CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Director of Athletics Judy Rose has announced that women’s golf will become the 18th sport at Charlotte and Holly Clark has been selected as the first head coach to start the program. Clark, current Associate Head Coach at Vanderbilt, will start her second program from scratch after doing so at NCAA II Carson-Newman in 2008. Women’s golf becomes the first addition to Charlotte athletics since football began play in 2013.
“We are excited to formally announce that women's golf will be our 18th sport and that we will begin competition in 2017,” stated Rose. “We received tremendous interest in the head coaching position and could not be more pleased that Holly Clark is joining the 49er staff. Holly's experience as a player and a coach at the highest levels assures me that our program is in great hands.”
In the fall portion of the 2015 women’s golf slate, Clark has helped the Commodores rack up a pair of top-five finishes including a tie for first in the Las Vegas Intercollegiate just before Halloween. Clark has spent the last six seasons with Vanderbilt. She helped Vanderbilt to four NCAA Championship appearances and six-straight NCAA Regional bids. During her time in Nashville, Clark helped coach a two-time SEC Player of the Year, two first-team All-Americans, a NCAA regional champion and a SEC Freshman of the Year.
“I want to personally thank Judy Rose, Darin Spease, and Ryan Cabbage for this amazing and exciting opportunity,” remarked Clark. “It is rare that a coach gets to start her own program from the ground up. I am incredibly blessed and grateful for the chance to do it again at a great university in a wonderful golf community. What an honor to be the 49ers first women’s golf coach!”
In her first year with the start-up Eagles, Clark guided Carson-Newman to the 2009 South Atlantic Conference Championship and had an individual earn a NCAA Regional bid in their first year of competition. The Eagles team earned a NCAA Regional berth in the very next season of 2010.
In her playing days, Clark was a four-year star at Tennessee helping lead the Volunteers to a 2006 NCAA East Regional championship. In the classroom, Clark earned NGCA Academic All-America honors, Academic All-SEC honors and was named to the All-SEC Good Works team for her community service and giving back efforts. In 2003, Clark led the Morristown West High School Lady Trojans to the 2003 state title as the individual state champion in Tennessee.
The women’s golf team will train at the Stubblefield Golf Center at Rocky River Golf Club, which is also the home of the 49ers men’s golf program. A planned expansion of the practice facility will benefit both programs.
“I am really excited that we are adding our women's golf program here at Charlotte,” remarked men’s golf Head Coach Ryan Cabbage. “I think it will be fantastic for our athletic department and I think it will be wonderful for our men's golf program as well. Holly is a fantastic coach, will do a tremendous job and on top of that is a great person. I am really looking forward to working with her.”
The 49ers women’s golf team will begin play in the fall of 2017 as a member of Conference USA. Charlotte will become the 12th member school with women’s golf. Fans can stay up-to-date with all of the latest news surrounding the women’s golf program by following @49erWomensGolf on Twitter.
Holly Clark Expands on Women’s Golf and Joining Charlotte
Thoughts on starting the new women’s golf program
Starting a program from the ground up will be a fun challenge and I can’t wait to get going. I look forward to working incredibly hard to put together a successful women’s golf program – one that the Charlotte community will be excited about! I am so excited to work with Coach Cabbage! I have great respect for him as a person, a coach and love the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the 49er program.
What is the first thing on your “to-do” list upon arriving to Charlotte?
My family and I are looking forward to moving to Charlotte. The first thing on my “to-do” list is to RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT!
Thoughts of campus and Charlotte Athletics
When I first visited Charlotte, I was amazed at the commitment to growth on campus and the sense of family I felt throughout the athletic department. It is wonderful and very unique. Rocky River is a great home for the 49ers!
Thoughts of the Stubblefield Golf Center at Rocky River
The expansion of the practice facility and building shows Charlotte’s commitment to both men’s and women’s golf programs and their commitment to excellence. It will be awesome! The Stubblefield Golf Center will be a special place for our players to practice, study, and call home.