The college golf scene got a little more crowded this winter when Brenau University announced it would be adding a women's team to its list of funded sports. The school, located in Gainesville, Ga., already fielded a men's team.
After a brief search, the school named Damon Stancil as the head girls coach. The team will begin competition in the Fall of 2014 and Stancil said he would look for six players who would be able to "shoot the scores and make the grades."
Stancil, 36, was formerly the graduate assistant for the women's golf team at the North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga. Stancil had also been a teaching professional at the Hampton Golf Village in Cumming. He anticipated an election to the PGA of America before the fall season begins.
Stancil has significant ties to the area. He grew up in Cumming and is a graduate of Berry College in Rome. He played on Berry's team that won the 1998 NAIA national championship. He has a degree in sports and fitness and has a Masters Degree from North Georgia.
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Stancil said he enjoys giving lessons, but has felt drawn to return to college golf. He said, "College golf fits me best."
Stancil said he would begin by seeking players from Georgia and around the Southeastern states, like Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi. But he will also consider international candidates, an approach that has been successful for many other schools (such as Augusta State) that are trying to build a program. Stancil would like to eventually grow the team to 10 members.
Mike Lochstampfor, the athletic director at Brenau, said Stancil's personality played a role in his selection.
"His demeanor and knowledge of women's golf were certainly attractive to me," Lochstampfor said. "I think he has the personality to be an effective teacher of the game."
Stancil lives in nearby Forsyth County with his wife Patty and children Jackson and Roxanne.
"His energy level and his vision of how to build a program from scratch are all things I found necessary for a golf coach and our first program," Lochstampfor said.
Brenau's addition means there will be nine women's teams in the Southern States Athletic Conference. The others are Truett-McConnell, Emmanuel College, Coastal Georgia, Faulkner University, the University of Mobile, Spring Hill College, Lee University, William Carey and Loyola University. There are 148 women's golf programs that compete on the NAIA level.