Clemson hires longtime assistant, Midlands native to take over men’s golf program

·2 min read

When Clemson men’s golf coach Larry Penley announced his retirement back in January, the Tigers didn’t have to look too far for his replacement.

Assistant coach Jordan Byrd, a graduate of Spring Valley High School and Furman who has spent the past 17 years at Clemson, will take over the program following the conclusion of the 2021 season, athletic director Dan Radakovich announced Thursday.

Byrd is a native of Columbia who was a standout prep and collegiate player. At Spring Valley, he finished in the top 10 of the state tournament, and at Furman, he captured the Southern Conference title as a junior while boosting the Paladins to a team championship as well.

After a brief stint pursuing a professional career, Byrd left the sport in 2001 and worked as a salesman, trader and portfolio manager. In 2005, he was hired by Penley as an assistant coach and has worked under the legendary coach ever since. In that time, Clemson has advanced to the NCAA nationals eight times, finishing in the top 10 three times. Byrd has also been named a finalist three times for the Jan Strickland Award, given by the Golf Coaches Association to the nation’s top assistant coach.

“I am thrilled to lead this program, and thankful to the administration for the opportunity,” Byrd said in a statement. “I have had the privilege to learn an incredible amount from Coach Penley and I am ready for this opportunity. Clemson has been home for my family and me for a long time, and I am excited to lead this program.”

Byrd will assume head coaching duties after the 2021 season — NCAA regional play is set to begin this upcoming Monday, and the Tigers are seeded No. 1 in their regional after claiming the ACC championship. The top five times from each regional advance to the national tournament.

JORDAN BYRD COACHING FILE

Education — Graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1994, graduated from Furman University in 1998.

Playing experience — Four-year letterman at Furman, 1994-98, Professional experience on Hooter’s Tour, Tear Drop Tour

Coaching experience — Clemson assistant coach, 2005-present

Honors — Southern Conference Champion in 1997; Qualified for US Amateur and US Mid-Amateur in 2006; Quarterfinalist at 2007 United States Mid-Amateur; Finalist for Semifinalist for Jan Strickland Award (assistant coach of the year) in 2010, 2012 and 2017.