GAINESVILLE -- Damon Stancil has joined Brenau University's growing athletic program as head golf coach.
Stancil, whose first day on the job was Jan. 31, needs to find at least six student-athletes who can "shoot the scores and make the grades," he said.
Women's golf, Brenau's 10th varsity sport, begins this fall, although most tournaments will be held in the spring.
The 36-year-old coach arrived at Brenau from North Georgia College and State University, where he was a graduate assistant for almost two years with the women's team. Stancil also worked as a teaching professional at Hampton Golf Village in Cumming for the past seven years and expects to be elected to PGA membership in the coming months.
"His demeanor and his knowledge of women's golf were certainly attractive to me," said Mike Lochstampfor, Brenau's director of athletics. "I think he has the personality to be an effective teacher of the game."
Stancil will recruit not only from Georgia and the Southeast, but also from around the world. He hopes to field a team that will eventually comprise as many as 10 players.
"I'm going to start close to home and work my way out," Stancil said. "It does help with recruiting to be in Georgia and the Southeast because golf is played year-round."
He also plans to get the word out to the Brenau student body, with the possibility of an open tryout if there is enough interest.
"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.
Stancil grew up in Cumming and graduated from Berry College, where he was a member of the golf team that won the 1998 NAIA national championship.
"I was really just a second-teamer, but I loved my time playing there," said Stancil, who has a Bachelor's Degree in Sports and Fitness Administration and will earn his Master of Arts in Teaching and Physical Education degree from the University of North Georgia this summer. "I enjoyed my time giving lessons, but I missed some of that competition. Over the last few years I've felt the draw back to college golf.
"College golf fits me best."
Stancil said he was impressed by the commitment of Brenau University President Ed Schrader and the faculty and staff to supporting athletics.
"It sounded like when they decided to start the women's golf program, they had really done a lot of homework," he said.
There are 148 women's golf programs in the NAIA, though only nine participate in the Southern States Athletic Conference, of which Brenau is a member. The others are Truett-McConnell College, Emmanuel College, Coastal Georgia University, Faulkner University, University of Mobile, Spring Hill College, Lee University, William Carey University and Loyola University.
Stancil comes on board at Brenau as three of its other sports