Golf - Wed, Apr. 6, 2016
This spring Georgetown College women's and men's golf will start to see the changing of the guard so to speak. Flash Williams, who started the women's team and for years has coached both programs, finished up the fall season before officially retiring in December.
"I never thought I'd be done coaching, but my recovery from knee surgery did not go as I had hoped," Williams said. "While I know I can still coach, I can't do it in the way I want and that to me is a sign that it's time to pass the torch.
"Fortunately, we've had a young lady Taylor Elder, who played for Eastern Kentucky (University), volunteering these past few seasons. She'll take over with the women. Associate Director of Athletics Austin Sparks has also been around the teams, helping us travel the past several seasons to our big tournament in Florida. He's a great golfer, loves the game and will take over the men's team."
Williams coached an NAIA All-American, two Mid-South Conference Golfer of the Year winners, one MSC Freshman of the Year and 31 MSC All-Conference honorees. He was twice MSC Women's Golf Coach of the Year. However, his most proud accomplishments are academic achievements. Both the men and the women were NAIA Scholar Teams in 2008. Williams has had nine NAIA Scholar Athletes and 63 MSC All-Academic honorees.
"I wanted everyone to have a great experience as an athlete, but it was always important that first priority to be in the classroom," Williams said. "It's been really exciting to watch what these amazing young men and women continue to do outside of Georgetown and how they stay in contact with me."
As an alum, his inside knowledge of the college also made it easy to sell when prospective students came to campus.
"It is pretty amazing, but true, if I gave a campus tour you could count on that student coming," Williams said. "I could give the history and background of so much, it gave more character and meaning to the tour. I enjoyed doing it and is nice to think I had a perfect record."
As Williams mentioned, former collegiate golfer Elder will be working with the women's team. She came to Georgetown three years ago with the campus ministry program and immediately started volunteering with the team. She gave of her time to help with travel and get experience coaching. This past year she began to specialize more with the women's team and seemed the right fit when Williams announced his retirement.
Sparks is a native of Harrison County and played baseball at Georgetown College. He returned five years ago as assistant to the director of athletics. Sparks has moved up the ranks to be associate director of athletics. Golf is another sport he excels at and looks forward to working more directly with the men's team.
Both have been coaching their respective teams through two tournaments thus far in the spring with two more to go. Each has been on the recruiting trail and will announce newly signed players following the spring Mid-South Conference championships.