Chad Wilson grew weary of waiting on Coastal Carolina University to make a decision on his future, so he made one instead.
Wilson, who spent the 2016-17 season as the Chanticleers’ interim men’s golf coach, has accepted the head men’s golf position at fellow Sun Belt Conference member Georgia State.
Wilson earned the interim tag last summer after CCU chose not to renew the contract of men’s golf coach Kevin McPherson and promoted Wilson from an assistant position, and he retained the tag until he accepted the Georgia State job Sunday and resigned.
“If Coastal would have taken the interim tag off I would have loved to have stayed there,” Wilson said. “Everything at Coastal was great. They have a lot of great players and the area was great for golf.”
CCU director of athletics Matt Hogue said the university is opening the job to a national search.
The new job allows Wilson, 29, to move close to his family. He is a native of Calhoun, Ga., which is about a 90-minute drive north of Georgia State’s Atlanta campus, and his parents still reside there.
“At the end of the day I had a chance to be a Division I coach an hour and a half from my family, which made it a huge plus for me,” Wilson said. “I love Coastal, but I thought it was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass. There are a lot of positives for me and I thought it was a good move.”
At the end of the day I had a chance to be a Division I coach an hour and a half from my family, which made it a huge plus for me. I love Coastal, but I thought it was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass. There are a lot of positives for me and I thought it was a good move.
New Georgia State coach Chad Wilson
Wilson spent just two years in Conway, and prior to his time at CCU he spent two years as an assistant at his alma mater Kennesaw State in the north Atlanta suburbs and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Lee University. He was a co-captain as a player at KSU, helping the Owls reach the 2011 NCAA Championship.
Wilson begins his new job Thursday.
“Georgia State wanted to move real quickly,” Wilson said. “They know how important the recruiting trail is in the summer, and they thought my knowledge of the Atlanta area with me spending five years there would be an advantage.”
Georgia State won the Sun Belt’s Men’s Golf Championship this past season in Miramar Beach, Fla., where CCU finished seventh, to make its fourth consecutive NCAA regional appearance.
The Panthers lost just one senior off the 2016-17 squad and have qualified for postseason play 14 times since 1999, making the NCAA Championship five times.
The school is expected to be included in an estimated $22 million golf facility at nearby Bobby Jones Golf Course, which is scheduled to be converted from 18 to nine holes with the addition of Georgia State’s team facility, a large driving range, a First Tee of Atlanta facility and a Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. “It’s going to be a game-changer I think for them,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he never had discussions about removing the interim tag with CCU administrators and didn’t use his offer from Georgia State as a bargaining position. “Even if Coastal had countered I may have still taken this job,” Wilson said.
Coastal is seeking its fourth men’s golf coach in six seasons, and the university will look for stability and to avoid the negative publicity that has hung over the coaching position since 2013.
McPherson took over the program in September 2013, a few weeks after the resignation of Allen Terrell following 13 years leading the program. CCU had self-reported violations within the program of improper extra benefits and recruiting misconduct allegedly committed by Terrell to the NCAA, which handed down relatively minor penalties for the transgressions in 2015.
McPherson was arrested last June 15 on charges of misdemeanor second-degree domestic violence against his wife that were lessened in September to third-degree, and the case was remanded from general session to family domestic abuse court.
According to Horry County online court records, McPherson’s case is still pending and he divorced from his wife in April.
Coastal has finished as high as fifth in the NCAA Championship in 2007, the senior season of current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
The Chants lose seniors Alfredo Ruiz of Mexico, Olle Widegren of Sweden and Ryan Carpenter of Aiken off the 2016-17 team, and expected returnees include rising junior Luis Ruiz, who reached a playoff for the Sun Belt individual title. Wilson signed Jonathan Goth-Rasmussen of Denmark and Kanata Irei of Japan, who attended Heritage Academy in Hilton Head Island.
“They have two kids coming in I was excited about,” Wilson said. “They’re both still signed and excited.”