After 38 years Clemson Hall of Fame Golf Coach Larry Penley will retire when the Tigers season is over.
Jordan Byrd has been chosen to become the next Clemson golf coach after serving as Penley’s assistant for the past 17 years.
Jordan Byrd was born in Columbia. Graduated from Spring Valley High School where he was a succesful golfer and wrestler.
After high school Byrd played golf at and graduated from Furman in 1998.
During his career at Furman, Byrd won the Southern Conference championship as a player and helped his team to the conference championship and their first trip to an NCAA tournament.
After graduation Byrd played the Hooters and Teardrop Tours before working in private business.
Byrd was brought on to the Tigers staff as an assistant in 2005.
Clemson had been without a full time assistant coach since Penley was promoted to replace Bobby Robinson in 1983.
Byrd quickly became an integral part of Clemson’s success since becoming Penley’s assistant.
Byrd is given credit for recruiting many of the Tigers top players during his time with the program. Future PGA Tour players, Kyle Stanley, Sam Saunders, Ben Martin and Doc Redman, who won the 2017 US Amateur championship, were recruited by Byrd.
The new Clemson coach was nominated three times as a finalist for the Jan Strickland Award, which is given to the top assistant coach in the nation by the Golf Coaches Association.
When Clemson committed to establishing a stand alone building for its golf program, Byrd was deeply involved in the design and fund raising for what became the Larry D Penley Golf Center which opened in 2011.
Byrd is the older brother of former Clemson golfer Jonathan Byrd who went on to be a 5-time winner on the PGA Tour.
Clemson has reached the NCAA Tournament all 14 years it has been held since Byrd has been an assistant, and has been ranked in the final top 25 of the Sagarin computer rankings 11 times.
Fans who see the Tigers play will often see Byrd running from hole to hole helping Clemson golfers make good decisions or offer advice.
Most recently Byrd was with Zach Gordon late in his round as his ACC final round match went to extra holes before the Tiger from Gaffney delivered a 21 hole victory and the ACC championship for Clemson.
“Jordan Byrd is ready for this opportunity,” said Penley. “I’ve had the chance to work alongside him for 17 years, and he’s been a tremendous leader of young men. Jordan is a terrific golf mind and golf coach, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to lead this program into the future,” he said.
Byrd will assist Penley in the NCAA tournament before taking over the program.
Clemson opens play in the NCAA Regional at the Golf Club of Tennessee on May 17th, hoping to advance to the NCAA Finals set for Scottsdale, Arizona beginning on May 29th.
Hear from Clemson’s next golf coach Jordan Byrd