Brenau University has named Damon Stancil the new Women's Golf Coach.

Damon Stancil Tees Up for First Season

In Damon Stancil’s sport, you do not have to be the biggest or strongest or start playing shortly after you learn to walk. But the head coach of the newest Brenau Golden Tigers intercollegiate team does hope he can recruit half a dozen players who occasionally make dead-solid perfect shots. But the Brenau gold coach joined the athletics department staff the year after four other spring sports at the university finished in the top 10 nationally and the year the new track and field team won its conference championship – enough pressure to give even the most confident among us the yips. 

Damon Stancil got a job washing golf carts to earn enough money for a car during high school and wound up changing the course of his life.

“I’d never picked up a golf club before then,” says Stancil, now the head coach for Brenau University’s 10th varsity sport, which will tee off this fall.

The Cumming, Ga., native, who had played baseball and football growing up, switched completely to golf. Playing only one year in high school and one year of junior tournaments, he was good enough to join the Berry College golf team.

Stancil says his relatively late introduction to the sport has helped him as an instructor.

“I saw that you didn’t have to start when you were 5 or be the biggest or strongest,” he says. “If you are committed enough to it, it was a game that lends itself more to hard work than pure athletic ability.”

Now Stancil is looking for at least six student-athletes who are hard workers and can “shoot the scores and make the grades.”

The 36-year-old coach and his wife Patty, along with son Jackson and daughter Roxanne, live near where he grew up in Forsyth County, not too far from Gainesville. Also, he did not have to change commuting patterns too much when he moved to Brenau from nearby Dahlonega and the University of North Georgia, 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 seven years.

“His demeanor and his knowledge of women’s golf were certainly attractive to me,” says Mike Lochstampfor, Brenau’s director of athletics. “I think he has the personality to be an effective teacher of the game. 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.”

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. 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.

“I’m going to start close to home and work my way out,” Stancil says. “It does help with recruiting to be in Georgia and the Southeast because golf is played year-round.”

Stancil knows from experience what it takes to build a championship team. In his own college playing days, Berry won the 1998 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship. “I was really just a second-teamer,” he reveals with some modesty, “but I really loved my time playing there.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in sports and fitness administration and he is on track to complete a Master of Arts in Teaching and Physical Education degree from his alma mater 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.”

What attracted Stancil to Brenau, he says, is the commitment Brenau University President Ed Schrader and members of the faculty and staff show in supporting the intercollegiate athletics programs as a vital part of the Brenau experience.

“It sounded like when they decided to start the women’s golf program, they had really done a lot of homework,” he said. “And the athletic department gets a lot of good student-athletes.”

There are 148 women’s golf programs in the NAIA. However, 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 of New Orleans.

Stancil came aboard at Brenau as three of its other sports – softball, tennis and swimming – have achieved Top 5 NAIA rankings. He was not on campus longer than a few weeks before the Golden Tigers’ previous “first-year team,” track and field, completed its inaugural season with a blowout win of the Southern States Athletics Conference championship.

“That adds a little bit of pressure,” he says. “You want to do as well as your colleagues so you look like you belong.”

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