Carson Newman names Kelsey Hutson Women’s Golf head coach

Sports

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman Athletic Director Matt Pope and Director of Golf Randy Wylie introduced Kelsey Hutson as the new Associate Head Women’s Golf Coach on Thursday afternoon.

Hutson, a native of Dandridge, Tenn., takes the helm following Suzanne Strudwick’s promotion to Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Internal Operations and Senior Women’s Administrator. She now stands as the fourth head coach in the program’s history. She comes to Mossy Creek after three years at nearby Jefferson County High School where she was a business teacher and golf coach for her alma mater.

“Growing up here in Jefferson County, Carson-Newman was a part of everything,” Hutson said. “Everything that the high school was about, athletics, academics, and so now to say that I get to be a part of that is incredible. I know it’s all the Lord, it’s nothing that I could have done, and I know He is going to guide me through this and to help me grow girls in the game of golf.

“I want us to be known as a good team, a team that loves each other, but I also want us to be a winning program. I think with a combination of trusting the Lord, putting him first and also academically being strong, I think we can be a very strong, winning team and continue that on from what has already been accomplished here.”

Hutson led a Patriots boys squad that won back-to-back IMAC Conference crowns in 2019 and 2020 with consecutive top-three finishes as the district tournament in those years, as well. The team made its first regional tournament appearance in five seasons in 2019 before returning for a fourth-place finish in 2020. With the girl’s team, she coached a player to an individual qualifier spot in the TSSAA regional tournament in 2020.

Aside from coaching, Hutson also brings collegiate playing experience into her new role, playing on the Tusculum women’s team from 2015-18. She posted a career average of 85.93 in her time with the Pioneers.

“She’s shown a lot of character and maturity and I just think she’s going to be great for the program,” Wylie said. “She grew up here in the Jefferson City area and is making her life here, and I think that’s really important. I did interview a couple of impressive people that thought Carson-Newman was a stopover for them and we really want someone who really believed in the Carson-Newman message and in Carson-Newman as a long-term option for them. We are so pleased and lucky to have Kelsey coming in as our women’s golf coach.”

After graduating from Tusculum in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Hutson went on to obtain her Masters in the Art of Teaching from Tusculum in 2020.

She graduated from Jefferson County High School where she was a two-time All-Conference and three-time All-District selection as well as earning All-Region status as a senior. She was a district medalist and finished as the runner-up in the conference championship.

Hutson inherits a Carson-Newman program that was ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation during the 2020-21 campaign with a pair of top-three finishes in the abbreviated season, including a win at the Battle at Hilton Head to open the year. The Eagles closed the season at No. 24 in the Golfstat national ranking and receiving votes in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association poll. The program has had at least one All-South Atlantic Conference pick in each of the last eight years and nine WGCA All-American Scholars in the past three years.

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