Dalton State Names Ben Rickett Director of Golf
December 14, 2012
Ben Rickett, assistant golf coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and former caddy to U.S. Amateur Champion Steven Fox, has been named director of Dalton State’s golf program and coach for men’s golf, according to Athletic Director Derek Waugh.
Rickett will lead the golf program, which will be headquartered at The Farm in Rocky Face. “Ben is a huge admirer of The Farm, having played and coached on the course multiple times in the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic,” Waugh said.
“Mr. (Bob) Shaw, Deck Cheatham, and Garrett Chapman have always been welcoming to collegiate golfers,” said Rickett. “It is not only a fantastic practice facility, but it is also a great recruiting tool for college golfers.”
Rickett, originally from England, was a standout player for the UTC golf team from 2005-2009, earning All-Southern Conference honors twice and appearing in two NCAA regional tournaments with the Mocs. He was also the 2010 winner of the North Georgia Invitational Golf Tournament, Waugh said.
“Although he is young, Ben has valuable collegiate golf experience,” said Waugh. “UTC has been among the top 40 programs in the country in each of his seven seasons as a player and coach, and he has been charged with recruiting, scheduling, instruction, and the day to day management of the program.”
“Notably, he also caddied for 2012 United States Amateur Champion, Steven Fox, who was a teammate at UTC,” Waugh continued. “This will give him the opportunity to also caddy at next spring’s Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, with Fox playing in the legendary tournament.”
“I think Ben will be a rising star in the collegiate golf world,” Waugh said. “He has international experience, high level Division I playing and coaching experience, and he is a bright and articulate individual. He had some of the highest recommendations I have come across in the golf world, and he is already familiar with The Farm and Dalton. We think he is a great fit and are very excited to have him on board.”
Rickett is also excited about the potential of the golf program, “It is an honor to be the first golf coach at Dalton State,” he said. “Golf is very popular in this area, we have access to some of the best facilities in the country at The Farm, and with the speed the athletic department is growing in conjunction with private partners, I feel like the program can be nationally competitive quickly.”
“I also will make sure our athletes achieve in the classroom and are extremely active in giving back to the community,” he said. Rickett is married to the former Shelley Taylor of Dalton; he will begin his duties with Dalton State in mid-December.
According to Waugh, plans are also in place to hire a part-time assistant/Women’s Golf Coach as the teams begin play in the fall of 2013. Men’s and Women’s Golf join Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, and Competitive Cheer as Dalton State’s inaugural intercollegiate sports in 2013-14.