Jim Kelson Retires After 20 Years as Men's Golf Coach

Knoxville, Tenn. (UT Sports)-- Jim Kelson on Tuesday announced his retirement as head coach of the Tennessee men's golf program. Kelson recently completed his 20th season overseeing UT's program and has led the Volunteers to 17 NCAA Regional berths, seven NCAA Championship appearances and the 2007 SEC title.

Sean Pacetti—Tennessee's director of instruction/player development for the past three seasons—has agreed to serve as interim coach.

"Being the head men's golf coach at the University of Tennessee over the past 20 years has been the biggest privilege of my life," Kelson said. "I want to first thank all of my current and former players for all of their efforts and friendships over the years. It was an honor to be your coach.

"I would like to thank all the administrations for their support over the years. I would especially like to thank (Associate Athletics Director) Angie Boyd-Keck for everything she has done for me and for UT men's golf. The University of Tennessee has been absolutely terrific to my wife, Jinger, and me. We will always be Tennessee Volunteers. Our sincerest appreciation goes out to all the wonderful people who have supported our program over the years.

"It has really been a terrific 20-year career. I have made a lifetime of wonderful friendships. Go Vols!"

Kelson's 20-year tenure from 1998-2018 stands as the second-longest of any head coach in the history of the Tennessee golf program. His career with the Vols includes the second-most overall wins (2,024) and second-most SEC wins (358) in program history.

"Jim has poured himself into the Tennessee golf program and has had a tremendous impact on his student-athletes over the past 20 years," Tennessee Director of Athletics Philip Fulmer said. "We're extremely grateful for his service to the university and appreciative of the way he led the program. The men who played for him think the world of him, and I believe that's because of the genuine relationships he built with them during their time with the program. We wish him and his family all the best moving forward."

Under Kelson's leadership, Tennessee captured 25 team tournament victories—the most in program history—and produced 23 individual tournament medalists. In his 27 overall years as a head coach, which include seven seasons at Augusta State, his teams won a total of 38 events.

He developed 19 Vols who went on to professional playing careers, and 2018 All-SEC senior Lorenzo Scalise is on track to become the 20th pro to have been mentored collegiately by Kelson.

Three different Vols garnered four All-America honors during Kelson's career on Rocky Top, and six others earned honorable mention acclaim. He saw 16 of his players capture 22 All-SEC awards.

Kelson also coached 11 student-athletes who combined to collect 14 Academic All-American honors.

Some additional noteworthy individual honors and accomplishments that took place during the Kelson era include David Skinns being named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2002 and winning the SEC individual championship in 2005, Garrick Porteous winning the 2013 British Amateur title, and Oliver Goss finishing as runner-up at the 2013 U.S. Amateur and capturing low amateur honors at the 2014 Masters.