However, with 1978 Cartersville High alum Mike Cook at the helm as head coach, the program has already become a powerhouse in the NAIA, and on May 16, Cook and the Coastal Georgia men’s golf team won the NAIA national championship in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The national championship was the first by any Coastal Georgia team in school history. The Mariners previously competed in the National Junior College Athletic Association with a limited number of teams before expanding the number of athletic programs and moving into the NAIA three years ago.
The men’s golf program started in 2011 and played at the junior college level its first season.
This season, in addition to winning the national championship, Cook was named Southern States Athletic Conference coach of the year as his team finished second in the conference tournament on April 16.
Cook also is a full-time golf instructor at the renowned Sea Island Golf Resort.
He was a member of the University of Georgia golf team from 1978-82 and was an all-American and first-team all-SEC selection in 1982.
He played professionally from 1983-86 and was a member of the South African PGA Tour in 1984.
Cook won the Georgia PGA championship in 1998 at Sea Island and won the Georgia PGA Assistant Professionals championship in 1992 in Peachtree City.
Cook took over as the golf program’s director at Coastal Georgia in 2011.
In their inaugural seasons, both the men’s and women’s teams won the championship in the Georgia College Athletic Association and advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship tournaments.
The men finished fourth and the women took sixth in the tournament.
Cook also was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year for Region 17 after the 2011 season.
In 2012-13, the Coastal Georgia men finished no worse than fourth in nine events with two victories. They finished ranked 16th in the NAIA. The Coastal Georgia women finished in the top five in all nine events with two wins and two seconds, including the runner-up finish at the SSAC tournament. They were ranked 19th in the final NAIA poll.
Cook started with Sea Island as a teaching instructor in 1991. He was selected among the top 15 teachers in Georgia by Golf Digest and has been named teacher of the year by the Georgia PGA East Chapter three times.
—Information from this report was provided by Coastal Georgia.