CCU coach quits to work with Dustin Johnson in opening golf school

ryoung@thesunnews.comSeptember 2, 2013 

— Longtime Coastal Carolina men’s golf coach Allen Terrell has resigned his position with the university to work more closely with former Chanticleer and PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson both on the course and in starting a golf school at The TPC Myrtle Beach, he revealed Monday.

The university confirmed the move in a statement Monday that Terrell had resigned effective Aug. 29 and indicated there would be no further comment from the school. But Terrell spoke at length by phone about his future plans and why he felt this was the right time.

Terrell led Coastal to nine Big South Conference championships and four NCAA championship appearances in his 13 seasons, including a fifth-place national finish in 2007 during Johnson’s senior season.

“It was kind of three-pronged,” Terrell said of his decision. “I’ve been trying to run his foundation and help him on the side. I just got engaged. It’s just kind of a lot of stuff going on. This summer he called and asked if I’d start working with him again, and I tried to do both five years ago again and it was just impossible, so I just decided with the FedEx Cup and start of the [college] season, it’s never a good time, but it’s best to let them have time to hire a good coach and me help Dustin try to get up to No. 1 in the world.”

The statement released by the university said Coastal women’s golf coach Katie Quinney will oversee both the men’s and women’s programs in the interim while men’s assistant Dan Ellis, who was hired last month, will remain with the team. The Coastal men’s team is set to open its fall schedule Sept. 22 at the Windon Memorial in Skokie, Ill.

Coastal associate athletic director for media relations Mike Cawood said neither athletic director Hunter Yurachek nor Quinney would be available for comment.

As for Terrell, he said this is something he’s been thinking about for the last three to five years.

“I love Coastal. I put 13 hard years in working to build that. It’s a great place,” he said. “We’ve been able to accomplish a lot. They have a lot of talent, some good commitments for ’14, and that made me feel more comfortable because we had some good upperclassmen that could keep things going. ... There’s never a good time [to leave], but if there ever was, I felt they were in great shape to move forward. They’re going to just keep rolling. The place gets better and better every year, and I know the golf program will just continue to grow with it.”

As for the Dustin Johnson Golf School, for which Terrell will be the director of instruction, he said he and Johnson both share a passion for junior golf and one of the downsides of running a college program is that he’s been limited in only being able to teach the 8-12 guys on his team due to the rigors of the college season and the demands of recruiting.

They were planning to do a national media release next week about the golf school, but Terrell got permission to discuss the plans Monday after word leaked out that he had left the Chants.

“We’re going to start it as soon as possible,” he said. “I’m going to be teaching under the Dustin Johnson Golf School really starting next week. ... We’re just going to work on growing it. Right now, it will just be trying to provide private lessons and group instruction and do a lot with junior golf involvement, which is my passion and something I’ve wanted to do. That’s a passion of Dustin’s being a junior golfer of South Carolina. It’s more of helping junior golf and just kind of growing his brand, that he’s giving back, trying to provide quality development for all levels of golfers.

“It’s obviously a new venture so you have concerns when something’s new, but that’s what makes it fun.”

He also mentioned that he and Johnson will be visiting Shanghai, China, in October and there is a possibility Johnson will start a satellite golf school there as well.

Terrell and Johnson have remained close over the years since Johnson moved on from Coastal and turned himself into one of the more recognizable stars on the PGA Tour. Terrell said Johnson reached out to him in July about having his college coach more involved in his career going forward, so Terrell said he will be commuting to Florida frequently for practice sessions to give Johnson one-on-one attention more than he was able to while still running the Chants’ golf program.

“I’ll travel with him more often,” Terrell said. “He just kind of felt like he needed a lot more help at tournaments ... and a lot of it will be flying down to meet him in Florida, practice with him and just try to give him more structure so he gets a lot more out of his practice at home to be better prepared for events. ...

“I’m not going to be trying to work with 18 pros. I’m going to be committed to working with him, which is what he wants -- someone to give him all the attention. We’ve been talking about it the last 10 years, but it’s hard to kind of change gears and do something. But I think this is the just the best time. I won’t have to travel quite as much. I can start a family and have more of a life.”

Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318.

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