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Vandy assistant Gator Todd hired as new Kentucky head coach


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Kentucky men’s golf has turned to the nation’s top-ranked team to fill its head coaching vacancy.

Wildcats athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced Saturday that the school has hired Vanderbilt associate head coach Gator Todd to succeed former Brian Craig. Todd is in his sixth season with the Commodores, who are the top overall seed in the NCAA Auburn Regional and have been ranked No. 1 in Golfstat for much of the season.

“First, I’d like to thank Mitch Barnhart for believing in me and my vision for Kentucky men’s golf,” Todd said in a statement. “This is a dream scenario for my family and me, we couldn’t be more excited to plant our roots in Lexington. I believe in this state, and I believe in Kentucky golf. There is so much talent here and I believe we can build something special. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Todd is a native of Florence, Alabama, and played college golf at Alabama. He also played professionally, including as a conditional member of the Nationwide Tour, now called the Korn Ferry Tour. He and his wife, Mary Katherine, recently welcomed a baby daughter, Sylvie.

With Todd on staff, Vanderbilt has won two SEC titles, captured two NCAA regionals and finished in the top 10 four times at the NCAA Championship.

Craig spent 22 seasons leading Kentucky, a run that was highlighted by the 2005 SEC title. He announced his resignation following last month’s SEC Championship. The Wildcats did not qualify for regionals.

“It has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to coach the Kentucky men’s golf team for the last 22 years,” Craig said in a statement. “We have accomplished quite a few monumental achievements in that timeframe but that is absolutely not what has made it all worthwhile. The lifelong relationships that I have forged with my players, their families, my assistant coaches, our friends of the program and all the extraordinary people here at the University of Kentucky have enriched my life beyond what words can describe. As I leave to pursue a new path, my family and I will forever be grateful for this adventure and the memories that are permanently ingrained in my heart”

With the Kentucky job filled, that leaves TCU as the most attractive opening in DI men’s golf.