Mocs New Golf Coach Blaine Woodruff Already Owns a National Championship


CHATTANOOGA—Blaine Woodruff is the Chattanooga Mocs new men’s golf head coach. His announcement Thursday marks just the third head coach in the program’s DI history joining Reed Sanderlin and recently retired Mark Guhne.

“We’re excited to introduce the Chattanooga community to Blaine and (wife) Katie,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton shared. “He is coming from a dynamic program at Pepperdine where he helped the Waves to a National Championship in 2021 and back to the Final FORE this year. Throughout the process, he proved to be a fantastic fit for our program. I have every confidence in his ability to build a championship team on and off the course.”

Woodruff spent the last five years at Pepperdine. The squad reached the NCAA Tournament every year available and moved on to the finals in 2019, 2021 and 2022 winning it all in 2021. The 2022 group also reached match play advancing to the Final FORE.

It’s that success outside the power 5 that not only caught the hiring eye, but also feeds Woodruff’s ambitions in the Scenic City.

“I want to thank Mark Wharton for trusting me to lead the men’s golf program at Chattanooga,” Woodruff began. “It is not a position that I take lightly. His passion for winning and developing young men both on and off the course was apparent from the moment we started talking and our visions for the program were in alignment. Growing up down the road in Northwest Georgia, I’ve always had a familiarity with Chattanooga and the program, getting to witness first-hand as a player the program’s successful run from 2007-14.

“Since I got into coaching, it’s been a program that I’ve always thought could be a national contender as a mid-major. In our sport, you don’t have to be a Power 5 program to be successful – you just need the necessary resources.

“Chattanooga has that from the University as a whole to an athletic department that wants to win along with a city that loves amateur golf. The championship courses and facilities in the area as well as the location; all provide a great foundation to be competitive and help aspiring student-athletes achieve their goals on and off the course.”

It was an impressive run with the Waves. He had an impact on current PGA TOUR performer Sahith Theegala earning 2020 National Player of the Year honors winning the Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus Awards. That Pepperdine crew ranked No. 1 at the end of the COVID-shortened season before claiming their second national title (1997) a year later. Woodruff was a finalist for the 2021 Jan Strickland Award as Assistant Coach of the Year.

“Great players make great coaches,” he added. “I’ve been blessed to have coached multiple guys that now have status on the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latin America during my tenures at Wisconsin and Pepperdine. I’m excited to continue to build off the current roster and bring in guys that are hungry to get better, compete and be a part of building something special.”

All-in-all, there were eight All-Americans (not counting 2021-22 to be named) during his time in Malibu with 15 PING All-Region performers and 18 All-West Coast Conference standouts. The team won 19 times with 19 medalists over that span as well. Four of those came at the 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 WCC Championships with three league medalists: 2018 (Clay Feagler), 2019 (RJ Manke) and 2021 (Clay Feagler).

Woodruff played collegiately at South Carolina where he was team MVP as a freshman in 2011. He played in 25 career college tournaments, earning five top 20 finishes with an overall scoring average of 74.79. That included two U.S. Amateur qualifications in 2011 and 2012.

The native of Acworth, Ga., was a standout at Harrison High School where he played with UTC alum J.T. Clendenin ’10. He led the Hoyas to state titles in 2008 and 2010 and was a 2-time Georgia PGA Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

Woodruff got his degree in Business in 2014 and Master’s in Human Resources in 2015, He got his coaching start at Wisconsin in the spring of 2016 before moving to Pepperdine after the fall 2017 schedule with the Badgers. UW’s ranking when he started was 168 and ended at 86th. The Waves were No. 48 at arrival reaching No. 1 in the final 2020 rankings.

His wife Katie is also in coaching. The duo met in Malibu where she was Pepperdine’s assistant women’s coach. She just completed her third season at USC. They married in the summer of 2020.

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