Norwood, 66, to step down as UALR coach

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Saying he felt “it was time for a younger man to come in to take the program to the next level,” Wyn Norwood announced he will be stepping down as director of golf and men’s head coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock at the end of the season.

Norwood, 66, has been at the school for 20 years, 18 of which he has served as coach of the Trojans. A five-time Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, he has guided UALR to four conference championships and coached three SBC individual medalists.

“There are a number of reasons for stepping down at this time, but the bottom line is you have to draw the line sometime, somewhere,” Norwood said. “I felt this would be as good a time as any.

“I am grateful for the opportunity UALR has given me over the last 20 years to work with some of the finest young men and women to ever come through the athletic department,” Norwood said. “Stepping down was a very difficult decision.

“The one thing I promised myself is that when I left, I would not leave the cupboard bare. With one junior, three sophomores and five freshmen on this season’s squad, we have a good, young team with a lot of potential for whoever comes in to work with.”

A 2001 inductee into the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame, Norwood came to UALR – which had dropped its golf program in the mid-1980s and had never had a women’s golf program – before the 1992-93 season. Not only did he revive the men’s program, but he started the women’s, as well.

He spent his first 13 years at UALR as head coach of both programs, and in 1994 was named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year on the men’s and women’s sides.

His women’s teams won back-to-back Sun Belt titles in 1998-99, and his men’s squad captured consecutive league crowns in 2000-01.

In 2003, he was named director of golf at the Little Rock-based university, and following the 2004-05 season he stepped down as head coach of both programs to become associate athletic director for development, during which he helped get the school’s Athletic Foundation up and running. After two years, he returned as golf coach.

“We are certainly very appreciative of Wyn’s contributions to UALR and the Trojan golf program over the years,” UALR director of athletics Chris Peterson said. “He has been a great ambassador for UALR athletics, the university and central Arkansas.”

Norwood coached 19 men and 23 women who earned All-Sun Belt Conference accolades, including conference individual champions Daniel Fox (1999), Maria Jose Hurtado (2000) and Patrick Sullivan (2005).

Last summer, Norwood had the honor of coaching the U.S. men’s golf team at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China.

Norwood won the Arkansas State Amateur Championship twice and has been selected as the Arkansas Amateur Golfer of the Year on two occasions.

He has served as president of the Arkansas State Golf Association, the Southern Golf Association and the Mid-South Golf Association and spent 13 years as a committee member of the USGA. He was selected as captain of the Arkansas Cup team for 13 consecutive years and served as captain of the 1995 U.S. team in the Simon Bolivar Cup in South America.

“Right now, I have no plans as far as what I will be doing,” Norwood said. “I have no commitments to anything. I’ll just play it by ear. My wife (Bridgett) is still going to coach the (UALR) women’s team, and I still hope to stay involved with college golf when I can.

“There is not one part of coaching I did not like, and that’s what made my decision to step down so difficult,” he said. “But I think the time is right for some new fresh, young blood to come in and continue to build and bring the program to the highest level possible.”

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