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Golf Coach of the Year: Gainesville's Bryson Worley

POSTED: May 28, 2011 10:10 p.m.

Going into the 2011 season, Gainesville boys golf coach Bryson Worley believed he would have a talented team.

After winning the Hall County championship, the Region 8-AAA championship, and placing fifth in the state tournament, Worley no longer had to believe his team was good, he knew it for a fact.

As most coaches do, Worley gives all the credit to his players for such a successful season. But a team is only as strong as its leader, and Worley and the Red Elephants proved themselves quite strong in 2011.

For his efforts, Worley is The Times 2011 Golf Coach of the Year.

"With the teams we have around here-North Hall, Lumpkin County, White County-it can be really hard to get out of the region," Worley, who will begin his ninth season at the head of the program in 2012, said. "We knew we had a good team, with a good mix of veterans and younger players, but expectations were so high that we didn't play well right out of the gate."

By the time the Hall County championship rolled around, however, the Red Elephants were playing well.

"We started winning here and there and playing well against good competition," Worley said. "It took most of the season for the guys to believe in themselves, but once they developed that confidence, they started winning."

Worley said the most important part of placing fifth at state wasn't the finish itself, but the score that his team put up.

"We shot our lowest round of the year as a team at state," Worley said. "And that is ideal for any team in any sport; you want to play your best in the season's finale, and our guys did."

Worley played down his role in the team's success this season, but revealed how important he was when talking about his coaching method.

"I just try to get the guys to focus on what we can do, not what the other team is doing," Worley said. "I told them to work to improve shot by shot, to control what's controllable and let everything else take care of itself."

"Most importantly they started believing in me and trusting that I knew what I was doing," Worley added.

"Belief and trust in a coach are two of the most important aspects to winning, and our guys did that this season."

Worley is certainly no stranger to the dynamics of the coach/player relationship.

Introduced to the game of golf by his father at the age of 10, Worley said that the sport is almost an obsession in his family.

"I played in college and my brother was a golf pro for many years," Worley said. "So it kind of runs in our family."

The coach also played football at Wofford College, so he knows how to inspire players to achieve their maximum potential.

"That experience helped me to be a better coach today," Worley said.

The Red Elephants will return all but one starter next season, and several promising incoming freshman should boost the team even more.

"I'm excited about where we're going," Worley said. "Next season we should be even better than this year.

"At least, that's the goal."



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