NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma men’s golf head coach Ryan Hybl has filled the vacancy on his staff Friday, announcing the hiring of Jim Garren as his assistant coach.
Garren comes to OU after a one-year stint as the assistant coach at the University of New Mexico. Previously, Garren spent five seasons as assistant men’s golf coach and director of recruiting at the University of Southern Mississippi.
“We are really excited to add Jim as an integral part of this golf program,” Hybl said. “He was a great fit for us, and I know he is ready to get going here at OU.”
When he came to Norman on his visit, Garren said it felt like home and that the people were welcoming. He was drawn to OU because of both this and the quality of the athletics department.
“OU is an outstanding place. Athletically, OU is a championship-caliber athletics program across the board,” Garren said. “Every team at Oklahoma expects to be a championship-caliber team, and that is how the administration feels it should be. That is a welcome challenge for me, and that is the type of department for which I want to work.”
Garren shared that he looks forward to being a part of the continued improvement of the OU men’s golf program, which has made four straight NCAA Championships appearances.
“On the golf side, it is impressive to look at what Ryan has done in his tenure,” Garren explained. “When he took over, OU was pretty far down, and since then, he has made it a contender. He has been here five years, and the change has been amazing. I look forward to working with Ryan and taking the Sooners from being a championship contender to the very top level of golf.”
While Garren was at Southern Mississippi, the Golden Eagles established five team records. Southern Mississippi also produced four Academic All-America Scholars under Garren after having just two prior to his arrival.
Last season, Garren helped New Mexico to four tournament wins, including a Mountain West championship. The Lobos produced a pair of PING All-West Region and All-Mountain West selections, a second team All-American and three Academic All-America Scholars.
As a golfer, Garren was a member of the Wallace State Junior College men’s golf team in 2003. While at Wallace State, he helped lead the team to a third-place ranking in NSCAA Division I. Garren then transferred to Kennesaw State, where he earned his degree in Sports Management in 2008.
The Cartersville, Ga., native was a three-time Georgia High School State Champion at Cartersville High School. He was a two-time qualifier for the Atlanta Open and also earned alternate status through qualifying for the 2005 U.S. Open.
Garren takes over at OU for Blake Smart, who was named the men’s golf head coach at Memphis in July.