N.C. Wesleyan College on Wednesday announced the hiring of a new men’s golf coach.
The Bishops named volunteer assistant Walter Sykes as the new coach for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
Sykes will replace coach Gregg Ripke, who is stepping down after leading the team for 10 years during its most successful stretch in school history. The two coaches will essentially swap roles for the upcoming season as Ripke will stay on as a volunteer assistant during the transitional phase.
Sykes, a Conway native, is an NCWC alum and has been a volunteer assistant with the Bishops for the past two seasons. Sykes also filled in for Ripke during the shortened spring season in 2020.
“We are thrilled to have (Sykes) join our staff,” Bishops athletic director Aaron Denton said. “He is an outstanding coach and a great addition to Wesleyan. The fact that he is a Wesleyan alum and part of our winning tradition as well as his recent work with the current team and coach Ripke makes this exciting. Mac is one of the best I’ve seen at building and maintaining relationships with people and that will serve our students and college very well.”
“It is a tremendous honor as an alum to come back and represent the college and program as the head golf coach,” Sykes said in a press release. “I want to thank Gregg for his friendship and guidance over the years, as he left it in good hands. I also want to thank Aaron Denton for this opportunity as we look to continue the winning tradition that the past players and coaches set here at Wesleyan.”
Sykes worked heavily with the four seniors — Grady Anderson, Mariano Silvestri, Luke Thornton and Dustin Wood — that made it to the national tournament.
As a player with NCWC, Sykes was the MVP of the golf team in 1977 while also winning the Benny Goodrich Memorial Award and the Senior Award in 1980.