Fetcho Named Head Coach at Southern Illinois
July 26, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois assistant men's golf coach Justin Fetcho was named head men's golf coach at Southern Illinois University on Saturday. Fetcho spent the last two seasons with the Fighting Illini after being hired in February 2013. Under the leadership of head coach Mike Small, Fetcho helped guide Illinois to a pair of highly successful seasons as the Illini finished as NCAA runner-up in 2013 and reached the NCAA match-play quarterfinals in 2014.
"I would like to thank Coach Small, the administration and the entire Fighting Illini family for giving me the opportunity to work alongside them for nearly the last two years," Fetcho said. "Any time you have the chance to work with the best college coach in the country at one of the best academic schools in the world, you will always be forever grateful for that experience. I can't thank Coach Small enough for believing in me and for teaching me how to build and maintain a successful golf program in the Midwest. I'm looking forward to taking everything I have learned from him and building a great program at SIU. While my wife, Amanda, and I are sad to leave Champaign, we know we have an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go build something special at a place near where we both grew up."
Fetcho becomes the second of three assistant coaches under Small to earn head coaching jobs, joining Dave Pezzino. Pezzino became the head coach at Connecticut after spending the 2006-07 season in Champaign. Small's only other assistant coach during his 14-year tenure was Zach Guthrie, who left Illinois to caddy for his brother and former Illini All-American, Luke, on the PGA Tour.
"We're happy for Justin and Amanda that he's starting his head coaching career," Small said. "We want everyone in our program to go on, chase their dreams and be successful, and head coaching jobs don't come around very often. We're excited that he's getting a chance to be a head coach. He's done a good job at Illinois and we'll be pulling for him at SIU."
Fetcho helped lead the Illini to their fifth-straight Big Ten title and an NCAA runner-up finish in 2013, then assisted in Illinois' strong 2013-14 campaign that ended in the NCAA match-play quarterfinals. Also in 2013-14, the Orange and Blue broke the team and individual season scoring average records, had three players earn All-America honors and saw Brian Campbell earn the team's third-straight Big Ten Player of the Year award.
Fetcho also served a key role in recruiting, helping Illinois sign two players ranked in the AJGA's top 20 in the class of 2014 and three top-100 players according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Boys Rankings at the time of National Signing Day in November.
Prior to his time at Illinois, Fetcho was the assistant women's golf coach at Oregon, serving as interim head coach for much of the 2012 spring season while head coach Ria Scott was on maternity leave. He also was assistant men's golf coach at USF from 2009-11.
A successful player in his own right, Fetcho finished 13th at the 2013 Illinois State Amateur and placed second in the 2008 Illinois Open. He played events on the Nationwide, Hooters, E-Golf and Moonlight Tours from 2007-09 and holds course records at Saline Country Club, Helfrich Hills Golf Course and Fairfield Country Club. He was an NJCAA All-American in 2005 while at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois, after placing third at the NJCAA Division II national championships. He then transferred to South Florida, where he earned GCAA All-American Scholar honors in 2006 and 2007 before graduating in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Fetcho and his wife, Amanda, were married on July 19.