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The Southern ConferencePublished: 6/10/2024, Last updated: 6/25/2024
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ETSU names Aaron O’Callaghan men’s golf head coach

O’Callaghan becomes the fourth head coach to lead the Buccaneer program

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – East Tennessee State University Athletic Director Dr. Richard Sander announced on Monday the hiring of Aaron O'Callaghan as ETSU men's golf head coach.
O'Callaghan, who spent the last six seasons as the associate head coach at Wake Forest, becomes the fourth head coach to lead the prestigious Buccaneer program.  
"I am so excited to have Aaron lead our men's golf program," said Dr. Sander. "When we started the search, the first name that came up when I met with Dr. Noland was Aaron O'Callaghan. Coach is well-respected across the golf community and that was apparent when we moved through this process. Aaron's personality, his coaching style and playing record all fit perfectly with the profile we established as we were looking for our new golf coach. He is going to do great things here at ETSU."
Mike Hulbert has known Coach O'Callaghan for many years and is ready to get to work.
"I'm super excited that we were able to get Aaron O'Callaghan as our next head coach," said Coach Hulbert. "I've known Aaron for quite some time and the work he has done with Coach Jerry Haas at Wake Forest speaks for itself – what a program! The two most important qualities for a head coach are recruiting and relationships. Aaron is A+ and I can't wait to start working with him." 
O'Callaghan has 10 years of coaching experience as he spent four years at Louisville prior to making the move to Winston-Salem, N.C.
"I am ecstatic to be the next men's golf coach at ETSU and to lead this historic program to new success," said O'Callaghan, who will be a co-assistant coach for Team International at next month's Arnold Palmer Cup. "I have always admired ETSU men's golf and have tremendous respect for the program. I look forward to this new era of Buccaneer Golf and building on the momentum that is already in place. I am thankful for Dr. Richard Sander and Dr. Brian Noland's faith and belief in me leading the ETSU men's golf program."
During his time at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons captured 15 tournament wins, appeared in all five NCAA Regionals (2020 was canceled due to COVID) and advanced to four NCAA Championships. Wake Forest won at least one tournament each year under O'Callaghan's watch, including the 2022 NCAA Regional in New Haven, Conn. and the 2022 ACC Championship – the 18th in program history.
In O'Callaghan's first season at Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacons won five times in the 2018-19 season, the most by a Wake Forest team since 1983-84. Wake Forest was ranked in the top five nationally for majority of the campaign, while the Demon Deacons advanced to match play at the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history. Wake Forest also broke the school record for top scoring average by over four shots per round.
In 2019-20, Wake Forest won the Rod Myers Invitational, while the Demon Deacons – who shot 20-under-par or better in five of eight events – finished in the top-four in all eight events prior to COVID shortening the season. Individually, Parker Gillam won the White Sands Intercollegiate behind an NCAA-tying 60 in round one, while Mark Power earned medalist honors at the prestigious East Lake Cup.
The spring of 2021 saw Wake Forest register back-to-back team titles at the Kiawah Invitational and Wake Forest Invitational at Pinehurst No. 2, while the Demon Deacons added three individual titles to their resume. Wake Forest made it a clean sweep at both Kiawah and Wake Forest Invitational thanks to Michael Brennan earning medalist honors at both, while Alex Fitzpatrick – the younger brother to 2022 U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick – winning the Valspar Collegiate.
During the 2021-22 season where Wake Forest won the ACC Championship and the New Haven Regional, the Demon Deacons also captured the crown at the Old Town Club Collegiate. Wake Forest set program records for a regional score at 26-under-par, while the 35-under-par at the Old Town Club Collegiate also set a new tournament record.
Wake Forest won two team titles in 2022-23 with the Demon Deacons capturing the Battle at Briar's Creek and the Battle of the Run. Mark Power made it a clean sweep at Battle at Briar's Creek as he earned a four-shot win at 9-under-par 207. Brennan began his run for back-to-back ACC titles as he won a playoff over Georgia Tech's Hiroshi Tai.
This past 2023-24 season, Wake Forest had six top-five finishes, including a win at the Highlands Invitational and advanced to its 48th NCAA Championship after placing fifth at the Austin Regional. To go with the win at the Highlands Invitational, where Wake Forest fired a 31-under-par, Brennan took home the individual title at 12-under-par. Brennan went on to win his second straight ACC individual title, marking his eighth career win, tying him for third all-time in program history with Curtis Strange.
In his run as associate head coach at Wake Forest, O'Callaghan saw seven Demon Deacons account for 11 All-American honors, while he also had 11 All-ACC selections and 14 ACC All-academic selections. Michael Brennan, who earned medalist honors as the 2023 and 2024 ACC Championship, was tabbed All-American in 2022 and 2024, while Cameron Young – the 2022 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year – was also a two-time All-American in 2018 and 2019. Brennan became the first Wake Forest player to win an ACC crown since seven-time PGA Tour winner and 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson accomplished the feat in 2008.
Prior to Wake Forest, O'Callaghan spent four years at Louisville where he served as an assistant coach for three seasons and an associate head coach for his final season. O'Callaghan led the Cardinals to four team wins, three NCAA Regional appearances and a 14th-place showing at the 2016 NCAA Championship. Among the players he coached at UL was two-time ACC Champion Robin Sciot-Siegrist.
O'Callaghan played collegiately at Southeastern Louisiana from 2005-09, where he posted two career wins and was tabbed first team All-Southland Conference in 2007. As a professional, he advanced to the second stage of the 2011 European Tour Qualifying School.
Following his professional career, O'Callaghan spent four years as the top assistant golf pro at the Baton Rouge Country Club.
"My wife, Kristin, and I can't wait to move to Johnson City," said O'Callaghan. "The community that supports ETSU Golf is second to none. We look forward to meeting you and bringing home a national championship. Go Bucs!"