Skyhawk Golf | Jerry Carpenter - Head Coach
Leading the University of Tennessee at Martin golf program to unprecedented heights is Jerry Carpenter, who has served as Skyhawk head coach since 2002.
Tabbed as the program’s second head coach following the retirement of longtime head coach Grover Page, Carpenter has lifted the UT Martin program to a multitude of success in recent seasons. Coinciding with the addition of the state-of-the-art Rhodes Golf Center on campus, the Skyhawks won their first-ever Ohio Valley Conference golf championship in 2016, carding a one-shot victory with an 879 (+15) over the 54-hole event.
In addition, UT Martin has also produced three consecutive OVC medalists, as Brendon Caballero (2015) and Hunter Richardson (2016-17) earned those honors. Caballero became the first-ever Skyhawk to win the OVC's top individual crown while UT Martin is just the third school to tally three straight OVC medalists (first since 1998-2000). Caballero advanced to the NCAA Regional in Chapel Hill, NC while Richardson, along with the Skyhawk team, took part in the NCAA Regional in Franklin, Tenn. in 2016 before competing in the 2017 NCAA Regional in College Grove, Tenn.
Carpenter is a two-time recipient of the OVC Coach of the Year award (2014, 2016), becoming the first UT Martin representative to garner the league’s top coaching accolade. He recruited the OVC Freshman of the Year in three straight seasons (Ben Reeves in 2013, Austin Swafford in 2014, Richardson in 2015), as the Skyhawks became the first program in OVC history to account for three consecutive Freshman of the Year honorees.
There have been 27 instances of a UT Martin representative ever earning All-OVC, All-OVC Tournament or All-OVC Newcomer accolades and 22 of those have come in Carpenter’s tenure. That list includes Caballero and Richardson, who are the only Skyhawks to earn All-OVC honors in three different seasons. In 2017, Richardson became the first UT Martin player to garner OVC Player of the Year accolades.
In addition to its accomplishments on the links, UT Martin has earned the OVC Team Sportsmanship Award on five different occasions, including four consecutive seasons (2014-17). His teams often excel in the academic forum as well, as Reeves was identified as one of only three males to earn the 2015-16 OVC Scholar-Athlete Award, regarded as the highest individual honor that an OVC student-athlete can receive. Reeves and Swafford have each earned Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar accolades from the Golf Coaches Association of America in each of the last two seasons.
A native of Newbern, Tenn., Carpenter has spent 53 total years at UT Martin. That includes four years as a student, 34 years as the university’s bookstore manager and 15 in his current role as head golf coach. He graduated from UT Martin in 1966.
Carpenter served as a volunteer assistant coach under Page during the 2001-02 season and also has four years of experience working with competitive golf on the high school level.
Carpenter is also a registered Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association official for football and basketball and has been officiating for over 35 years. He served for over 25 years as an official at the junior college and NAIA level of college basketball along with calling men’s and women’s basketball games in the OVC for 10 years.
Carpenter is a 1986 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the National Federation of High School Athletics for contributions in officiating at the high school level. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the TSSAA in 1988.
Carpenter was recognized in the 1998-99 season as the Official of the Year by the TSSAA and was given the 2000 Outstanding Employee Award from UT Martin.
Most recently, Carpenter was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame for his days as an official.
Carpenter is married to the former Linda Scates and they have two children; daughter Dana Evans and son Scott Carpenter.