ATLANTA – Georgia State Director of Golf and former head coach Joe Inman, who has led the program for the last 11 years, announced his retirement from the program on Tuesday.
Inman served as the head coach of the men's golf team starting in August of 2008. He guided the program to five NCAA Regional appearances, including a stretch of four straight from 2014-17. In 2014, the program finished 22nd at the NCAA Championship, less than a week after finishing a school-best second at the NCAA San Antonio Regional.
“Being able to work with so many incredible young men and the Georgia State staff has been a blessing over the last 11 years,” Inman said. “As much as I hope I taught them, I know that they have taught me even more. The game of golf has been a huge part of my life for the last 60 years and this has been an incredible chapter that I will never forget.”
For his contributions to the game, he was inducted into the GSGA Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in January 2017.
After nine years as head coach, Inman took over the Director of Golf position, hiring Chad Wilson as head coach, while continuing to work with the players, but also spending more time fundraising for the program. In the last two years, Inman was instrumental in the new Bobby Jones Golf Course, home to GSU golf, as well as the purchase of a new Sprinter Van for the squad.
This year he watched as all four seniors graduated on time after a season that saw the Panthers earn a third-place finish at the GSU-hosted Autotrader Collegiate Classic. Inman was responsible for bringing Autotrader on board as the title sponsor for the event eight years ago. The event has become one of the premier collegiate events in the southeast.
In 2016-17, Inman guided Georgia State to its eighth conference championship and fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance. It was the second Sun Belt title since 2014 for the Panthers who topped in-state rival Georgia Southern 3-2 in the Match Play Final. For his efforts, he was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year for the second time, also earning the honor in 2014.
It was the 2013-14 year that was his most successful as he guided the Panthers to a school-record four wins, a second-place finish at the NCAA San Antonio Regional and a ranking as high as No. 43 in the country en route to the school’s fifth NCAA Championship appearance where GSU finished 22nd.
After winning the Autotrader Collegiate Classic in the fall, Georgia State earned school-first back-to-back-to-back wins to end the spring, taking the titles of the Furman Intercollegiate, Irish Creek Collegiate and Sun Belt Conference Championship. After winning the conference title, he was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year.
Under Inman’s guidance, Georgia State made its second appearance in an NCAA Regional in 2014. The second-place finish was the best in school history as he watched senior Tyler Gruca finish third, the best result by an individual in NCAA Regional play in program history.
Inman guided the team to a one-stroke win at the conference championship and was named the 2014 Sun Belt Coach of the Year by his peers. Three Panthers earned all-conference honors, including a pair on the first team.
Spanning more than 25 years, Inman’s pro playing career included four victories, one on the PGA Tour and three on the Champions Tour. He had nearly 100 top-25 finishes on each circuit, and his career earnings totaled over $5 million.
Inman’s career on the PGA Tour included playing in 329 events, highlighted by a victory in the 1976 Kemper Open. He also posted three runner-up finishes and four third-place showings on the PGA Tour, along with 32 top 10-performances and 98 finishes in the top 25.
After working as a sales representative for PING from 1989-97, Inman began playing on the Champions Tour in 1998. He owns three tournament titles, winning the Pacific Bell Open in 1998 and 1999 and the SBC Open in 2000. He also compiled two runner-up finishes, three third-place efforts, 33 top-10 showings, and 88 top-25 performances while missing only seven cuts in 276 events on the senior circuit.
As a collegian, Inman was a three-time All-American at Wake Forest, earning first-team honors in 1969 following second-team accolades in 1968 and honorable mention recognition in 1967. Playing on powerhouse teams under legendary coach Jesse Haddock, Inman helped the Demon Deacons to three straight Atlantic Coast Conference titles and top-three NCAA finishes in 1968 and 1969. His college teammates included future PGA Tour standouts Lanny Wadkins and Leonard Thompson.
Georgia State’s season came to an end at the Sun Belt Conference Championship last month. The 2019-20 season is expected to get underway at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in September.