DALLAS — Conference USA has officially renamed its top men’s golf coaching accolade
as the Phillip Hatchett Coach of the Year award, in honor of the late WKU head coach
and graduate who passed away in June.
The league announced the change Thursday after approving the motion last week at the
annual C-USA Winter Retreat.
“We really appreciate Conference USA and the men’s golf coaches honoring the legacy
of Coach Hatchett by designating the league’s coach of the year award in his name,”
said WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart. “Phillip was a great representative of
not only our golf program, but our entire university. He was an outstanding
individual, a person who was respected and liked by everyone he interacted with, and
he and his wife, Beth, cared very much for our players. This is a very meaningful
Hatchett, a 1985 graduate of Western Kentucky University and four-year letterman for
the men’s golf program, spent eight seasons as head coach of the program and led a
resurgence in recent years since taking over in 2010. WKU recorded five top-five
performances as a team in 2017-18 and produced its best conference tournament round
In 2017-18, Hatchett’s top individual player, Billy Tom Sargent was named to the
All-Conference USA Second Team and became the second Hilltopper to qualify for a
NCAA Regional as an individual, and the first since 2008. He also tied for 11th in
the 2018 Conference USA Championship – the best individual conference finish for WKU
Hatchett’s passion for developing young golfers reached past the course and into
both the classroom and community. In 2012-13, 2016-17, and 2017-18, his teams were
the standard for academic success on The Hill as they earned the men’s sport program
Academic Team of the Year award for posting the top cumulative grade point average
among all WKU men’s sport programs. Two individuals were also named WKU’s Male
Academic Student-Athlete of the Year during his tenure.
Hatchett – a Russellville, Ky., native – was also a valuable member of the golf
community in southcentral Kentucky where he was a regular on the courses, fostering
the development of youth golf in the area. In 2008, he created the Phillip Hatchett
Junior Golf Camp in an effort to stimulate the game’s growth, with the camp
mentoring over 200 young golfers since its launch.