Gophers men’s golf head coach moves to administrative role

Smith will move to associate head coach while Carlson becomes director of men’s golf.

Max Biegert

Head coach John Carlson is moving to a new role as the director of men’s golf, while assistant coach Justin Smith took over as associate head coach, the University announced Monday.

Carlson, who served as the head coach for the last six years, will move into an administrative role with his new position. Smith will take over the day-to-day tasks for the program. He will lead individual instruction, practice and coaching during competition. Smith will also lead the way in recruiting. He said he’s always wanted to make Minnesota his permanent home and this gives him an opportunity to do so.

“When it comes to player and team development, that will be my role,” Smith said. “I want to make sure that our 12 guys are ready to play each event and develop the values and the culture that we know they can play their best in.”

Carlson will manage more alumni, donor and local course relationships. He will also help to coordinate the team’s tournament schedule, instruction plans and recruiting. Developing the new indoor practice facility will also be one of his duties.

“[Athletics Director] Mark Coyle and his administration have incredible confidence in us to go about this route and we are going to be better because of it,” Smith said.

Before becoming the assistant head coach, Smith was a two-time captain for the Gophers. He was also a key force behind the program winning its only national championship in 2002.

“Having the confidence of the administration to move in this direction hopefully supplants me here for a long long time,” Smith said. “Allows me to give back to the University that did so much for me.”