Jordan Byrd is in his ninth year as Clemson assistant golf coach. He has
been regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation in recent
years. Twice in the last four years he
has been one of 10 semifinalists for the Jan Strickland Award, which is
presented by Taylor Made-Adidas Golf and given to the top assistant coach in
the nation by the Golf Coaches Association.
The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA
or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with
their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
From recruiting to golf instruction to facility enhancement to overall
administration of the program, Byrd has had a positive influence on Larry Penley's
program. He had a big hand in the design and fund raising for the
Larry Penley Golf Building that was dedicated in the fall of 2011.
In his first eight years with the program, Clemson finished in the top
20 at the NCAA Championships three times, a number-seven finish in 2006 and a
number-five finish in 2008, and a 16th place finish in 2010.
The program reached the NCAA Tournament each year and was ranked in the final
top 25 of the Sagarin computer rankings five times.
Clemson's number-five finish in 2008 was the best for the program since
it won the national championship in 2003. Clemson also won the Furman
Invitational three times, and finished second at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
The program has had a US Public Links Champion, a US Amateur runner-up and two
runner-up finishes at the NCAA Tournament.
Byrd had a significant impact on Clemson's top five recruiting class
that entered Clemson in August of 2006. Sam Saunders and Kyle Stanley were both
ranked among the top 10 junior players in the nation and went on to have
outstanding freshman seasons.
The class also included 2010 All-American Ben Martin, who was a
three-time All-ACC player. Stanley and Martin were both regulars on the
PGA Tour in 2011. Stanley finished 31st on the PGA Tour money
list in 2012 and won a tournament. Martin finished third on the Web.com
Tour in 2013, a season that included a pair of wins. The native of Greenwood will be fully exempt
on the PGA Tour in 2014.
Byrd also recruited first-team AJGA All-American Crawford Reeves in 2009
and Corbin Mills, another top AJGA player. The top recruiting continued
in 2011 when the Tigers signed first-team AJGA All-American Billy Kennerly and
in 2012 when AJGA Player of the Year Cody Proveaux signed with Clemson. The Tigers added AJGA All-Americans Carson
Young and Austin Langdale in 2013.
Byrd moved into the newly created assistant golf coach position at
Clemson University on August 4, 2005. He became Clemson's first assistant coach
in the sport since the 1982-83 academic year when Larry Penley held the
position before he succeeded Bobby Robinson as Clemson's head coach the
Byrd has considerable experience as a player and is familiar with the
Clemson program. He was the Southern Conference Champion in 1997 as a junior,
and is the brother of former Clemson All-American and current PGA Tour player
Jordan Byrd was the captain of the Furman golf team his senior year
(1997-98). He won the Southern Conference Championship as a junior in 1997 when
the Paladins also won the team title. With that team championship, Furman
qualified as a team for the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program's
Byrd had 11 top 10 finishes in his career at Furman and was named to the
All-Southern Conference team in 1997 and 1998. He led the team in stroke
average as a junior (74.1) and had a career stroke average of 75.72, still
among the best in Furman history. He had a career best 66 at the 1996 Old
Dominion Seascape Invitational and was Furman's top golfer in nine different
tournaments over his career.
Over his final two seasons as a collegian, he competed against his
brother Jonathan and the Clemson Tigers four times. It is interesting to note
that the brothers had the exact same 54-hole score in two of the four tournaments.
They tied for eighth with 218 scores at the 1997 Furman Invitational, then had
identical 229 scores at the NCAA East Regional later that year at Hot Springs,
VA. Jordan was a junior at Furman and Jonathan a freshman at Clemson that year.
Byrd comes from an athletic family. In addition to the accomplishments
of his brother, his father, the late Jim Byrd, was a standout football player
at North Carolina in the 1960s. Jim Byrd and his wife Jo were omnipresent at
Clemson golf events supporting the Tigers.
Jordan also had an outstanding amateur career, a playing career that
continues today. He reached the semifinals of the North-South in 1997. In 2006
he finished second in the South Carolina Amateur (tied with Clemson player
Phillip Mollica). He also qualified for the US Amateur and the US Mid-Amateur.
In both qualifiers, he won medalist honors. He also teamed with his father, to
win the South Carolina Father-Son Amateur Championship in the summer of 2006.
In the fall of 2007 he reached the quarterfinals of the United States
Mid-Amateur. He was just three victories away from joining his brother at the
2008 Masters. Byrd was ranked among the top 100 amateurs according to the
Golfweek Amateur rankings for most of the summer of 2007. In 2008 he advanced to
the second round of the US Mid-Amateur at Milwaukee Country Club before he was
defeated in 23 holes by former Clemson golfer Stephen White. He also qualified
for stroke play of the Mid-Amateur in 2009.
A native of Columbia, SC, Byrd graduated from Spring Valley High School,
where he was an outstanding golfer and wrestler. He reached the state finals in
his weight class on the wrestling mat in 1994, the same year he finished in the
top 10 in the state golf tournament. On the course, he led Spring Valley High
to three top five finishes in the state tournament. He won the Spring Valley
Invitational as a senior and captured the 1993 Junior World Optimist title.
After graduating from Furman in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
business administration, Byrd pursued a professional career for two years. He
played on the Hooter's Tour and the Tear Drop Tour during his professional and
had four top five finishes.
From May of 2001 to the summer of 2005, Byrd worked as a salesman,
trader, portfolio manager, and technical analyst at DiBiasio & Edgington
Inc. in Annandale, VA.
Byrd married the former Erika Newsom in December of 2012. They are expecting their first child in 2014.
BYRD QUICK FACTS
Born: July 19, 1976 in Lexington, SC.
Education: Graduated from Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC in 1994; Graduated
from Furman University in Greenville, SC in 1998.
Family: Son of Jim and Jo Byrd of Columbia, SC; Brother of PGA Tour player
Jonathan Byrd; Married the former Erika Newsom in December of 2012.
Playing Experience: Four-year letterman at Furman
Coaching Experience: Clemson assistant coach 2005-present;
Clemson has been to six straight NCAAs and had two top 10 finishes and three
top 16s; Recruited 2009 Ben Hogan Award winner Kyle Stanley and 2010
All-American Ben Martin.
Honors: Southern Conference Champion in 1997; Qualified for US Amateur in US
Mid-Amateur in 2006; Quarterfinalist at 2007 United States Mid-Amateur; Semifinalist
for Jan Strickland Award (assistant coach of the year) in 2010 and 2012.