One of the top assistant coaches in collegiate golf, Brian Sharp is in his 11th season at Virginia Tech and in July 2008 was promoted to associate head coach. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995 with a degree in finance and received his MBA from the Pamplin College of Business in 2006. During his career with the Hokies, he was a four-year letterwinner on the golf team.
Sharp was named the recipient of the 2009 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-Adidas to the Assistant Coach of the Year, as selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The Strickland Award is given to the NCAA Division I, II, III or NAIA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom. He received the award at the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship banquet at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where Jack Nicklaus was the keynote speaker.
The Strickland Award recipient is invited to serve as the assistant coach on the following year’s Palmer Cup team, and Sharp traveled to Portrush, Ireland and historic Royal Portrush Golf Club for the event in 2010. The United States team defeated Europe 13-11, their first victory on foreign soil since 2002.
Sharp was also named to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. During Sharp’s playing career at Virginia Tech, he won four collegiate events, including the 1995 Metro Conference Golf Championship as a senior. He left Virginia Tech as the all-time leader in career scoring for the Hokies, with a four-year average of 74.14. He also finished his Tech career with the most rounds played, and started in the number-one position in every tournament during that time. Sharp is the only Tech golfer to be both four-time all-conference and first team all-state. In addition, he was named to the NCAA All-District 3-North team twice. He is one of only three players in the history of the league to be a four-time All-Metro Conference selection. He was also selected as the 1995 Metro Conference student-athlete of the year and won the Medallion Award for the most outstanding male student-athlete at Virginia Tech in 1995.
“Brian has done an excellent job for us in the time he has been with our program,” Hardwick said. “He has the innate ability to recognize potential immediately, which makes him extremely valuable as a recruiter. He has a wonderful work ethic and all of the attributes that make for a successful coach.
“He is not only one of the top players in Tech history, but also one of the most respected. A four-time MVP and three-time Most Dedicated Player award recipient during his career, it is no surprise that he has continued to have the same success as a coach that he had as a collegiate player and as a professional.”
Sharp came to Virginia Tech from the Buy.com Tour (currently the Web.com Tour), where he played in 2002. Sharp turned professional in 1995 and played on various developmental tours before joining the Buy.com Tour. He won his first ever professional event in 1995 on the Powerbilt Tour at the Neuse Golf Club in Raleigh, N.C.
Sharp’s duties with the Hokies include recruiting, the off-season conditioning program, instruction and player academic progress, as well as managing the Virginia Tech Golf Team Complex.
“Brian has an excellent understanding of the mechanics of the golf swing and is a very qualified teacher,” Hardwick said. “He has all the qualities that any coach would like instilled in his own team — time management, academic prowess, social skills, public speaking ability, attention to detail, high moral character and a dedicated work ethic. We are extremely fortunate to have Brian as a member of our staff. He is an outstanding role model for our players.”
A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Sharp was captain of the 1994 and 1995 Hokie golf teams. He is married to the former Margaret Blackburn of Midlothian, Va. The couple resides in Blacksburg with daughter Meredith and son Cameron.