0503-Dave Jennings2.jpg

Central Alabama Community College golf coach Dave Jennings, center, was presented his plaque for being inducted into the Alabama Community College Conference Hall of Fame. He was joined by CACC President Susan Burrows, left, and ACCC commissioner Dean Myrick.

Central Alabama Community College golf coach Dave Jennings has been a Hall of Famer for nearly a decade. In 2010, he was inducted into the NJCAA Golf Hall of Fame and in 2013, he earned a spot in the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame.

Now, he’s a three-time Hall of Famer as earlier this year, Jennings was inducted into the Alabama Community College Conference Hall of Fame, and Wednesday, he was recognized for that honor at CACC.

“I can’t imagine a hall of fame for community college athletics and not having Dave Jennings in it,” CACC athletic director Kathleen Thompson said. “The nomination wrote itself. We’ve been so blessed to have him here at our golf program for 18 years. He does an outstanding job recruiting golfers who perform at the highest level on the golf course and in the classroom.”

Also present at Wednesday’s ceremony was ACCC commissioner Dean Myrick, who listed Jennings’ accomplishments, which extend beyond his career with the Trojans.

CACC’s golf program was eliminated in 2001, but Jennings was charged with resurrecting the program just a year later when he was named head coach in 2002.

Since then, the Trojans have won eight region and seven district championships, and Jennings added an NJCAA Division I National Championship to his resume in 2013. As Thompson said, Jennings has groomed not only great golfers but great student-athletes, and that was never more on display than in 2017 when CACC was named the NJCAA Golf Academic Team of the Year for having the highest cumulative GPA among all teams across the nation.

Also during his career at CACC, Jennings has hosted three NJCAA Men’s Golf National Championships, coached 28 All-Americans and one Jack Nicklaus award winner. Extending beyond his duties as the Trojan coach, Jennings also coached Team USA in the 2010 World University Golf Championship and in the 2018 Toyota Junior World Cup.

“He has enjoyed tremendous success,” CACC President Susan Burrows said. “Dave focuses on two things: Developing players as a total-student athlete and also helping them to transition to their next phase of their education and their career. There’s not much more we can ask for as far as a coach other than that because first, they’re students then they are athletes.”

Thompson said, “This isn’t just a job for Dave. This program, these guys, this is his life. It’s a calling for him, and it shows. He absolutely loves what he does, and that comes across in everything he does.”

Although it was Jennings who was recognized with his third hall of fame induction, he continued to credit others with his success. He thanked Alexander City for being so supportive in helping to resurrect the golf program at CACC, and he gave appreciation to Burrows, Thompson, Myrick and his fellow Trojan coaches for their support. But it was mainly his players who Jennings credited for his achievements.

“You don’t get these things unless you’ve got some players, and I’ve had some really, really good players,” Jennings said. “I have a great golf team. I have eight really great guys. All five of my sophomores have a place to land next year, and I’m excited about that. My freshman that are coming back are going to be really strong.

“I was thinking about retiring. But I’m not thinking about retiring anymore. This is a lot of fun.”

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.