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Georgia head coach Josh Brewer at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on Apr. 11, 2019 at the Georgia golf course. The tournament is played over three days. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Whitney Wade is one of the best golfers in Georgia history. She is one of just three Georgia golfers to earn first team all-SEC honors four times.

Her life has developed since her college career. She married and became Whitney Young, played pro golf and worked her way to the head coach position at Louisville — thanks in large part to Georgia women’s golf head coach Josh Brewer. 

Young did not play for Brewer in her time at Georgia and was nervous meeting him for the first time during her hiring process for the 2013 season. 

“When [Brewer] offered me the job, I was trying to play it cool, but I was secretly pumped, jumping up and down a little when I got in my car,” Young said. “I was just so excited, like to be a coach back in Georgia, it was such an honor. I knew I loved that place and looked forward to bringing people there and helping them get better.”

Young played on Georgia’s team from 2004 to 2007 and assisted Brewer during the 2013 to 2017 seasons. Her time at Georgia included 10 team tournament titles, most notably the 2007 SEC championship title. As an assistant, she helped the program to three appearances at the NCAA regional championship, including a regional title in 2016. 

After four years at Georgia, Young moved back to her home state of Kentucky to serve as an assistant coach at Louisville. After two more years, Young was promoted to head coach. 

She is not the only coach under Brewer to have success as a coach and move on. Emilie Burger Meason, a four-time All-American in her own time at Georgia, played her senior year with Brewer and returned in 2016 as a volunteer coach. Meason is now an assistant coach at Vanderbilt. 

Brewer has been the head coach of the women's golf team at Georgia since June 2012. While at Georgia, Brewer has lead Georgia to 24 tournament victories. 

Brewer’s career

Brewer’s success goes beyond his time at Georgia. Brewer competed collegiately at Indiana from 1995 to 1998, where he was instrumental in winning the 1998 Big Ten championship, finishing in second place individually.

Eventually, he returned to Indiana and served six seasons assisting his former assistant coach Mike Mayer. After leaving Indiana, Brewer served four seasons at Southern California as the assistant to both men and women teams. 

Brewer's biggest win after coming to Georgia was a 2016 sweep at the NCAA Bryan Regional, when Georgia shot its best score in postseason play. His team beat that score again less than a year later at the 2017 SEC championship. 

Young knows how detailed Brewer is as a coach, recounting the common use of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to count every stroke and accounting for distance and club use. Young now uses spreadsheets in a similar way at Louisville. 

“He’s super competitive, super intense, but he just wants to win,” Young said. “We both hated to lose more than we liked to win.” 

Brewer’s still got it

Brewer loves to play and will play with alumni when they are back in town. 

“His stroke game is unbelievable,” Young said. He loves playing with the kids and helping them get better and teaching them new shots, especially around the green. That’s how you lose shots, and we’re trying to help them gain those shots.” 

Manuela Carbajo Ré, a freshman golfer on Brewer’s first team at Georgia, is one alumna who stays connected to her roots.

On Oct. 7th, Ré came back to the Boyd Golf Center and played a round with Brewer after a scheduled practice was over. Brewer was excited to be reunited with an old player and to get a round in. 

“To me, they’ll always have a home here,” Brewer said. “Especially the ones trying to play, we keep them lockers and keep their clubs here.” 

Freshman Celéste Dao and sophomore Jo Hua Hung both say Brewer had a great deal of influence in their decision to come to Georgia. 

Both come from other countries — Dao from Canada and Hua Hung from Taipei City, Taiwan. Unfamiliar with American universities, Dao and Hua Hung were uncertain of their decisions until they meet Brewer. 

Hua Hung said her decision came between Oregon and Georgia. Before Brewer could scout her out, Hua Hung sent a written letter declaring her interest in Georgia. 

“[Brewer] Googled me, found out who I am, found out I was on the national team, and then started contacting [me],” Hua Hung said. 

Dao is close with her coach back home and stays in contact nearly every week. Brewer will join video conversations between the two and has been in contact with her coach back home on his own. 

“Josh is really similar to my national coach,” Dao said. “He wants to be a part of my team. He includes my coach back home and takes the time to evaluate my game and try to learn and add stuff he knows.” 

An impactful relationship

Young and Brewer continue to stay in contact and have discussed invitations to upcoming tournaments, giving Young the exciting possibility of another homecoming. 

After Louisville’s recent tournament victory in the Alexa Stirling Women’s Intercollegiate, Brewer reached out to Young to say congratulations and that he was proud of Young’s achievements. 

Young originally planned on becoming a math teacher after college, but golf was too much of a calling to her.

Brewer has greatly influenced Young’s coaching career, a fact of life that both thoroughly enjoyed.

“I learned a lot from him,” Young said. “He was disciplined and tough when he needed to be, but he had fun because he was a great guy.” 

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