GSW golf coach Danna bolts for Lynn

GSW golf coach Andrew Danna

GSW golf coach Andrew Danna

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Georgia Southwestern head men’s golf coach Andrew Danna has accepted the same position at Lynn University and will be leaving the Hurricane program effective Monday.

“I am thankful for the opportunity (athletic director) Jaclyn (Donovan) gave me two years ago,” said Danna, who coached the Hurricanes for two seasons. “My experiences at GSW will stay with me forever. This is where it all started for me (as a collegiate head coach).”

In the first five years of NCAA competition, GSW yielded just one tournament victory. This past season, the Hurricanes won three events, had an individual player appear in the NCAA national tournament for the first time in school history, earned a No. 1 national ranking in Golfstat.com and had two PING All-Americans and All-Peach Belt Conference selections. Danna also earned PBC Coach of the Year recognition.

“I feel like we’ve done something special,” Danna said. “The foundation is in place for the success to continue for years to come.”

The Hurricanes lost their top golfer from last season — Craig Gibson, who is headed back home to Canada with intentions to turn pro later this year — but will return their other two top golfers: J.P. Griffin and Nate Gahman. Griffin, who tied for ninth at nationals, and Gahman, who is a Leesburg native and former Herald Player of the Year in golf, will both be seniors next season.

Danna said his players were understanding when he informed them.

“They understand that the (GSW) program is going in the right direction,” Danna said. “I feel like they will continue that success.”

But as good a season as GSW had last year, Lynn’s was even better.

Lynn, which is located about 40 miles north of Miami, has one of the top Division II golf programs in the nation. The Fighting Knights were ranked No. 1 in the nation last season, have been to the postseason for 10 consecutive years and were national runners-up in 2011.

Lynn and GSW played head-to-head four times last season, and the Hurricanes won just one of those matches.

“Golf in South Florida is really big,” Danna said. “It was an opportunity that was presented to me. (Lynn) is an unbelievable university, and they have an unbelievable golf program and such rich tradition. At this time, it was a really good opportunity for me and I could not pass it up.”

After beginning his professional career at the Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I., Danna returned to his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., to serve as a club instructor for player development with the junior golf program at the Santa Maria Golf Academy. He later moved on to the English Turn Country Club in New Orleans before making the move into the college ranks at GSW in 2010.

Danna becomes the third coach in Lynn history and inherits four starters from a squad which held No. 1 rankings in both Golfstat and the Nike/Golf World NCAA Division II Coaches Poll, including two-time All-American Daniel Young.