Jay Rees is saying goodbye to the green fairways of the golf course as he rides west into the sunset with his family in life after UTA coaching.
Despite all the wins and accomplishments, Rees knew it was time to start a new chapter in his life after 16 years of coaching.
“I am proud,” Rees said. “We’ll celebrate those accolades and championships one day, and, hopefully, we would get the Hall of Fame seeing there is no golfers, but the championships we’ve won and records we’ve set. I sure would hope we would get to celebrate of being in the Hall of Fame.”
The one thing that he was known for was his short game. Rees coached his players to become the best short-game teams in the nation four times.
“He is one of the best short-game coaches in the nation in my opinion,” alumnus James Taylor said. “I will always come back to him for help with my wedges.”
With the end of every one of his 26 seasons as a coach, Rees would always prepare for the future, whether it be his with his staff or his players. But his final preparation isn’t for golf, it is for life after golf.
Rees said that even though as a competitor, there is never a good time to hang it up, this was the best opportunity to start a new life.
As UTA head coach, Rees was a three-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year, a large part attributed to reaching seven NCAA regional competitions and bringing two conference championships back to Arlington. He said he is proud of what he and his program were able to accomplish.
“Coach Rees was an amazing human being,” Taylor said. “He moved mountains at UTA to make the program the best he could make it. Golf was his life, and he loved every kid that he recruited in like it was his own son. He was like our dad away from home.”
Rees said on one hand, he will miss being on the green on a sunny morning. But being away from his new wife three or four days at a time took a toll on him.
“To be able to see her every day for dinner and participate in her passion with rescuing dogs, I know how much happiness this is going to bring her, and, in return, that will obviously bring great happiness to me,” Rees said. “It was about making the decision for my family for once, instead of the UTA family.”
Athletics director Jim Baker said former assistant coach Stuart Powell will finish out the 2015 season and a nationwide search for a new head coach will begin for fall competition.