State Now

NC State golf coach Richard Sykes to retire after 46 years

N.C. State is going to have to do something it hasn’t done since Richard Nixon was President: hire a new men’s golf coach.

The school announced on Wednesday that longtime coach Richard Sykes would retire after the spring season, his 46th with the Wolfpack.

“I love N.C. State and have been a part of it for the past 46 years,” Sykes said in a statement released by the school. “It has been a dream come true. My age is now an even-par 72. Since we try to keep scores at par or better, it’s time for me to step aside. Hopefully as the season goes along, I will have the opportunity to thank all of the players, their families, donors, N.C. State administrators, and fans who have made my time here so special.”

Sykes, 72, graduated from N.C. State in 1968 and took over the golf program three years later after Al Michaels was promoted to be the Wolfpack’s football coach. Sykes has led the Wolfpack program to appearances in the NCAA Regionals 23 times, 12 in the NCAA Championships and an ACC title in 1990.

During his tenure, Sykes has 47 All-ACC selections and 34 All-Americans, including Matt Hill, who won the 2009 NCAA individual title; six ACC champions and two ACC players of the year. He was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2001.

“Coach Sykes has had a unique and long lasting impact on our golf program and student athletes,” N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement released by the school. “He will always be part of the fabric of N.C. State Athletics, and we look forward to honoring his many contributions this spring.”

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio