Josh Brewer's experiences with collegiate athletics had a storybook ending...or so he thought.
As a senior at Indiana University, Brewer birdied the final two holes to finish second individually and help the Hoosiers secure a one-stroke victory at the 1998 Big Ten Championships. While Brewer did not know so at the time, the event was the final tournament in both his career and that of legendary coach Sam Carmichael.
"That was the last year that a conference championship didn't earn you an automatic bid to the NCAAs," Brewer said. "We were `on the bubble' and thought winning the Big Tens would get us in, but it didn't. Obviously, I was disappointed at the time, but to look back at it now, it was a pretty neat way to wrap up my career as a college golfer."
After winning the 1998 Indiana State Amateur crown later that summer, Brewer quickly moved into the business world. He accepted a position as a financial advisor with Linsco/Private Ledger in Indianapolis.
Three falls later, Mike Mayer, who moved from assistant to head coach of the IU men's team after Carmichael retired and also Brewer's childhood golf instructor, asked him to return to campus to share his experiences in golf and school and the transition to professional life with the current team.
"I just really enjoyed the interaction with the student-athletes," Brewer said. "On the way home, my wife Selena said she hadn't seen me that happy in a while. She suggested that college coaching might be something I should explore."
Chalk one up for the wife.
Going Back To Bloomington
Brewer agreed and planted a seed with Mayer to keep him in mind if he heard of any coaching opportunities. Ironically, an opening as assistant coach at Indiana arose soon thereafter and Brewer in March 2002 returned to his alma mater - where he had been an All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten performer.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to have had Josh come back to the Hoosier family," Mayer said. "Having been affiliated with this golf program for 18 years, I can honestly say that Josh was the hardest worker I have ever seen. Josh brings a level of intensity to this program that has been vital to our success. He accepts nothing less than perfection."
Brewer helped the Hoosiers enjoy very solid success over the next six seasons. Indiana was represented in NCAA competition each of his six campaigns with the team. After competing in NCAA Regionals in 2004, 2005 and 2006, the Hoosiers returned to the NCAA Championships as a team in 2008, their first appearance since Brewer's sophomore year in 1996.
All told, Brewer helped coach two All-Americans, three Big Ten Players of the Year honorees, two Palmer Cup members, one Walker Cup member and four scholastic All-Americans.
On To Southern Cal
In 2008, Brewer ventured from his Midwestern roots to become assistant coach for both the men's and women's golf teams at Southern Cal. Brewer and both golf programs thrived in L.A.
Over the next four seasons, Brewer help produce two PAC-10 Championships teams and golfers who won National Player of the Year, National Freshman of the Year, 12 All-America certificates, three PAC-10 Player of the Year awards and two PAC-10 Freshman of the Year accolades. In addition, USC had two Curtis Cup and two Palmer Cup golfers.
The Next Challenge
On June 18, 2012, Brewer was named the head coach at the University of Georgia.
"My wife, Selena, and I are excited to be joining the University of Georgia family," Brewer said. "I have been blessed to learn under some of the country's greatest head coaches and I look forward to using these lessons. Georgia is a program that has a rich and storied history beginning with one of women's athletics greatest visionaries and leaders, Liz Murphey. I want to help build on the tradition she started at UGA of winning championships while graduating our student-athletes. I also look forward to working closely with Coach (Chris) Haack and the men's team as we build Georgia Golf into the nation's best."
Brewer impressed Haack, UGA's Director of Golf who has led the Georgia men to a pair of NCAA titles.
"Josh is someone who I have seen out on the recruiting trail recruiting both men and women," Haack said. "I've noticed he's a tremendously hard worker...a workhorse...with a high level of energy who wants to excel and win championships. There was no doubt in my mind Josh was going to be a superstar head coach as soon as he got his chance. I'm extremely excited to be working with him to help take Georgia Golf to an even higher level."
A native of Brownstown, Ind., Brewer earned two degrees from IU - a bachelor's in Business Management in 1998 and a master's in Kinesiology in 2008.