Guhne spurns big offers to stick with UTC
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Mark Guhne is happy where he is.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's golf coach made that clear earlier this month when he continued to turn away advances from big schools to accept a new three-year agreement with his alma mater.
UTC athletic director Rick Hart made retaining Guhne a priority after watching the program become a national contender.
The Mocs have played in six straight NCAA Regionals, advancing to the NCAA Championships twice in that span. In addition to winning four Southern Conference championships, UTC also won the NCAA Bowling Green Regional this past season.
With that success in mind, Guhne's new deal comes with a pay raise and incentive bonuses. However, those were not the primary reasons he chose to stay in the Scenic City.
"Looking at what we've already accomplished here, it's been one heck of a ride," Guhne said via cell phone Thursday. "The community here gets excited and gives us great support. Our kids are excited and want to be here.
"I love everything about it."
His love was enough to turn down interest from SEC-power Vanderbilt earlier this year, as well as offers from Auburn and Duke in the past.
As a former UTC wrestler, Guhne knows what it's like to compete on a mid-major level, and that underdog mentality is what motivates him to get better.
"It's been really fun building something here," Guhne said. "It's one thing when you're a big-name school that's expected to be good every year, but I've really enjoyed being the underdog and beating those big-name schools.
"Our kids get asked a lot if UTC is even a Division I school and their talent gets doubted. We like proving those people wrong."
Guhne believes Chattanooga men's golf is far from finished proving its worth. Despite losing all-american Stephan Jaeger after reaching unprecedented heights, the veteran coach is excited about what lies ahead.
"I think this is just the beginning," Guhne said. "We've got a fantastic recruiting class coming in that I believe is one of the best in the country.
"The next few years are going to be a lot of fun."