(Updated August 2021)
Justin Fetcho, who led Southern Illinois to two Missouri Valley Conference Championships as its Head Men’s Coach, is in his first season as an assistant coach at Florida State. He was hired to work with both the Seminoles’ nationally ranked men’s and women’s programs in August of 2021.
In five seasons as the head coach at Southern Illinois, Fetcho led the Salukis to six tournament titles and the MVC Championships in 2016 and 2019. He was named the MVC Coach of the Year in 2019. He coached many of the top golfers in SIU history, including the school’s first MVC Golfer of the Year (Peyton Wilhoit in 2018), five different golfers who earned All-Conference honors a total of 10 times, and eight different Saluki golfers who were named MVC Players of the Week. In 2018, Wilhoit became the first Saluki golfer since 1972 to qualify for an NCAA Regional. At the 2019 NCAA Regional, Wilhoit placed 12th overall (-2), which is the best finish for an SIU golfer in an NCAA postseason event in school history.
Fetcho coached Southern Illinois to its second MVC championship title four years and to just the second MVC title in school history in 2019. The Salukis trailed by one stroke entering the final round, and rallied to defeat pre-tournament favorite Illinois State by 10 strokes. Four Southern Illinois players finished in the top-10 and three earned All-MVC honors. SIU finished 10th at the NCAA Regionals in Louisville, Kentucky.
Fetcho began his head coaching career at Southern Illinois after serving an assistant coach for the University of Illinois men’s team for two seasons (2013-14). While at Illinois, he helped guide the Illini to back-to-back top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships. In 2013, Illinois claimed its first-ever NCAA regional title and finished runner-up at the NCAA Championships. In 2014, the Illini won another regional title and took fifth at the NCAA Championships.
Fetcho began his coaching career at South Florida, his alma mater, during the 2009-11 seasons. In the spring of 2011, USF tied its best-ever finish by placing fourth in the Big East Championships. Fetcho also helped sign one of the top recruiting classes in school history, as Trey Valentine and Chase Koepka (the brother of Seminole All-American Brooks Koepka) as both proceeded to win Big East Freshman of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013, respectively. In addition, the Bulls posted the highest team GPA of any men’s sport at USF in the spring of 2011.
Following his success at USF in 2011, Fetcho joined the Oregon women’s golf program as an assistant coach. He served as the team’s interim head coach for much of the 2012 spring season while head coach Ria Scott was on maternity leave. The 2012 Oregon squad posted the lowest scoring average in school history (299.3), and All-American Cassy Isagawa recorded the lowest scoring average (72.76) and best national ranking (No. 10) in school history.
Fetcho grew up in Eldorado, Ill., and played his high school golf at Eldorado High before starting his college career at John A. Logan Community College. He was an All-American in 2005 as he finished second at the National Championships. He continued his collegiate career at South Florida, where he was a two-time All-American Scholar. Fetcho still holds the second-lowest 54-hole score in USF history (205, Sam Hall Invitational).
A top Illinois amateur, Fetcho holds three course records. His best finishes include second place at the 2008 Illinois Open and 13th at the 2013 Illinois State Amateur. He holds course records at the Saline Country Club (57, -13), Helfrich Hills Golf Course (64, -7) and Fairfield Country Club (63, -7).
Fetcho and his wife, Amanda, have two sons, Paxton (five) and Porter (one).
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS
Fetcho coached in five Missouri Valley Conference championships and his teams earned two championships and two runner-up finishes. The Salukis finished in the top five of the conference championship tournament in each of his five seasons.
TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS
Fetcho guided Southern Illinois to six tournament championships: the Missouri Valley Conference championships in 2016 and 2019, the Murray State Invitational championship in 2016, the Kennesaw State Championship in 2017, the William & Mary Intercollegiate championship in 2018 and the Indiana Intercollegiate championship in 2019.
NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES
Fetcho took two teams to the NCAA Regional Championships in 2016 and 2019 and guided Peyton Wilhoit to the NCAA Regional Championships in 2018 as an individual. Wilhoit was the first player at Southern Illinois to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals (2018) since 1972, while his 12th place finish at the 2019 NCAA Regional was the best postseason performance in school history.
HISTORY MADE IN 2019
Fetcho coached Southern Illinois to its second ever Missouri Valley Conference Championship and to a 10th place finish at the NCAA Louisville Regional Championship in 2019. The Salukis earned nine top-10 finishes, including wins at the Missouri Valley Conference championship and the Saluki Invitational. Southern Illinois also finished third at the Florida Atlantic Spring Break Challenge, fifth at the South Florida Invitational, sixth at the Purdue Boilermaker Invitational, seventh at the Tiger Invitational, eighth at the Iowa Golfweek Conference Challenge and tied for 10th Fighting Irish Classic.
A HISTORIC 2016 SEASON
During Fetcho’s second year as its head coach, Southern Illinois enjoyed a historic 2016 season which featured the Salukis’s first conference title in school history and saw Fetcho earn MVC Coach of the Year honors. The team championship for the Salukis marked their first in 41 years since joining the league in 1975. Prior to the season, Southern Illinois was picked fourth in the preseason league standings. At the conference championship, four Salukis finished among the top 11 finishers, and the SIU won the team championship by 10 strokes to secure the program’s first-ever NCAA postseason bid.
SUCCESS COACHING PEYTON WILHOIT
Fetcho coached Peyton Wilhoit, the top golfer in Southern Illinois history, to great heights during his collegiate career. Wilhoit was the first player in school history to earn All-Conference honors all four years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), play in three NCAA Regionals (2016 and 2019 team, 2018 individual), was the first player at SIU player to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals (2018) since 1972. He finished in 12th place finish at the 2019 NCAA Regional to earn the best postseason finish in school history, earned 2018 Division I PING All-Region honors, was named the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Golfer of the Year, set the school record for single-season stroke average (71.65) in 2019, and won individual tournament titles at the 2017 Kennesaw State Intercollegiate and 2018 William & Mary Intercollegiate.
ACADEMICS IS A CORNERSTONE OF HIS COACHING PHILOSOPHY
Fetcho was an Academic All-American in 2006 and 2007 – both of his seasons as a player at USF. He was also an academic All-American (as well as an All-American on the course) at John A Logan College in 2007. He was a Big East Academic All-Star in 2006 and 2007. While an assistant coach at USF, he worked in the Academic Enrichment Center as an Academic Coach, helping USF student-athletes from the men’s and women’s golf, volleyball and softball teams.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS WITH ILLINOIS MEN
Fetcho was an assistant coach at the University of Illinois for two seasons (2013-14), where he helped guide the Illini to back-to-back top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships. In 2013, Illinois claimed its first-ever NCAA regional title and finished runner-up at the NCAA Championships. In 2014, the Illini won another regional title finished in fifth place at the NCAA Championships.
INTERIM HEAD COACH WITH OREGON WOMEN
Fetcho was an assistant coach for the Oregon women’s program during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. In the fall of 2011, the Ducks climbed as high as No. 12 in the Golfstat rankings and ended the fall ranked No. 18. Scoring-wise, the Ducks’ 295.80 team Fall scoring average was nearly four strokes better than its 2010-11 mark (299.64) that broke the former school best by more than a stroke (300.97, 2008-09). He served as the team’s interim head coach for much of the 2012 spring season while head coach Ria Scott was on maternity leave.
A SUCCESSFUL PLAYER AT USF
Fetcho earned success as a player at USF and is one of the most decorated players in school history. He is ranked within the Bulls’ top 15 for career scoring (72.0), rounds scored at par or better (25), eagles (six) and wins (one). He closed his career with a career stroke average of 73.97. He won the individual title at the Sam Hall Invitational in 2007. He is one of just three players in school history to earn All-American Scholar honors multiple times.
HALL OF FAME GOLFER
Fetcho was inducted into the John A Logan College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014. Twice, he was named Great Rivers Athletic All-Conference and All-Region 24. He was also named first-team All-American his sophomore year for placing third overall at the national meet, shooting seven-under-par.
AS A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER
Fetcho played in the Hooters Tour in 2008 and 2009. He earned his best professional finish as he finished as the runner-up at the Illinois State Open in 2008. He qualified to play one event on the Nationwide Tour – the Miccosukee Championship – in 2008.