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Western Kentucky Golf Coach Phillip Hatchett Passes Away on Sunday

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Head Men's Golf Coach Phillip Hatchett was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle with other cyclists. He was 55.

"Our hearts are broken following the tragic passing of Phillip Hatchett," Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. "He was an outstanding individual in every respect, a kind soul liked and respected by all and someone who cared deeply for his players whom he considered family. Phillip exhibited pure class in everything he did. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Beth, and the entire Hatchett family."

Hatchett, a 1985 graduate of Western Kentucky University and four-year letterman for the men's golf program, spent eight seasons as head coach of the program and led a resurgence in recent years since taking over in 2010. WKU recorded five top-five performances as a team in 2017-18 with two 6-under outings that produced 858 totals. They finished the season with their best conference tournament round since 2008.

In 2017-18, Hatchett's top individual player, Billy Tom Sargent was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team and became the second Hilltopper to qualify for a NCAA Regional as an individual, and the first since 2008. He also tied for 11th in the 2018 Conference USA Championship – the best individual conference finish for WKU since 2010.

Perhaps more than the success on the course, education took an even greater role in Hatchett's program, and in 2012-13, 2016-17, and 2017-18, his teams were the standard for academic success on The Hill as they earned the men's sport program Academic Team of the Year award for posting the top cumulative grade point average among all WKU men's sport programs. Two individuals were also named WKU's Male Academic Student-Athlete of the Year during his tenure.

Hatchett was also a valuable member in the golf community in southcentral Kentucky where he was a regular on the courses, fostering the development of youth golf in the area. In 2008, he created the Phillip Hatchett Junior Golf Camp in an effort to stimulate the game's growth, and the camp has mentored over 200 young golfers since its inception.

Arrangements have not yet been finalized and will be announced as soon as they are available.

Story via Western Kentucky University Athletics