HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Sylas Elliott and Tim Garner have been elevated to head coaches for the Wallace State Community College men’s golf and tennis programs respectively, as announced by President Dr. Vicki Karolewics. Additionally, Jill Honeycutt has been named the new Wallace State Cheerleading coach.
“Wallace State athletics enjoys a storied history of national acclaim,” said Karolewics. “These coaches will add to the long tradition of excellence our teams are known for. I look forward to their seasons.”
Elliott, 23, inherits Wallace State’s men’s golf program after serving in an interim role during the 2018-2019 season, leading the Lions to a ninth-place finish at nationals this past season.
Elliott navigated Wallace State’s men’s golf team through an emotional season after Hall of Fame coach Dan York died in February from cancer.
“It was tough. I made sure I gave our guys plenty of time to grieve over it, while also competing. All-in-all, the legacy Coach York passed on was as if he was still out on the course with us every day,” said Elliott, a Cullman native. “I learned from Coach York how to compete. Some players get down on themselves easily, and Coach York drove into us that you were never done competing until you walked off the course. You have to grind mentally to be the best player you can be.”
As a player, Elliott carved out one of Wallace State’s most successful individual performances over the past decade. He golfed for the Lions during the 2015-2016 seasons, earning 1st-team NJCAA PING All-American honors as a sophomore. He was also a 2016 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year semifinalist as a sophomore — one of only 30 players to earn the distinction across the country. Elliott was also a two-time ACCC/Region 22 Tournament low medalist and a NJCAA 2nd-team All-American as a freshman.
Elliott transferred to South Alabama to golf for the Jaguars and graduated there in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.
“Besides trying to pursue professional golf after college, I always wanted to come back home and contribute to the Wallace State program. It’s a dream job that’s always been in the back of my head. The circumstances weren’t the best, but Coach York gave me the opportunity to learn from him, and I’ll always be grateful,” Elliott said.
Wallace State Tennis
Garner takes the reins of the Wallace State tennis programs after serving as the top assistant for the past three seasons.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity and hope we can build on what’s been established here. Our name is back out there as one of the top colleges in Alabama to come play tennis for, and we’re excited about that,” said Garner, 37. “Wallace State sells itself, and that’s great for a coach.”
Garner, a West Point High graduate, was named the men’s tennis 2019 ACCC Coach of the Year after working primarily with the men’s program last season. He served as an assistant under previous coach Tony Franklin.
During the 2019 season, Wallace State’s men won the ACCC championship for the second time in three seasons and finished 10th at nationals. The Lions made a 15-spot improvement at nationals after placing 25th in 2018.
The Lady Lions’ program finished as the ACCC runner-up and placed 17th at nationals.
“We’ll have a lot of sophomores returning on both teams this season and that should only add to our momentum,” Garner said.
Garner played tennis collegiately at Central Alabama. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Auburn University in 2006 and a master’s in special education from West Alabama.
Before joining the Lions, Garner coached multiple sports, including tennis, at Gardendale High, Irondale Middle School and West Point over a 10-year span.
Wallace State Cheerleading
Jill Honeycutt is Wallace State’s new Cheerleading coach.
Honeycutt, a Louisiana native and University of Alabama graduate, comes to Wallace State after spending three seasons as the head coach at Montevallo.
“Wallace State’s Cheerleading program has always had a great reputation as a championship program,” Honeycutt said. “I look forward to us continuing that tradition.”
Wallace State’s Cheerleading program is a two-time UCA national champion, winning titles in 2004 and 2006 under Rob Metcalf.
Honeycutt, who earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Alabama, was a member of the Crimson Tide’s 2011 UCA national champion squad. She also cheered one season at LSU. She replaces Stefany Pate at Wallace State.