High school boys golf: Josh Gorzney brings ample passion to Norman North

Joe Buettner / The Transcript

Norman North announced Josh Gorzney will be its next boy's golf coach on June 14. Gorzney owns coaching experience at the college and high school level.

Josh Gorzney still remembers the phone call that brought him to Oklahoma.

“You ever heard of Duncan, America?” Gorzney recalls Tim Johnson asking him.

Gorzney, then a recent college graduate, applied for a position at Territory Golf & Country Club, among myriad others across the U.S.

Gorzney wanted a golf-related job anywhere he could find it and got his start in a city far from his Plano, Illinois, home.

Six years later, he’s finally a head coach and takes over as the Norman North boys golf coach.

“I'm super excited,” Gorzney said. “I can't say that enough. I've been waiting for this. I've wanted to be a head coach for a long time.”

Norman Public Schools announced Gorzney's hire June 14.

His experience includes assistant roles at South Mountain Community College (2015-16), Aurora University (2016-2018) and Edmond North High School (2018-2019).

He coincidentally already lived in Norman with his wife Amanda — a former OU golfer and daughter of Johnson — before he was hired as the Timberwolves’ coach.

Gorzney inherits a program that finished fourth at the 6A golf state championship this year. And his goal is to bring North its first state title ever.

His first task, however, is making sure his players buy in.

“I need an all-in mentality,” Gorzney said. “If we're going to get better, and we're trying to win a state championship."

Gorzney’s already acquainted himself with his team and plans to be as plugged in with his players as OSSAA rules will allow.

His approach is unique for a golf coach.

"I wouldn't really categorize myself as a golf coach as far as mentality," Gorzney said. "I'm pretty intense."

He enjoys the calm nature of the sport, but he wants to treat North’s program with the same energy as a football coach.

“I've got them started on a summer program,” Gorzney said. “I know a lot of high schools don't do that, but I want it to be like high school football. We're doing stuff throughout the summer. We're getting better. It's going to be structured, it's not just going to be 'go play nine holes.'”

Gorzney’s love for golf started when he was 10 years old.

His father, Ray, originally took Josh to a municipal golf course two blocks from his childhood home as a distraction.

Josh’s mother, Molly, was diagnosed with breast cancer and Ray wanted his son to have an outlet through the difficult time.

"I got hooked on golf," Gorzney said. "It kind of got me away from the house for a little bit and that kind of spurred on my passion for the game because it's such a humbling game and I'm such a competitive guy."

Molly has been cancer free for 18 years now, and she’s been able to watch her son develop into a collegiate golfer and now a head coach.

Josh's opportunity took plenty of patience.

He's spent the past six years working his way up from Duncan to a few college assistant-coaching jobs.

This past year, he's commuted from Norman to Edmond North five days a week, which virtually added two hours to his work day.

He’s now a quick drive to the facilities and golf courses North rotates between throughout the week.

He just needs to make sure his players are ready to work.

"We need everyone on board," Gorzney said. "This isn't 'show up when you want.' Nothing is mandatory but highly encouraged to get out and play and practice.”

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