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About Us



Jay Hardwick was promoted to the position of Director of Golf Operations/Head Men’s Golf Coach on January 1, 2003. In addition to his coaching duties, he is responsible for the staffs and overall operation of both the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Golf Course. He was Director of Golf at Virginia Tech from 1983-2003 and the head PGA Professional and general manager at Giles Country Club in Pearisburg, VA, from 1973-1983. Prior to that he played the PGA winter tour from 1972-1973.

Jay is a 1971 graduate of Virginia Tech where he was a four-year letterman in golf and captain his senior year. Among his honors are:

  • 2007 Inductee into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame

  • 2005 Bill Strausbaugh Award

  • 2005 Labron Harris, Sr. Award

  • 1994 Inductee into the Virginia PGA Hall of Fame

John Norton - Head PGA Professional

John Norton assumed the duties of Head PGA Professional at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech on December 1, 2004. He was Director of Golf at Grand Palms resort and Spa in Pembroke Pines, Florida from 2003-2004. Prior to that he was head PGA Professional at the Country Club of Miami from 1994-2003 where he had served as Director of Instruction for the PGA Tour from 1990-1994.

John is a 1982 graduate of Marshall University and a former West Virginia Junior and Intercollegiate Champion. Professionally, he participated in PGA Tour Qualifying three times and was the 1986 Nebraska PGA Section Champion. He was a highly respected golf professional in the Southern Chapter of the South Florida Section of the PGA of America for many years and served as President from 2001-2003. He also served the SFPGA Section Executive Committee as Awards Chairman from 2001- 2004. Among his many honors are:

  • 2003 Bill Strausbaugh Award

  • 2001 & 2002 Merchandiser of the Year Award

  • 2002 Player of the Year

  • 2000 Golf Professional of the Year

  1. Email John Norton

Mark Cote - Director of Golf Maintenance

Mark Cote joined the River Course, LLC in March of 2006 as Superintendent for “The River”. On June 1, 2009 he was promoted to Director of Golf Maintenance to be responsible for the maintenance of both the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Campus Golf Course.

Mark is a 1984 graduate of Colby College in Waterville, ME with a BA in History. He also holds an Associate Degree in Turf Management from Virginia Tech.

He started in the golf industry at the age of 12 working as a caddy. He spent two years teaching and coaching at Southampton Academy before returning to golf. He has worked at Farmington Country Club, River Creek Country Club, The Greenbrier Resort and eight years at the Homestead Resort prior to his association with the River Course, LLC.

Mark is a 16 year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) from which he holds a Class A Superintendent rating. He served as President of the Virginia Turfgrass Association (VTA) and the Virginia Golf Course Superintendents Association (VGCSA) which has been active in helping to form legislative policy for the future of the golf industry in Virginia.

Mike Cole - Clubhouse Manager

Mike joined the staff of the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech on June 3, 2013 as the Outside Operations and Facilities Manager. He is a retired high school teacher and football coach with over 30 years of coaching and teaching experience. Mike has been both an assistant and head football coach at various schools throughout the New River Valley.