John Norton, former director of golf at Grand Palms Golf Resort in Pembroke Pines, Fla., has been named head PGA professional/general manager at The River Course of Virginia Tech effective Dec. 1.

Situated on the New River near Radford, Va., The River Course of Virginia Tech is under renovation and will reopen in May 2005 as a Pete Dye Signature Course. The course is the home of the Virginia Tech golf team.

"My family and I are very excited about returning to the Southwest Virginia area and becoming a part of the Virginia Tech community," Norton said. "I look forward to meeting the club membership and the local golf community and providing the services and amenities associated with a facility of this stature. My goal is to create a tradition of excellence, world-class golf, and warm Southern hospitality that will become synonymous with The River Course of Virginia Tech."

"We are extremely fortunate to have a professional with John's credentials and reputation to join our staff," said Jay Hardwick, director of golf operations and Virginia Tech head golf coach. "He is a highly respected member of the PGA and will be a tremendous addition to our team at The River Course."

Norton was the head golf professional at the Country Club of Miami from 1994 to 2003 where he served as director of instruction for the PGA TOUR from 1990 to 1994. A 1982 graduate of Marshall University, Norton was a first team High School All-American in West Virginia, and a two-time All-Southern Conference selection in college. Professionally, he won the 1986 Nebraska PGA Championship and was named Player of the Year in the Southern Chapter of the South Florida Section of the PGA in 2002. He received the Southern Chapter Merchandiser of the Year Award in both 2000 and 2002 and was selected as the Golf Professional of the Year in 2000. Norton, a Class "A" member of the PGA of America, served as president of the South Florida PGA Southern Chapter from 2001 to 2003.

John and his wife Bianca have three children.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities, and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg, and other campus centers in northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.