Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan to add competitive fly fishing

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Jan. 6, 2020) — Milligan College Vice President for Athletics and Student Development Mark Fox announced Monday the addition of a competitive fly fishing team beginning fall 2020.

“Milligan is located in the heart of one of the best fly fishing destinations,” said Fox. “We look forward to offering students the opportunity to gain skills and compete, enjoy the outdoors, and be active in local conservation efforts.”

Northeast Tennessee’s rivers and lakes are home to world-renowned fisheries that attract fly fishers from around the globe.The South Holston River contains an average of 8,500 trout per mile, and the Watauga River, located a few miles from campus, includes one of Tennessee’s only designated trophy sections for fly fishing.

The competitive fly fishing team will compete in regional and national competitions and will be active with the local Trout Unlimited Overmountain chapter for preservation and cleanup efforts. Milligan will be the first college to offer scholarships for fly fishing to incoming students.

With 20 years of fly fishing experience, Zack Nave will serve as team director, as well as continue oversight of Milligan’s fly fishing student club. Nave also serves as Milligan’s head cycling and triathlon coach and has led the cycling teams to four team national titles, three individual national champions, 15 team conference championship titles and 25 individual conference champions over the past eight years.

“I have enjoyed fly fishing on the Watauga River and South Holston River for many years, and I am excited to share this passion with a team,” said Nave. “Fly fishing requires patience, skill, and the ability to adapt to the fish and river conditions. I look forward to showing students all that our region has to offer while preparing for competitions.”


  • Available to first-time traditional undergraduate students beginning in Fall 2020.
  • Award amounts vary and are based on the applicant’s ability and the discretion of the coach.
  • Awards are participation awards and do not require a designated major.
  • May NOT be combined with athletic, fine arts, performing arts, Jeanes, Goah, tuition waiver, or personnel grants or scholarships.
  • Complete your admission application to Milligan and email admissions to express interest in fly fishing.

For more information, call 800.262.8337 or email the admissions office at

Posted by on January 6, 2020.