"I appreciate everything that Coach (Cuonzo) Martin and Tennessee did for me," Golden said. "I feel it's the best move for me to go home to Atlanta so I can be close to my family and help take care of my father."
Golden, a Georgia native who averaged 12.1 points and 3.9 assists per game last season, said his father is "severely ill" and he will attempt to get a waiver from the NCAA to be able to play for the Yellow Jackets this season.
The 6-foot-2 Golden told ESPN.com he left Tennessee in good academic standing.
"I know there were some rumors," Golden said. "That's not something I can control, but I'm on track to be the second person in my family to get their degree."
The addition of Golden will be important for Brian Gregory and the Yellow Jackets. They return their top two players, forward Robert Carter and wing Marcus Georges-Hunt, but can use help in the backcourt. Golden is a proven scorer and can play both backcourt spots.
Georgia Tech finished 16-15 this past season, but with the core of Carter, Georges-Hunt and Golden, the Yellow Jackets could be in position to make a run at an NCAA tournament bid -- especially if Gregory can find a point guard from the likes of Solomon Poole, Corey Heyward or freshman Travis Jorgenson.