Heppler among 2013 GCAA Hall of Fame inductees
The Golf Coaches Association of America will induct six coaches into its Hall of Fame on Dec. 9, in addition to a seventh candidate who has made great contributions to the game over the past 25 years.
The 2013 class includes: coaches Bruce Heppler of Georgia Tech; Dave Jennings of Central Alabama Community College; Bud Marsee of Broward Community College; John Means of Colorado State, Army, Minnesota and Idaho; Jim Owen of Oglethorpe; and Thomas Trueblood of Michigan. Also, Guy Spears, who spent 25 years at Eaton Golf Pride as aftermarket sales manager and director of special programs/collegiate golf, will be honored for his contributions to college golf.
The group will be honored Monday, Dec. 9, at the GCAA Hall of Fame banquet in Las Vegas.
Heppler has guided the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Championship every year since 1998, and helped author 10 top-8 finishes in the finals, including three runners-up.
Jennings, at Central Alabama since 2002, has led his program to the top 10 at the NJCAA National Championship each year as head coach. He is a two-time recipient of the Dave Williams Award presented by Eaton Golf Pride as NJCAA Division I Coach of the Year.
During Marsee’s tenure at Broward Community College, he led his teams to two national championships, two third-place finishes and a fifth-place finish. Broward also won three Florida Junior College Championships and was runner-up three times.
Owen is in his 21st season coaching Oglethorpe’s men’s golf team and his 32nd year with the men’s basketball team (first as an assistant, then head coach). Oglethorpe claimed NCAA Division III national championships in 2009 and '12. Since 2000, a span of 14 consecutive years, the Stormy Petrel men have been ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
Means – now at Idaho – began his coaching career at the U.S. Military Academy, where his teams won 11 conference titles in 11 years. Then at Minnesota he led the Golden Gophers to the NCAA Championship tournament in just three seasons.
Trueblood coached Michigan from 1901 to '35, although he continued to teach chipping and putting as coach emeritus after his retirement. Given the title “Father of Golf in the Western Conference” by Big Ten coaches in 1936, Trueblood led Michigan to become the first program west of the Allegheny Mountains to win an NCAA Championship. The Wolverines won back-to-back national titles in 1934-35 and five conference championships.
In his 25 years at Eaton Golf Pride, Spears was influential in the company’s involvement in college golf. He championed the concept of Eaton Golf Pride developing promotional activities and relationships with coaches and collegiate golf programs. Spears also was instrumental in the company’s sponsorship of the Dave Williams Award, presented to national coaches of the year for all levels of college golf.
Information from the GCAA used in this report