Men’s spring preview: Atlantic 10 Conference

So far, so good for Charlotte first-year head coach Ryan Cabbage.

Cabbage, who took over the 49ers men’s golf program in June, led the team to three top-5 finishes and a No. 47 standing in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings during the fall.

Heading into the spring, the former Auburn assistant and player has his sights set on a seventh consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference title and the school’s first NCAA Championship berth since 2008.

“I’m really looking forward to the spring and what this team has the possibility of doing,” said Cabbage, who played at Auburn from 1996-98 before serving 10 seasons as an assistant for the Tigers.

“You can’t win unless you have an opportunity to win, and we had opportunities in the fall. I look forward to having those opportunities in the spring and this time being able to close the deal on some of these events.”

Charlotte finished no worse than sixth in four of its five fall tournaments, including notching a third-place finish at the Rod Myers Invitational in October.

The 49ers struggled in the first round of the VCU Shootout in September, but turned in a season-best 13-under 275 in the second round.

A final-round 306, however, would drop Charlotte to a share of seventh, but Cabbage is not deterred by the outing.

“This team is very self-motivated and that was one of things that I was very impressed with,” Cabbage said.

The 49ers finished T-8 at the NCAA Championship in 2008 after finishing T-3 the previous season. It’s that kind of success that Cabbage hopes to recapture.

“I think this team is good enough to get to the NCAA Championship, and we expect to get there,” Cabbage said. “But you don’t just get there by saying that’s what your goal is. You have to work for it every day.

“I feel very fortunate to be in a situation that has high expectations. And that’s a credit to the people who were here before me that put the standard where it is. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a situation where a program didn’t expect success.”

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Top of the class: Charlotte

Best player this fall: Paul Ferrier, Charlotte

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Wildman’s Corner

Upset brewing? Charlotte will be chasing its seventh straight conference title, but Xavier thinks it may have something to say about that says college guru Asher Wildman. Story.

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Past champions

2007: Charlotte

2008: Charlotte

2009: Charlotte

2010: Charlotte

2011: Charlotte

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Conference capsules

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Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

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