UCF’s Clinard to take over at Auburn

Nick Clinard is leaving UCF to become head men's coach at Auburn.

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Nick Clinard is heading to Auburn.

After eight years at Central Florida, Clinard will take over for longtime Tigers coach Mike Griffin, who resigned at the end of the 2008-09 season.

Auburn finished No. 63 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, but failed to qualify for the postseason with a 54-79-1 record.

“Building on coach Griffin’s legacy is an honor and something I am very excited about,” Clinard said. “I welcome all the former players and supporters to become heavily involved in Auburn Golf as we are going to compete and win championships with quality student-athletes.”

Clinard has led UCF to NCAA regional play in five of the last six seasons, including a victory this spring at the NCAA Southeast Regional after the school’s first Conference USA title. The Knights went on to a top-10 finish at the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Clinard was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.

“Nick Clinard brings a tremendous amount of head coaching experience as well as success both athletically and academically that will enhance the Auburn men’s golf program,” said Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs. “Nick is regarded as one of the nation’s top recruiters and shows a relentless work ethic.”

Clinard inherited a UCF program that was ranked 126th after the 2000-01 season. Within two season Central Florida had climbed to No. 64 and has remained in the top 50 at the conclusion of every season since.

Clinard played professional golf for five seasons prior to becoming head coach of UCF. The Gastonia, N.C., native graduated from Wake Forest in 1995. He played one year of collegiate golf at SMU before playing his final three years at Wake Forest from 1992-95.

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