Wildman Q&A: Florida State coach Trey Jones

When the college golf season started, several of us (including me) did not know what to expect from Florida State this season. But, coach Trey Jones has led the “Tomahawk Chop” to a top-10 ranking.

Your guys have had a great fall and are currently No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. To what do you credit your strong start?

Our preparation has been extremely productive. The guys are getting their work done at home and are businesslike on the road. Having someone in the top 5 individually in each event is always one of our goals, and we got that from three different guys this fall. Our freshmen both had a top-10 finish and counted in 18 of the first 21 rounds they played in.

What is the biggest difference between the team you have this year compared to the one you had a year ago?

Seath Lauer. Seath is a different player, person and teammate. This is a close group that has a great deal of confidence and respect in each other.

Your last tournament finished Oct. 12. You don’t tee it up again until Feb. 3 in Hawaii. What will your team be doing during that long break, and how do you keep them sharp?

The guys played a spring, summer and fall competitive schedule. We have addressed equipment needs, physical and fundamental weaknesses while allowing them to mentally re-group and prepare for another spring, summer, fall.

When Drew Kittleson earned the invites to the U.S. Open and the Masters, was he the “Big Man on Campus” everyone was talking about those weeks? I’m hoping even golfers can get some love in Bobby Bowden’s backyard every now and then.

Coach Bowden knows a great deal about our players and their successes. I saw him the day after our win at Old Memorial, and the first thing he said was, ‘That Lauer kid sure did play well.’ They know him personally, as well. Bowden has a personalized den prepared each day at our team facility in the off-season.

The ACC has nine teams ranked in the top 50. In your opinion, is the ACC overlooked when we talk about the power conferences in college golf?

Nine of 11 is pretty good, but when you look at the track record of our coaches, I look for that to improve as the year progresses. I do not know how you could overlook this league at any point in time.

FSU has only been to the NCAA Championship once in the last four years. Can this team get off the hump and back into nationals?

You have to show up and be prepared to compete wherever they send you.

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