James to leave Minnesota in July

Brad James will leave Minnesota in July.

Brad James will leave Minnesota in July.

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Minnesota’s director of golf Brad James will leave the program July 1, the university announced Tuesday.

James has accepted a position as High Performance Director of Golf Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport. He will oversee the management of the Australian men’s and women’s national teams and the country’s program that develops young professionals.

James, a native of Queensland, Australia, has been the director of golf for the Golden Gophers for the past two and a half years. He joined the program as the men’s head coach in 2001 after serving as an assistant beginning in 1997.

“I am so thankful for everything the University of Minnesota has done for me,” James said. “I’ve been here 17 years and in that time I not only received my degree but developed as a person and a coach. I owe this university everything and I could not be more grateful.”

During his tenure at Minnesota, James led the Gophers to nine NCAA Championship appearances, including four finals berths in six seasons as the program’s head coach, and one as the team’s interim head coach.

Minnesota won the 2002 NCAA title, becoming the first northern team since Ohio State in 1979 to win the national championship. The Gophers also won the Big Ten Championship that season, as well as in 2003 and ’07. He was named conference coach of the year in 2003.

James played golf for the Gophers from 1993-96.

His wife, Tanya, and two daughters, Sydney and Taylor, will join him in Melbourne this summer.

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