Balicki to become 1st non-coach in GCAA HoF

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The Golf Coaches Association of America is expanding its fraternity.

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Ron Balicki

Ron Balicki, who has covered college golf since joining Golfweek in 1983, will be one of seven inductees into the GCAA’s Hall of Fame this fall. He will be the first non-coach inducted.

 Balicki will join active coaches Bob Alpers of Saint John’s (Minn.), Kyle Blaser of Oklahoma City, Michael Carlisle of South Carolina-Aiken, Bobby Cornett of Texas Wesleyan and Steve Desimone of California, as well as former coach Floyd Horgan of Brevard (Fla.) Community College and Centenary in the Class of 2010. The induction will be Dec. 6 at the GCAA convention in Las Vegas. 

Balicki, 62, of Mount Ida, Ark., began covering golf in 1980 for the Northwest Florida Daily News and has since covered 26 consecutive NCAA Division I Men’s Championships. 

 “There are a lot of great coaches – in many cases, legends of college golf – who are enshrined in the GCAA Hall of Fame, so to be a part of this list is a great honor,’’ said Balicki, a winner of the Golf Writers Association of America’s Jimmy D’Angelo award. “And, to be the first non-coach ever elected for induction makes this the highlight of my career as a golf writer.”

• Alpers, currently in his 18th season as head golf coach at St. John’s, has led the Johnnies to 12 consecutive Division III NCAA appearances, including back-to-back national titles in 2007 and 2008.

• Blaser, a six-time Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year, led Oklahoma City to its seventh NAIA championship last May, more than any other coach. Blaser also has won 11 regional crowns and 12 conference titles in 13 seasons.

• Now in his 20th year at South Carolina-Aiken, Carlisle’s teams have won 72 team titles and qualified for postseason play 18 of the last 19 years. During a stretch from 2004-06, Carlisle’s teams won 23 out of a possible 28 events.

• Cornett is now in his second stint with Texas Wesleyan, coaching from 1985-1999 before playing ten years on the National Senior Tour and Champions Tour. The three-time NAIA Coach of the Year, has led his teams to 65 wins, including at least one in each of his 15 seasons as head coach.

• Desimone is in his 32nd year as head coach at Berkeley, a career that has seen him take the Cal golf program from club level to a Division I national champion in 2004. A former Golfweek Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Desimone has led Cal to 15 NCAA regional appearances since golf became a varsity sport in 1982.  

• Horgan, the winner of seven national championships at Brevard and 14 state junior college championships, also made two NCAA appearances at Centenary, where he coached 1981 Player of the Year Hal Sutton. Already elected into the NJCAA Hall of Fame, Horgan was named NJCAA Coach of the Year seven times.

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