Whitten named Michigan head coach

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Chris Whitten has been hired as the Michigan head men’s golf coach, the university announced Thursday. Whitten replaces Andrew Sapp, who left to become the head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina.

Whitten, who becomes the ninth head coach in Wolverines history, has served as the assistant coach for the past five years. Over the last two seasons, Whitten was a finalist for the Jan Strickland Award, given to the top assistant coach in all NCAA divisions.

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Chris Whitten

“I want to thank the University of Michigan and (athletic director) Dave Brandon for this opportunity,” Whitten said. “This is a dream come true for me and my family. It is important for me to express my appreciation to Andrew Sapp. I learned a great deal from him over the last five years, as well as all the head coaches and PGA professionals I have worked with. Pulling from all that knowledge, I look forward to putting my stamp on this program and continuing the challenge of building upon the momentum it has accomplished over the last few years.”

During Whitten’s tenure, Michigan has posted eight tournament wins and five Wolverines have won eight medalist honors. Michigan has earned NCAA regional bids each of the last four seasons and won the program’s first team regional title at the 2011 NCAA Central Regional.

Michigan advanced to the NCAA Championships in two of the past three years. In 2009, the Wolverines placed sixth to advance to team match play, closing with a semifinalist finish. In 2011, UM took 10th.

Before joining the Wolverines staff in May 2006, Whitten was an assistant golf professional at The Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. A native of Rockford, Mich., Whitten is a graduate of Notre Dame (2002), where he helped the Irish to runner-up finishes at the Big East Championships in 1999 and 2002.

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