NCAA-title-winning coaches headline panel at Golfweek Coaches Forum

Tracy Wilcox/Golfweek

NCAA-title-winning coaches headline panel at Golfweek Coaches Forum

College

NCAA-title-winning coaches headline panel at Golfweek Coaches Forum

For the fifth consecutive year, Golfweek will host the Golfweek Coaches Forum with Golfweek’s Lance Ringler at the annual Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) convention, which will be held Dec. 2-5 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

This year’s panel will feature both coaches that won NCAA Division I Championships last spring – Oklahoma State’s Alan Bratton and Arizona’s Laura Ianello. Also on the panel will be Scott Limbaugh of Vanderbilt and Arkansas’ Shauna Taylor.

Highlights from the featured panelists include:

Alan Bratton – Oklahoma State

The 2017-18 season was one for the ages as Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton completed the national championship trifecta. In his fifth year at the helm of the program, he directed OSU to a historic season and in doing so, has now led the Cowboys to NCAA titles as a player (1995), assistant coach (2006) and head coach (2018).

For the 2013-14 season, Bratton made his return to the men’s side after a successful two-year run as head coach of the OSU women’s squad. Prior to that, Bratton served as the associate head coach for both the men’s and women’s programs. Additionally, he has been on the bag for a pair of U.S. Amateur winners in Peter Uihlein and Viktor Hovland.

As a Cowboy, Bratton was a four-time All-American, earning first-team honors in 1994 and 1995, and was named co-recipient of the 1994 Jack Nicklaus Award, honoring the nation’s top player.

Scott Limbaugh – Vanderbilt

Scott Limbaugh has lifted the Vanderbilt golf program to new heights in his seven seasons with the Commodores.

Since his arrival prior to the 2012 campaign, Limbaugh has quickly established himself as one of the nation’s preeminent coaches. He has mentored four first-team All-Americans, four Palmer Cup selections, a Walker Cup member and 13 total All-America selections, all while also garnering six consecutive NCAA Regional bids and five consecutive NCAA Championship appearances from 2014-18 for the first time in program history. Under Limbaugh, Vanderbilt has won 20 team tournaments – the most by a head coach in Vanderbilt golf history – and garnered 16 individual tournament winners. The coach has also led Vanderbilt to a first-place (2017), second-place (2015) and fourth-place (2016) finish in the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Championship, Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016, and a Final Four appearance in the 2017 NCAA Championship. He has also had two of his players participate in a PGA Tour event: Hunter Stewart in 2014 at the RBC Heritage and Matthias Schwab at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2017.

Limbaugh’s players have evolved into some of the SEC’s best. He has coached 16 All-SEC selections, two SEC Players of the Year (Theo Humphrey in 2018, Hunter Stewart in 2015) and one SEC Freshman of the Year (John Augenstein in 2017). Prior to his arrival, Vanderbilt boasted only 10 All-SEC players in the entire history of the program. In 2015, Limbaugh became a finalist for the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year. One year later he was named the 2016 GCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year, and in 2017, he garnered the program’s first GCAA National Coach of the Year (Dave Williams Award) and the SEC Coach of the Year, while also winning another GCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year.

Laura Ianello – Arizona

After winning the 2000 NCAA championship as a player, Arizona alum Laura Ianello led the 2018 women’s golf team to a national championship. Ianello was named the head coach on May 26, 2010, after three seasons as the top assistant coach in the program. The 2018-19 season will be her ninth full campaign at the helm of the program. Under Ianello’s leadership, the Cats have reached the NCAA Regionals in all eight seasons with six trips to the NCAA Championships, as well as one conference championship in 2015. In that time frame, the Wildcats have had six All-Americans, 19 members of the All Pac-12 team, 22 members of the Pac-12 All-Academic team, a Freshman of the Year and a Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Ianello spent the previous five seasons playing professionally on the LPGA, Futures Tour and the West Coast Ladies Golf Tour. Her best season was 2004 in which she finished 147th on the LPGA Tour money list. Ianello ranked eighth on the 2003 Futures Tour with a 72.1 stroke average and three top-10 finishes. She played for the Wildcats from 1998-2003 as Laura Myerscough and was a part of one NCAA Championship (2000) and three Pac-10 Championship (2000, 2001, 2002) teams during her five seasons as a Wildcat. In 33 career collegiate appearances, Ianello posted a 75.92 stroke average to go with eight top-10 and four top-20 finishes. She was a National Golf Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American and a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2002. Ianello also earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention accolades in 2001 and 2003. She was the UA team captain as a senior in 2002-03. Originally from Charleston, Ill., Ianello was the runner-up at the 2000 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. She also played in the 2001, 2002 and 2004 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2002 Curtis Cup and represented the U.S. at the 2000 and 2002 World Amateur Championship. For three seasons (2000-03), she was ranked in the top 10 in Golfweek‘s amateur rankings. Ianello earned her degree in physical education from the University of Arizona in 2007. She and her husband, Jeff, were married in the summer of 2009 and are parents to daughters Natalie and Joanna.

Shauna Taylor – Arkansas

Shauna (Estes) Taylor joined the University of Arkansas in 2003 and turned the Razorbacks into a national championship contender who will be in the hunt when the Razorbacks host the 2019 NCAA Championship this May.

She began the Arkansas transformation as an assistant coach before becoming the program’s fourth head coach in 2007. She has taken the Razorbacks from a team who had just two top-5 SEC finishes into one that has three runner-up performances and the program’s first title in 2018.

Although there have been many record-setting accomplishments for the Razorbacks, no season has been more successful than the 2017-18 campaign. Last season produced the program’s first SEC and NCAA Regional titles, seven team titles, six individual titles for junior Maria Fassi and Arkansas’ first ANNIKA Award winner as Fassi was named the national player of the year.

During her collegiate coaching career, Taylor, a four-time All-American player at the University of Georgia, has helped Arkansas to 16 consecutive NCAA Regional tournaments and 11 NCAA Championship appearances. Her teams have won 24 tournaments including 19 with Taylor as the head coach. She has been a part of one NCAA individual title and three SEC individual titles. Taylor’s honors include two SEC Coach of the Year, one NCAA Regional Coach of the Year and one WGCA Assistant Coach of the Year honor.

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