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Minnesota has announced that Justin Smith has been named head men’s golf coach. Smith spent the past two seasons as the program’s associate head coach after being named assistant coach in September 2014.
“Justin is the right person for the job,” said Minnesota Director of Athletics Mark Coyle. “He has a relentless work ethic that dates back to his playing days when he was an All-American and national champion. I know he will be a tireless recruiter and will give everything he has to our students and men’s golf program. I’m excited for him to lead our team and know he will do a terrific job.”
Smith, who is from Franklin, Pa., played his college golf at Minnesota (2000-04) and helped the Gophers advance to the NCAA finals three times winning the NCAA Championship in 2002. The Gophers also won back-to-back Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2003.
“It is such an honor to be the head coach of our men’s golf program,” said Smith. “This program means so much to me dating back to the days I was a student-athlete in the early 2000s, as well as the past five years serving as the assistant coach and associate head coach.”
Stanford women’s golf coach Anne Walker has announced Maddie Sheils will serve as her assistant coach. Sheils, who has played professional golf for the past six years, replaces previous Associate Head Coach Lauren Dobashi, who last week announced that she had chosen to pursue other career opportunities.
“Maddie is bringing a wealth of competitive knowledge and golf expertise to our program,” Walker said. “Through her playing career, she has shown that she is a determined, thorough and passionate competitor. This skill set will carry over to her coaching career and undoubtedly give our program an infusion of excitement and ambitious spirit for the upcoming season. We are excited to get started and learn from Maddie.”
Sheils played college golf at Nebraska.
“I am honored to join the prestigious Stanford athletic department and Cardinal women’s golf program,” Sheils said. “I am thrilled to support Coach Walker and this fantastic group of student-athletes as we pursue our next national championship. I look forward to getting started.”
Oklahoma State women’s coach Greg Robertson has named Maddi Swaney as the program’s assistant coach.
Swaney, who is from Marietta, Ohio, spent the previous eight seasons as the assistant coach at Kent State, including the last six under Robertson, where she was a part of three NCAA Championship appearances, eight NCAA Regional bids, 30 tournament victories and 27 individual medalists. She was named the 2016 WGCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
“I couldn’t me more thrilled to have Maddi join me at Oklahoma State,” Robertson said. “This is a huge win for the golf program. She’s one of the best coaches in the country and one of the hardest working individuals I know. I’m looking forward to working together and winning championships here in Stillwater.”
Swaney played her college golf at Kent State under head coach Mike Morrow.
“I am excited to be continuing my coaching career with coach Robertson at Oklahoma State, who I’ve enjoyed working with the past six years.” Swaney said. “The tradition of the Oklahoma State golf program is second to none and I’m looking forward to building on the championship culture.”
The University of Richmond has named Calle Nielson as head women’s golf coach.
Nielson has been the assistant coach at Virginia for the last five years. Nielson played her college golf at Virginia where she was a three-time All-American for the Cavaliers and helped UVA to four consecutive top-15 finishes at the NCAA Championships from 2008 to 2011. She won the 2010 NCAA Western Regional.
During her five years on the Cavaliers staff, Virginia reached the NCAA Tournament four times, including a 14th-place finish this season.
“I was very impressed with everything that the University had to offer academically and athletically during the interview process and look forward to being part of the Spider community,” Nielson said. “A special thanks to Ria Scott, Todd Goodale and The University of Virginia for all the knowledge I gained while there the last 13 years as a student-athlete and coach.”
As an amateur, she was named Tennessee Women’s Amateur Player of the Year four times, from 2008 to 2011. She qualified for the U.S. Amateur four times (2007, 2009-11) and won the U.S. Women’s Southern Amateur in 2011. After turning pro, Nielson joined the LPGA Symetra Tour. From 2012 to 2014, she finished in the top 10 at Symetra Tour events five times, including a fourth-place finish in the 2012 Ladies Titan Tire Challenge.
Nielson will inherit a Spiders team that has won three of the last four Patriot League Championships and totaled eight tournament wins over the last four seasons. The Spiders finished the 2018-19 season ranked No. 157 in the Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings.
Middle Tennessee head coach Mark McEntire has named Cody O’Toole assistant coach.
O’Toole spent the 2018-19 season as the assistant coach at Georgia Southern where he helped guide Georgia Southern to a an appearance in the 2019 NCAA Championship at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. O’Toole is replacing Kent Bulle, who is returning to play professional golf.
“We’re very glad to have Cody joining the family,” McEntire exclaimed. “This past year he played a key role in helping Georgia Southern compete in the National Championships. He was an excellent college golfer, and along with his experience as a professional golfer I feel that he will be a tremendous asset to our program.”
After starting his career at Central Alabama Community College, O’Toole played his final two seasons of collegiate golf for the Eagles, logging a 74.3 stroke average with two top-5 finishes and three top-10 finishes to his name.
Former assistant coach Carter Cheves has returned to James Madison as associate head coach. This is Cheves’ second stint on the coaching staff at JMU, serving as an assistant coach from 2013-18.
This past season, Cheves was the head coach at Ohio. Cheves was also the head coach at Western Carolina for three seasons prior to his first stint at JMU.
“I am very excited to have Carter return to our program this season,” James Madison coach Jeff Forbes said. “He has been an incredibly important part of building the strong team we have today and I’m looking forward to his hard work in continuing that growth here in Harrisonburg.”
Cheves graduated from UNCW in 2008 after playing for two years at North Carolina State.
“I am thrilled to be back at James Madison University,” Cheves said. “I’m very grateful to Coach Forbes and the administration here for allowing me the opportunity to continue working with JMU golf and I’m very excited to continue building this great program.”
With Cheves departure to James Madison, that leaves the Ohio University job open.
Lauren Harling has been named head women’s golf coach at Yale. Harling replaces Chawwadee Rompothong, who resigned in May.
Harling spent the past eight seasons at Indiana and was promoted to associate head coach in July of 2017. Indiana advanced to the NCAA Championship this past May finishing 21st.
“We are thrilled to welcome Lauren to the Yale Athletics Family,” said Director of Athletics Vicky Chun. “Her successes as a student-athlete and as an associate head coach at Indiana University spoke volumes. However, it was her passion to develop student-athletes through a holistic approach of academics, character and athletics that set her apart.”
Harling played her college golf at Indiana after transferring from North Carolina State.
“I am so grateful to Vicky Chun and Mary Berdo for the opportunity to lead the women’s golf program at Yale University,” Harling said. “The vision expressed throughout this whole process has been done with such passion and excitement for what the future holds, and I cannot wait to get started. I also can’t thank Clint Wallman and Kristine Fowler at Indiana University enough for being such strong mentors and a tremendous support system for my development as a coach and person. I would not be here without their support.”
Yale finished the 2018-19 season ranked No. 208 in the Golfweek/Sagarin college ratings and placed sixth at the Ivy League Championship.
EAST TENNESSEE STATE
It’s official. Jake Amos has been named head coach at East Tennessee State.
Amos, who spent the 2018-19 season as the Buccaneers’ associate head coach, officially takes over as head coach on July 1 following the retirement of Hall of Fame head coach Fred Warren.
“I want to thank Scott Carter for giving me this opportunity to lead the East Tennessee State men’s golf team,” said Amos. “I am extremely honored and proud to be only the third head coach in the history of the program. The history and achievements of this program are truly incredible and that is a credit to the coaches that have come before me. Coach Warren has left this program in a position where it can continue to be successful and I want to thank him for that. We have some of the best facilities in the country with incredible golf courses around the area. When you combine that with a community that cares about golf, it’s a great place to play college golf.”
Amos, who is from Leicester, England, has six years of coaching experience, as he spent two seasons as the associate head coach at South Carolina before coming to ETSU. Prior to arriving in Columbia, Amos served as an assistant coach at Purdue from 2014-16, while beginning his coaching career at South Florida as an assistant coach in 2013-14.
He played collegiately for three seasons at Augusta University (formerly Augusta State). During his time with the Jaguars, Augusta University won the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. Following his collegiate career, Amos spent three seasons playing professionally on the Web.com Tour and throughout Europe.
“The future has never been brighter for our ETSU men’s golf program, and I am excited to announce Jake Amos as the head coach of Buccaneer men’s golf,” said East Tennessee State University Director of Athletics Scott Carter. “I could not be more proud and thankful for the way Coach Fred Warren and Coach Amos have worked together during this year of leadership transition. I, along with every Buccaneer, offer tremendous gratitude to Fred Warren for his dedication and loyal leadership in building our nationally competitive and respected men’s golf program over the past 33-years.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA
The University of North Georgia has named Sierra Campbell head women’s golf coach. Campbell comes to UNG from Dallas Baptist where she was the men’s and women’s assistant coach.
Campbell, who is from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, played college golf at Midwestern State. During her time at MSU, she earned Lone Star All-Conference honors in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and individually won the Lone Star Conference Championship in 2015.
“I am extremely excited to be named the head coach at the University of North Georgia,” stated Campbell. “This program has endless potential and I am blessed to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get to Dahlonega and start this journey with these ladies. UNG women’s golf is going great places and I am looking forward to starting the ride.”
This past season, Dallas Baptist reached medal match play at the NCAA Division II National Championship in West Palm Beach, Fla., after finishing seventh in stroke play and was ranked No. 2 in the final Golfstat team rankings. In her two seasons at Dallas Baptist, she helped the team to 17 tournament victories including the NCAA Division II West Region Championship in both 2018 and 2019.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Sierra as the newest member of the Nighthawk Athletics family,” University of North Georgia Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves said. “She fits our culture here at UNG and, as an assistant at DBU, has helped build highly respective NCAA Division II teams. I am looking forward to working with her as our new leader as we continue to build a women’s golf program that is nationally successful both on and off the course.”
Nebraska has named Lisa Johnson head women’s golf coach. Johnson makes her way to Nebraska after spending the past 12 years at the University of Idaho.
Johnson replaces Robin Krapfl, who retired this past spring after 32 years in Lincoln.
“I am extremely pleased that Lisa Johnson will be guiding the Nebraska women’s golf program,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “She is a proven winner and a fierce competitor who relates well with her players. I have admired Lisa’s body of work for some time and truly believe that she has what it takes to compete for championships.”
Johnson was twice WAC Coach of the Year (2010, 2012). Her teams won the 2016 and 2018 Big Sky Conference Championship and competed in the NCAA postseason three times.
“I am incredibly thankful and excited for the opportunity to lead Nebraska women’s golf,” Johnson said. “It is an honor to take over for Coach Robin Krapfl. She left a terrific legacy, and I can’t wait to get to work with the strong roster we have returning and the incoming freshman. I want to thank Director of Athletics Bill Moos and Keith Zimmer for this opportunity.”
Prior to her time at Idaho, Johnson spent more then five seasons at Boise State as the head coach. She played collegiately at Gonzaga.
Jordan Jeffers has been named the head women’s golf coach at Charleston Southern. Jeffers comes to Charleston Southern from Houston Baptist where he served as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s golf programs.
Jeffers spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Houston Baptist working with both teams. Houston Baptist played in the NCAA postseason in two of the last three seasons, including back-to-back appearances in both 2017 and 2018.
“I am very excited to have Jordan Jeffers join our family as our new Women’s Golf Coach,” Charleston Southern Athletic Director Jeff Barber said. “His background at HBU has prepared him in multiple ways for this position. His energy and passion for the game are obvious and I look forward to working with him as he builds a Championship program in the years ahead.”
Prior to Houston Baptist, Jeffers served as an assistant men’s coach at Odessa College from 2012-2014.
“This opportunity at CSU was enticing because of the numerous great things about the area and the golf potential,” Jeffers commented. “After speaking with Jeff Barber, it was clear that the future for all Buccaneer sports is bright. His vision and infectious passion were a major factor in our decision to join the CSU family. The Charleston area is second-to-none with many great golf facilities and the CSU community is passionate about leading the student-athletes into the future. I look forward to bringing the same passion to the Women’s golf program.”
Charleston Southern finished the season ranked No. 187 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.
FLORIDA GULF COAST
Many Division II coaches should get a look at the Division I level, but Andrew Danna took a path that seems to fit the eye of Division I administrators.
Two years ago Danna led Lynn University to victory at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship. This past season Danna moved to the Division I level as an assistant coach at LSU. Now, Danna has found a spot as a head coach at the Division I level at Florida Gulf Coast.
“We are excited to have Andrew and his bride Carey joining our Eagles Athletics Family,” FGCU director of athletics Ken Kavanagh said. “Amidst a very strong field of candidates, we believe that his background and experiences were the best overall fit for FGCU men’s golf at this juncture. We now look forward to Coach Danna coming on board and building upon many positive elements on and off the course in our pursuit of the ASUN Championship and NCAA Tournament.”
In his six years at Lynn, Danna guided his teams to six NCAA national tournament appearances, including a national title in 2018 and three national runner-up finishes. The team won back-to-back Sunshine State Conference championships in 2015 and 2016. Prior to his time at Lynn, Danna served as the head coach at Georgia Southwestern State University for two years. He was name named the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year for the 2017-18 season.
Florida Gulf Coast was ranked No. 154 in the final Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings.
Tulane has named Stew Burke head women’s golf coach. Burke comes to Tulane after spending the past three seasons at USC, serving as the Trojans’ associate head coach. Burke replaces Lorne Don who resigned in May.
“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to lead the Tulane women’s golf program and join a wonderful team of student-athletes, coaches and staff members,” Burke said. “Together as a team, I know we have everything in place to elevate our program to a national level, compete for conference titles and pursue excellence in all facets of collegiate golf. I can’t thank (USC head coach) Justin Silverstein, the student-athletes and the rest of the support staff at USC enough for putting me in position for this opportunity. I will never forget my time at USC and I look forward to competing against them on the national stage in the very near future.”
This past season, USC was ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings. The Trojans also won the 2019 Pac-12 Championship and the NCAA West Regional crown.
Burke began his Division I collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach for the Kansas State women’s golf team in the spring of 2014.
Burke played his college golf at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. He served as an assistant coach with Lindenwood’s men’s and women’s golf teams in 2008.
“Stew impressed everyone during his visit to Tulane and we can’t wait for him to get started,” Tulane University Director of Athletics Troy Dannen said. “He has a great vision for the future of our program and knows how to win at the highest levels. His experiences at Kansas State and at one of the nation’s top programs in USC, provide him with a roadmap for leading our program to conference and national accomplishment.”
OTTAWA UNIVERSITY ARIZONA
Tina Barrett was promoted to head coach of the Ottawa University Arizona men’s and women’s golf programs. Barrett takes over the role after serving as assistant coach the previous two seasons. OUAZ competes at the NAIA level and is a member of the Golden State Athletic Conference and is located in Surprise, Ariz.
Prior to joining OUAZ, Barrett spent eight-plus year as the Director of Programs and Events at The First Tee of Phoenix, teaching golf and life skills to youth ages 7-17. Barrett entered coaching after a successful 19-year career on the LPGA where she had one career victory (1989 Mitsubishi Motors Ocean State Open), 53 top-10 finishes and more than $3 million in career earnings. Barrett played collegiately at Longwood College in Virginia.
With Barrett as assistant coach, OUAZ won the 2019 Men’s Golden State Athletic Conference championship and finished runner up at the 2018 NCCAA Men’s National Championship. The women’s program has posted eight top-three finishes in the two years and had one individual medalist.
“We are delighted that our national search for the next head men’s and women’s golf coach for OUAZ proved what we thought that it may — the fact is the best choice was already with us and I could not be more enthusiastic to have Tina Barrett at the helm of our OUAZ Men’s and Women’s golf programs,” OUAZ Director of Athletics Kevin Steele said. “Tina has gained excellent experience for the past two years as the assistant to Coach (Clayton) Sikorski building a nationally ranked program from the ground up. She is able to add this experience to her 19-year LPGA playing career experience which combine to make her not only the perfect person to continue building our nationally prominent programs, but to bring valuable leadership to our student-athletes.”
Barrett takes over for Clayton Sikorski who left for a position 17 miles away in Phoenix at Grand Canyon University after starting the men’s and women’s golf programs at OUAZ.
After 10 seasons at Northern Illinois, Tom Porten will not be back next fall with the golf program as Porten’s contract was not renewed.
Prior to his time at Northern Illinois, Porten coached at Akron and his alma mater Cleveland State, where he led the Vikings to an NCAA Regional appearance in 2006. He was announced as Director of Golf, overseeing both the men’s and women’s teams heading into the 2012-13 season.
“I love being a college golf coach and look forward to another opportunity to help develop young student athletes and build a winning culture,” said Porten.
Northern Illinois finished the season ranked No. 141 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.
Jacksonville State Assistant Coach Halley Morrell has been named head women’s coach at Bradley.
An LPGA Certified “Class A” Teaching Professional, Morell comes to Bradley after serving as assistant men’s and women’s golf coach at Jacksonville State during the 2018-19 season. She also served as the assistant women’s coach at UTEP for two years (2016-18).
“I’m excited and grateful for this amazing opportunity being afforded to me by the athletic administration at Bradley,” said Morell. “The success of the program and the student-athletes, not only as athletes, but also as individuals, will be a top priority as we work to expand upon the strong foundation already in place. I look forward to helping our student-athletes strive to be successful both on the course and in the classroom.”
A native of Brecksville, Ohio, Morell played college golf at Robert Morris (Pa.) and Penn
Bradley finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference this past spring and ended the regular season ranked No. 169 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings this past year.
The University of Michigan has named Zach Barlow head men’s golf coach. Barlow has spent the last five years as the assistant coach at Illinois.
At Illinois, Barlow helped head coach Mike Small guide the Illini to five consecutive Big Ten titles, three NCAA regional championships and advance to five consecutive NCAA finals. Illinois made it to the match-play semifinal three times.
“We are excited to have Zach join our program as the head men’s golf coach,” said Michigan Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “He brings a wealth of experience, a competitive drive and a pattern of success to our program from his days as a collegiate golfer and from his time as a Big Ten coach. Zach has consistently developed the talents of the student-athletes under his direction, achieving at a high level on the course and in the classroom. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for our team under Zach’s leadership.”
Barlow, who played his college golf at Illinois, was part of two Big Ten championship teams in 2009 and 2010. He was an All-Big Ten second team selection in 2010 and finished his career with the eighth-lowest stroke average (74.06) in school history. He was the medalist at the 2008 Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational and the 2009 Marshall Invitational.
“I could not be more excited for this opportunity to lead the Michigan Golf program,” said Barlow. “I want to express my thanks to Warde Manuel, Lisa Savoury and all the staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to guide the current and future stars of Michigan golf.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to Mike Small and the University of Illinois for the opportunity to serve as an assistant coach over the last five years. I am grateful for the experiences and memories from my time in Urbana-Champaign. With that being said, I cannot wait to get to work in Ann Arbor. I’m looking forward to getting the Block ‘M’ on my chest and hit the recruiting trail.”
Barlow replaces Chris Whitten, who left to become the executive director of the Golf Association of Michigan.
• • •
For the past 14 years JD Grimm has coached the men’s and women’s golf teams at Div. III Coe College. Grimm has left his position as golf coach and the school is looking for a replacement.
“JD took pride in creating an environment for his student-athletes to grow as golfers, student-athletes and people,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Sonny Travis. “He will be greatly missed by the Coe athletic department, fellow golf coaches, and of course, the many men and women student-athletes he impacted along the way.”
Coe College is a member of the American Rivers Conference is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A national search is underway to replace Grimm. The job is a full-time position.
• • •
Derek Plucienski has been named head men’s golf coach at McNeese State.
Plucienski fills the spot that was left open after former head coach Austin Burk left the program in December to join the private sector. McNeese State women’s coach Mike Fluty assumed the role as the Cowboys’ interim head coach during the spring season. Plucienski, who played his college golf at Southern Mississippi, spent the 2018-19 season at Louisiana-Lafayette as an assistant golf coach.
“We’re excited to have Derek as our men’s golf coach,” said Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill on Wednesday. “He impressed everyone on the committee with his knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to lead our program. With Derek, the Cowboy golf program will continue to contend for conference championships and increase the McNeese brand nationally.”
Prior to his time at Louisiana-Lafayette, Plucienski served as the Tournament and Operations Manager for the Gulf States Section PGA. A native of Slidell, La.
“I am extremely honored to be joining the McNeese State University family as the next head men’s golf coach,” said Plucienski. “This is an incredible opportunity. Additionally, I need to thank Coach (Mike) Fluty and Coach (Billy) Gabbert for doing an outstanding job this past spring season. Moving forward, I will continue to depend on Coach Gabbert as the volunteer assistant coach. As a former standout player and a McNeese alum, he is an asset to our program.”
McNeese State finished the 2018-19 season ranked No. 132 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
Oklahoma State is expected to announce Kent State coach Greg Robertson as it next women’s head coach in the near future.
Robertson just completed his sixth year at Kent State where he twice guided the Golden Flashes to NCAA match play competition in 2017 and 2018. Kent State is the only non-power five school to advance to match play since the NCAA switched the format in 2015. Robertson’s team ended the season ranked 11th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and advanced to the NCAA Championship.
Prior to his time at Kent State, Robertson spent 11 years at Purdue with the men’s and women’s teams as the associate head coach.
Robertson began his coaching career in 2001 as a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma State, where he also played college golf. He transferred to the University of New Mexico for his senior season and helped the Lobos win the 1998 NCAA West Regional.
With Robertson’s departure to Stillwater, many will expect Maddi Swaney as the frontrunner to replace Robertson. Swaney played for Kent State and spent the last eight years as the assistant coach. She was named the WGCA Assistant Coach of the Year during the 2015-16 season.
A little more than one week after Kevin Williams left his position as head coach at East Carolina for a position as an assistant coach at South Carolina, the Pirates have named a replacement for Williams. Williams spent 17 years at East Carolina directing the women’s program.
C.C. Buford has been named the East Carolina coach. Buford spent the past two years as the assistant coach at Campbell.
“We are thrilled to welcome C.C. Buford to ECU and the Pirate Family,” Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “C.C. is natural leader with a competitive passion for excellence, a strong playing background and an appreciation for our student-athletes that make her a great fit for our program. She is truly a rising star in the coaching profession and has all the tools to lay the groundwork for a successful future for our women’s golf program.
Buford began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at College of Charleston, following a four-year playing career. As a player, she was a member of a two Colonial Athletic Association winning teams in 2014 and 2015 that went on to compete in NCAA Regional play.
“I’m really honored to join the Pirates’ golf program and build upon the tradition that Coach Williams established at ECU,” Buford said. “I’m very thankful to Jon Gilbert, (senior associate athletics director) Phillip Wood and the entire ECU community for this amazing opportunity and for the enthusiasm they have shown throughout the entire process. Having seen so many of the returners compete, I know there is a strong foundation to continue the pursuit of championships. I’ve admired the program both as a coach and player, and to be part of such a supportive administration gets me really excited about the future.”
FLORIDA GULF COAST
Florida Gulf Coast men’s golf coach Eric Booker will not return for the 2019-20 season. His contract was not renewed.
FGCU finished the season ranked No. 154 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and placed fifth in the ASUN Conference Championship earlier this month.
Booker was a member of the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour for portions of 17 years from 1990-2007, Booker finished in the top-5 three times in tournaments on the PGA Tour and also played in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Booker played in 62 career events on the PGA Tour, with his best finish being a tie for 3rd at the 1999 Honda Classic. Booker won the 1997 Nike Greater Austin Open and 1998 Nike Lehigh Valley on the Web.com Tour.
• • •
East Carolina women’s golf coach Kevin Williams has be named assistant coach at South Carolina. Williams has spent the past 17 years with the women’s golf program at East Carolina.
During his time at East Carolina Williams guided the Pirates to 12 NCAA Regional appearances, including 10 of the past 12 seasons. He is a two-time Conference USA Coach of the Year and has led the Pirates to 29 tournament victories. Williams also coached the men’s program at East Carolina (1995-05).
“I am extremely excited to join Coach (Kalen) Anderson’s staff at Carolina and can’t wait to get started assisting her in the development and preparation of our student-athletes for SEC and NCAA Championships,” Williams said. “I am anxious to hit the road this summer in an effort to see our current team members compete and get to know them as well as evaluating our future recruiting needs.”
East Carolina’s season came to an end with an eight-place finish at the NCAA Auburn Regional.
“I am extremely excited to announce Kevin Williams as the new addition to our Gamecock women’s golf coaching staff,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Anderson said. “Kevin brings over 22 years of experience as a head coach at East Carolina University. He has extensive experience and success in local and international recruiting.”
• • •
University of Richmond women’s golf coach Ali Wright announced that she is stepping down from her position to pursue other professional opportunities.
In her five years at Richmond, Wright’s teams won three Patriot League titles – the only three conference titles in program history – and she was twice named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
“We would like to thank coach Wright for her hard work and outstanding leadership of our women’s golf program,” Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hardt said. “Ali has established the Spider women’s golf program as a championship caliber program and established a new standard of excellence moving forward.”
Richmond was ranked No. 157 this year in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
“I would like to thank John Hardt, LaRee Sugg and David Walsh for their guidance and tremendous support during my time at the University of Richmond,” Wright said.
A national search is underway to find a new women’s golf coach.
• • •
John Carlson has resigned from is role as Director of Men’s Golf at the University of Minnesota. Carlson spent the past eight seasons with the Gophers’ golf program. He was promoted from head coach to Director of Men’s Golf in 2017.
Carlson played his college golf at Wisconsin and spent time playing professionally after he finished his collegiate career in 2001. He was named assistant coach at Minnesota in 2010.
The Gophers, who came in ninth at this year’s Big Ten Championship, finished the season ranked No. 89 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
A national search is underway to find Carlson’s replacement.
• • •
It was announced Friday the first head coach in Colorado-Colorado Springs women’s golf history Sadie Farnsworth resigned.
Farnsworth resigned due to her family’s relocation to Salt Lake City, Utah where her husband will work as a local sports anchor.
Farnsworth became head coach of the women’s golf team for the 2013-14 season. She was named the RMAC Women’s Golf Coach of the Year in 2018 after the Mountain Lions won their first conference championship and made their first NCAA postseason appearance.
“When I took this job six years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. But today I can say that this experience as the head women’s golf coach at UCCS has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Farnsworth said in part in a statement. “To see this program grow from something that was brand new to the athletic department into what it is today has been very gratifying.”
• • •
It has been announced that Amy McCollum has resigned as head coach at Austin Peay to pursue other opportunities.
Former head coach Sara Robson, who now serves as Assistant Athletics Director for Operations, will take over the program on an interim basis. A national search for the program’s next head coach will begin immediately.
McCollum took over the program in December 2018 on an interim basis after Robson moved into administration.
“I’d like to thank Amy for her efforts and contributions during her time with our women’s golf program,” Austin Peay Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison said. “Looking ahead, this is a program on the rise with a bright future and we must now turn our focus to bringing the best possible coach in for our student-athletes. As with all our head coaching searches, we will move swiftly to identify a coach committed to the “Total Gov Concept” and who will understand the importance of winning with class.”
Austin Peay finished the season ranked No. 201 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• • •
Oklahoma State announced Courtney Jones will not return as women’s golf coach for the 2019-20 season.
The university also announced assistant coach Par Nilsson will serve as the interim head coach.
Jones served as coach for the women’s team since the 2013-2014 season. In those six seasons, she won 12 event titles, one of which was the 2016 Big 12 Championship.
• • •
Yale has announced Chawwadee Rompothong has resigned from her position as head women’s golf coach.
Rompothong coached the Bulldogs to Ivy League Championship wins in 2006 and 2011 as well as second-place finishes in 2009, 2010 and 2015. Rompothong played her college golf at Yale and was a three-time All-Ivy golfer who helped the Bulldogs win three Ivy titles.
“It has been an incredible joy and honor to coach so many outstanding young student-athletes who have excelled both on and off the golf course. I hope to pursue other equally meaningful opportunities and spend more time focusing on my family. There is never a good time to say good-bye, and although I am leaving my position as the varsity golf coach, I will always be a proud and supportive Yale and Women’s Golf alumna,” Rompothong said.
Rompothong turned professional and competed on the Futures Tour in 2001 and 2002.
“I am thankful for Chawwadee’s commitment and dedication to our women’s golf team both as a standout student-athlete and coach,” said Director of Athletics, Vicky Chun. “Her 14 years with the Yale women’s golf program are a testament to her love for her alma mater, the women’s golf program and the student-athlete experience. I am excited for Chawwadee’s new adventure, and once a bulldog always a Bulldog!”
It has been said a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
• • •
Cleveland State head women’s golf coach Mitchell Moore has been named assistant women’s coach at Colorado State.
Moore served as the head women’s coach and men’s assistant coach this past year. Moore played college golf at Cleveland State and then served as undergraduate assistant coach for both programs beginning in 2016-17. His playing career ended in 2016 after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament his final three seasons, all of which included him winning the Horizon League Conference championship.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mitchell to Colorado State,” Colorado State coach Laura Cilek said. “His passion for developing student-athletes, eagerness to grow in the coaching profession and recruiting experience make him a perfect fit for our program. I am certain our current student-athletes, incoming freshman and Ram Nation will appreciate Mitchell’s work ethic, energy and affinity for collegiate athletics.”
• • •
Georgia State women’s golf coach Cathy Mant, who has led the program for the last 19 years, recently announced her retirement.
Mant, who was hired as the first full-time women’s golf coach in 2000, led the Panthers to five conference championships and was inducted into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 1989.
Along with the five conference championships, Mant led Georgia State to five conference runner-up finishes and six NCAA Regional appearances. She is a six-time conference coach of the year and helped guide Georgia State’s first individual ever to the NCAA Championship.
“I have been extremely blessed to work with so many great young ladies and members of the Georgia State staff over the last 19 years,” Mant said. “I have so many great memories that I will forever cherish. Georgia State has meant so much to my family and I and we will forever be grateful for all of the opportunities this great University has provided us over the years.”
During the 2008-09 season, Mant’s team climbed as high as No. 27 in the national rankings, posting a school-record six wins. Georgia State placed ninth, just one spot shy of qualifying for the school’s first trip to the NCAA Championship.
Mant’s collegiate golfing career reached its pinnacle in 1970 when Mant won the individual title of what was then called the Division of Girls and Women’s Sports Championship, now known as the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. After her collegiate days came to an end, Mant played on the LPGA Tour from 1976 to 1986. Mant’s best finish on the Tour was third at the Rail Charity Championship in Springfield, Ill. She played in 10 U.S. Women’s Opens, as well as each major on the LPGA Tour.
Georgia State finished the season ranked No. 164 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• • •
Bridgett Norwood has been a part of the Little Rock golf program at for over 25 years. Now, the Trojans are looking for a women’s golf coach after Norwood recently announced her retirement.
Norwood has served as the head coach of the Trojan women’s golf program since 2003 and has been associated with the department since the program started in 1992, serving in both an assistant coach and volunteer assistant role.
“This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life to be able to be a part of this program and coach these young women,” Norwood said. “I’m incredibly grateful I was given this opportunity, to be able to build those relationships, and this decision is very bitter sweet. But Little Rock Athletics will always be a special place for me.”
A nationwide search for Little Rock’s next head women’s golf coach will commence immediately.
• • •
Georgia State Director of Golf and former head coach Joe Inman, who has led the program for the last 11 years, has announced his retirement.
Inman served as the head coach of the men’s golf team starting in August of 2008. He guided the program to five NCAA Regional appearances. In 2014, the program finished 22nd at the NCAA Championship.
“Being able to work with so many incredible young men and the Georgia State staff has been a blessing over the last 11 years,” Inman said. “As much as I hope I taught them, I know that they have taught me even more. The game of golf has been a huge part of my life for the last 60 years and this has been an incredible chapter that I will never forget.”
After nine years as head coach, Inman took over the Director of Golf position, hiring Chad Wilson as head coach, while continuing to work with the players, but also spending more time fundraising for the program. In the last two years, Inman was instrumental in the new Bobby Jones Golf Course, home to GSU golf, as well as the purchase of a new Sprinter Van for the squad.
Inman, who was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year two times, played his college golf at Wake Forest where he was a three-time All-American.
Spanning more than 25 years, Inman’s pro playing career included four victories, one on the PGA Tour and three on the Champions Tour. He had nearly 100 top-25 finishes on each circuit, and his career earnings totaled over $5 million.
• • •
Thirty-two years is enough.
Nebraska Women’s golf coach Robin Krapfl announced on Monday, May 6, 2019 that she will retire this summer.
Krapfl, a native of West Point, Nebraska, guided the Husker program to three NCAA Championship appearances, 11 NCAA regional berths and was a two-time conference coach of the year during her time in Lincoln. Krapfl played her college golf at Nebraska (1980-82) and served as an assistant from 1984 to 1987.
“I would like to thank Robin for more than three decades of dedicated service to the University of Nebraska and our student-athletes,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “We wish Robin all the best in the future.”
A national search for Krapfl’s replacement will begin immediately.In a release Karfl said:
“I would like to thank the University of Nebraska for allowing me to hold my dream job for 32 years. To coach young women and be a part of their growth and development has been rewarding beyond measure. Watching them blossom into incredible adults is one of the most wonderful experiences a person can have.
“That being said after careful thought and consideration, I no longer have the energy that this program deserves. I have been a part of Nebraska Women’s Golf for 40 years either as a student-athlete or as a coach and I love it too much to think I am holding it back. Nebraska Women’s Golf deserves more than I can give, so I have decided to retire.
“I can retire feeling good about what I have accomplished, including 11 NCAA regional appearances and three trips to the NCAA National Championships. I also feel good about where I am leaving the program for the next coach. Every member of the squad will be back next year, and one talented freshman is set to join the team. This group showed what they are capable of when they won the Westbrook Invitational. I can’t wait to follow their results next season.
“Now it is time to enjoy my own golf and a little tennis. Go Big Red!”
• • •
For the past seven years Jennifer Borocz has guided the women’s golf program at Jacksonville University. It was announced late this past week that Borocz is resigning.
“Coach has taken our program to unprecedented heights and has left it in a much better place than when she took over,” said Jacksonville University Senior Vice President/Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert. “We are extremely grateful for the positive impact that Coach Borocz has had on our women’s golf program, athletic department and university. This is a bittersweet announcement. I can speak for the entire department when I say that we are sad to see someone of Jennifer’s caliber move on, but we are happy that she will remain in Northeast Florida with the opportunity to spend more time with her wonderful family.
Borocz, who said she is hoping to spend more time enjoying family life, was hired prior to the 2012-13 season and was the first dedicated women’s coach in the program’s history.
“This was an extremely difficult decision but I feel we’ve laid a solid foundation for the program and I am confident it will be successful well into the future. JU has meant so much to my family and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunities JU provided us,” said Borocz.
Borocz will remain an advocate for the program and as an ambassador for women’s golf in northeast Florida. She has already provided some input as the department begins its search for a new leader of the program and will continue to support the program throughout the hiring process.
The Dolphins finished the regular season ranked No. 153 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• • •
Tulane University head women’s golf coach Lorne Don announced his resignation today from the Green Wave women’s golf program.
“These past six years have been a wonderful experience both professionally and personally,” Don said. “My family and I have truly enjoyed our time in New Orleans and Tulane University will always hold a special place for us. I wish the current student-athletes nothing but success moving forward.”
Tulane finished the regular season ranked No. 107 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and placed eighth at The American Conference Championship.
During his six seasons as head coach, Don guided the Green Wave to a pair of NCAA Championship appearances, three NCAA Regional trips, one conference championship and three tournament titles.
“I can’t thank Coach Don enough for his contributions to our program and I wish he and his family nothing but the very best with their future endeavors,” Director of Athletics Troy Dannen said. “We have a strong foundation within in our program and we look forward to our women’s golf team competing for American Athletic Conference championship titles in the very near future.”
A national search to identify the program’s next head coach is underway.
• • •
Charleston Southern University Athletic Director Jeff Barber recently announced that Head Women’s Golf Coach Matt Cram-Smith’s contract will not be renewed. Cram-Smith took over the women’s program in the fall of 2012 after assisting both the men’s and women’s teams in 2011-12.
“I’d like to thank Matt for everything he has done for our women’s golf program,” Barber said. “We all wish for him the very best in his next endeavor.”
The Bucs finished sixth at the 2019 Big South Women’s Golf Championships and were No. 187 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, finishing the season with the most head-to-head losses (117) in NCAA Division I women’s golf.
A national search for a new head coach is underway.
• • •
After more than 35 years in college golf, Puggy Blackmon has announced his retirement. Blackmon is the associate women’s golf head coach and director of golf development and facilities at the University of South Carolina. Blackmon’s coaching success has also earned him induction into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame, the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame and the Carson-Newman University Sports Hall of Fame.
Before his time at South Carolina, Blackmon coached at Georgia Tech, starting in 1983 and then at South Carolina in various roles over the past 24 years, during which he served as head men’s golf coach before moving to the women’s side. For the past decade he has been associate head women’s golf coach.
Since Blackmon joined the South Carolina women’s golf program, the Gamecocks have made nine consecutive NCAA postseason appearances, capturing five NCAA regional titles.
He was instrumental in organizing several collegiate events including the Golf World-Palmetto Dunes Collegiate, Carpet Capital Collegiate, Hootie and the Blowfish Intercollegiate and Darius Rucker Intercollegiate.
In addition to being ACC Coach of the Year four times, Blackmon received the Labron Harris Sr. Award in 2015 for contributions as a PGA professional/coach in growing the game. In 2017, he picked up yet another award when he was named National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year by the Women’s Golf Coaches of America.
Blackmon was also instrumental in organizing and developing the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and the Jacksonville (Fla.) Junior Golf Association in 1975. While at Georgia Tech, he reorganized and grew the Atlanta Junior Golf Association into one of the more successful junior programs in the country.
• • •
Chris Whitten has been the University of Michigan men’s head golf coach since 2011. He’s now been hired as Executive Director of the Golf Association of Michigan.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead and contribute at the Golf Association of Michigan,” Whitten said. “Working with so many people who share the same passion for the game that I do has me truly excited.”
Whitten will remain at Michigan as head coach through the end of the season.
“I’m prepared for the challenges that may come from directing a diverse group with various goals. I’m excited to partner with the USGA and others serving golf in Michigan, learning from their strategies and goals,” he added.
Whitten was previously an assistant club professional at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, before becoming a coach. In 2003, he began his coaching career as the assistant coach at his alma mater, Notre Dame. He then served as Michigan’s assistant coach for five years before being named head coach.
Whitten succeeds David Graham, who is retiring in June after 18 years as GAM’s Executive Director.
• • •
For the past 41 years, Herb Page has guided the Kent State men’s golf program, but Page has announced this season will be his last. Associate head coach Jon Mills will replace Page.
Page took over the men’s golf program in the fall of 1977, and his 41 seasons are the most by a head coach in any sport throughout Kent State’s history. After leading the men’s golf team to 22 Mid-American Conference titles and being a part of 20 conference titles in 20 seasons from the women’s team, Page is the proud owner of 43 MAC Championship rings.
“In addition to his outstanding success as a head coach, Herb was ahead of his time in so many areas,” director of athletics Joel Nielsen said. “He was a strong proponent of adding a women’s golf program and knew what needed to be done to sustain success. He also had the foresight to create a top-notch training facility that has played a huge role in the recruitment and development of our golfers. Plus, he started the Rango Invitational 33 years ago as a sport-specific fundraiser, which has raised millions of dollars for the men’s and women’s programs.”
Page, who is from Markham, Ontario, was a three-sport student-athlete (golf, football and ice hockey) at Kent State.
“Kent State means so much to me,” Page said. “I am forever grateful to the university and all of the administrators, staff and student-athletes I have had the privilege of coaching who made our golf program so successful. This is my alma mater and the Kent community has been my home ever since. But most of all, I am indebted to the wonderful student-athletes I have worked with. It is humbling to reflect on all that they have achieved over the past 41 years and the amazing memories that we have made together.”
Page was instrumental in launching the women’s golf program in 1998. The women’s team since has won 20 consecutive MAC Championships, the longest streak by any sport in the history of the conference.
Numerous Golden Flashes went on to have successful professional golf careers, including 2003 British Open champion Ben Curtis.
“I feel Herb is the best coach in America,” Curtis said. “The record shows that, but the support he provides to all former players is phenomenal, no matter what the player moves on to after graduation. I would not have had the success that I’ve had without his coaching, guidance, support and friendship.”
On June 4, Page will be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Northern Ohio PGA Golf Hall of Fame, Kent State’s Varsity “K” Hall of Fame, the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame and the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame. In 2008, Page was honored with the GCAA Labron Harris Sr. Award, presented to the college coach whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game of golf. He also was chosen to coach the U.S. team at the 1998 World Junior Championships and the International Team at the 2018 Palmer Cup.
• • •
EAST TENNESSEE STATE
After 41 years coaching college golf, East Tennessee State coach Fred Warren has announced his retirement at the end of the 2018-19 season. Warren has spent the past 33 years with the Buccaneers golf program. At the conclusion of the season, current associate head coach Jake Amos will be appointed head coach.
Prior to arriving at East Tennessee State, Warren served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State. He began his coaching career at TCU, where he led both the men’s and women’s programs from 1979-84. He played his collegiate golf at UCLA.
Warren’s teams have won 55 tournament titles and have advanced to the NCAA championship 14 times. He has been named conference coach of the year 12 times.
“The past 33 years as the head coach of the ETSU men’s golf program has produced so many wonderful memories which I will cherish in the years ahead,” said Warren.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Scott Carter, Jeremy Ross and Dr. Brian Noland for their leadership and support as the transition is made to a new leader of our men’s golf program. Jake (Amos) is unquestionably one of the top young coaches in college golf, and his influence has already been felt in our program. He has both played and coached at the highest level of Division I golf, and I am confident that our program is in very capable hands moving forward. There have only been two men’s golf coaches in the past 61 years since the inception of the program, and I am proud that Jake will be the third.”
East Tennessee State is ranked No. 82 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• • •
OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY
Marty McCauley will take over Oklahoma City University’s men’s and women’s golf programs as head coach. He replaces Kyle Blaser, who recently resigned after leading Oklahoma City to 11 national championships and 20 SAC crowns in 23 years.
For the past nine years, McCauley has led the Oklahoma City women’s golf program as head coach. He was named NAIA national coach of the year three times. McCauley has led the team to three national titles and six conference championships. He has become OCU’s winningest women’s coach with 24 tournament titles. McCauley has been instrumental in bringing the 2019 and 2020 NAIA women’s golf championships to Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City.
“Marty has proven himself as an exceptional collegiate golf coach,” OCU athletic director Jim Abbott said. “His attention to detail, commitment to excellence academically and athletically and tireless work ethic make him the perfect choice to direct our nationally prominent teams. Men’s and women’s golf are important programs here at Oklahoma City University, and I’m confident that Marty will sustain the tradition of success that we have come to enjoy.”
Prior to his time coaching the women’s team, McCauley, who played collegiately at Wichita State, helped OCU to two national championships before becoming an assistant coach at Texas Tech.
“It’s a real honor and privilege to have the opportunity to oversee both programs at Oklahoma City University. I’m very excited about the new role and look forward to continuing the tradition that Coach Blaser has maintained the past 20-plus years,” McCauley said.
There is a national search under way to hire an associate head coach to assist McCauley with the OCU programs.
• • •
Larry Hamilton has been selected as head coach of the University of Detroit Mercy women’s golf team. He is the third coach in program history.
“Larry brings a wealth of coaching experience in the game to our women’s program,” director of athletics Robert C. Vowels Jr. said in a release. “His passion for coaching and all his prior experience will be a major asset to our student-athletes, and we are happy to have him and his family join us here in Titan Territory.”
Hamilton brings over 25 years of experience in the game, both in coaching and in the golf industry. A former assistant coach for the men and women at Rochester College, he is currently the director of player development for the Twin Lakes Golf Academy and the Cornerstone Golf Indoor Academy. He graduated from Western Michigan in 1993 with a bachelor of science in physical education. After college he competed on both mini-tour and PGA Club Professional-level events. As a member of the PGA of America Michigan Section, he still actively competes in state tournaments.
“To have the chance to coach a Division I team has always been a dream of mine, and to be able to step into this opportunity at the University of Detroit Mercy is truly ideal,” Hamilton said. “From the support of the athletic department to the positive attitudes and skill sets of the student-athletes on this team, I believe we have the foundation to build a winning tradition.”
Ranked No. 252 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Detroit kicks off its spring season Feb. 17 at the FAU Winter Preview in Boca Raton, Fla.
• • •
After 24 years leading the golf program at Wichita State, Grier Jones has announced he will retire at the end of the 2019 spring season. Jones will move into a volunteer assistant coach role for the 2019-20 season.
Jones, who played on the PGA Tour for 14 years, was a 13-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and led Wichita State to 15 conference championships. Wichita State made 13 NCAA Regional appearances under Jones, with the Shockers advancing to the NCAA Championship in 2003 and 2004, their first appearances since 1979.
“We are extremely grateful to Grier for everything he has accomplished at Wichita State over the last 24 years,” Wichita State director of athletics Darron Boatright said. “He has positively impacted our men’s golf program and student-athletes in many ways, and we wish him and his family the very best as they move on to the next stage of their life. We look forward to him being celebrated during this spring season for all of his career achievements.”
The Shockers started the 2018-19 with a victory at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational in September, giving him his 51st tournament win. Wichita State begins the spring season Feb. 11 at the Farms Invitational in San Diego.
“The coaching and working with the kids has always been easy,” Jones said. “Trying to fit in with this generation and the paperwork is what’s been difficult recently. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time at Wichita State, even through some of the years where we didn’t play as well. I’ve had a lot of great young men and a lot of great parents. The last 24 years have been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Wichita State plans to honor Jones on March 5 with a commemorative ceremony at halftime of the final men’s basketball home game.
• • •
OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY
Longtime Oklahoma City University golf coach Kyle Blaser has resigned to pursue a job in private business
Blaser guided Oklahoma City to 11 NAIA men’s golf championships and 119 tournament victories in the past 23 years. He also was named NAIA national coach of the year 10 times, also the most ever by anyone, as well as Dave Williams NAIA National Coach of the Year nine times as awarded by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Oklahoma City has won 20 Sooner Athletic Conference championships and 11 regional titles under Blaser.
“This was the toughest decision I’ve ever made,” Blaser said. “It was an opportunity that was fair to my wife and my family. I feel like I’ve been selfish with all the travel and gone all the time.
“OCU has afforded me the opportunity to do some great things and meet some outstanding people. All the national championships, they hold special memories. I’ll be forever grateful for those memories. I would like to thank OCU. Twenty-three years, it has been a wonderful ride. My former players, you guys paved the way for OCU. Without you, there wouldn’t be 11 national championships.”
This season OCU has captured five wins in six starts and is the No. 1-ranked team in the NAIA Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll. Last week OCU opened the spring with a victory at the Ottawa-Arizona Spring Invitational in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
“Kyle Blaser has left an incredible legacy in his 23 years as our men’s golf coach,” OCU athletic director Jim Abbott said. “We are grateful for the positive impact that he has made on our university, OCU athletics and the men and women who have had the opportunity to play for his teams. We wish Kyle and his family the very best in his future endeavors.”
Blaser has been inducted into the OCU Athletics Hall of Fame, NAIA Hall of Fame and the GCAA Hall of Fame. He has twice guided the United States’ top junior players in international competition. Several former Stars have turned professional around the world. Tyrone Van Aswegen became the first OCU alum to gain full-time status on the PGA TOUR in 2013.
Oklahoma City University will conduct a national search to find a replacement.
• • •
Virginia Tech announced Friday that men’s golf associate head coach Brian Sharp will take over as the next head coach of the squad.
Current head coach Jay Hardwick will retire at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
Sharp played at Virginia Tech before becoming a coach at the school. He has been an assistant to Hardwick the last 16 seasons, with the last 11 specifically as associate head coach.
He was the 2009 Jan Strickland Award winner, an award that honors the country’s top assistant coach.
“This is a hire that just makes sense,” said Whit Babcock, Virginia Tech’s athletic director. “Brian Sharp has established himself as one of the best coaches in collegiate golf and is a Hokie, through and through. Having been able to observe Brian’s skill set firsthand during the last several years, it became clear to me that the best candidate for this job was right here all along.”
The Hokies are currently No. 113 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings for the 2018-19 college season.
• • •
Craig Marsh has been named the first full time head coach for men’s and women’s golf at Hasting’s College (Neb.). The Broncos compete at the NAIA level.
Marsh spent the last 13 years as the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyo. Craig has led each of the boys and girls teams to three Class 4A State Titles and the first in Wyoming history to take both the boys and girls to back-to-back state championships. Craig was also named Wyoming Class 4A boys coach of the year in 2012 and 2017 along with Class 4A girls coach of the year in 2007, 2016 and 2017. In 2017, he was nominated for national coach of the year for boys golf.
“I am very excited to be joining the Hastings College family and the Hastings, NE community,” Marsh continued. “Coaching the Hastings Broncos men’s and women’s golf teams is a terrific opportunity for me and I look forward to building a competitive program based on teamwork and dedication. I plan on injecting the golf program with enthusiastic and passionate coaching, where every golfer has the opportunity to exceed their potential and expectations.”