SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – The GCAA in conjunction with Golf Pride Grips today announced the six outstanding collegiate golf coaches receiving the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips. Golf Pride Grips will present the coaches with their awards during the Hall of Fame Banquet at the GCAA National Convention on December 7.
Mike Small of Illinois (Division I), Ryan Jamison of Nova Southeastern (Division II), Steve Conley of Methodist (Division III), Mike Cook of Coastal Georgia (NAIA), Jamie Howell of Eastern Florida State (NJCAA Division I) and Andy Walker of South Mountain (NJCAA Division II) earned coach of the year honors for 2015. Golf Pride Grips Region and District Coaches of the Year were also named.
In his 15th year at the helm of the Illinois Men’s Golf program, Small led the team to its eighth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and third-straight NCAA Regional victory. The Illini won a school-record eight tournament titles during the 2014-15 season, and Small guided each one of his top five players to one or more individual titles. The Illini tallied eight individual wins this season. Small was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, the seventh time in his career that he has earned conference coach of the year honors. His squad swept each of the individual honors for the second time under his direction, as junior Thomas Detry was named Big Ten Player of the Year and freshman Nick Hardy earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year recognition. Small’s entire starting five earned All-Big Ten recognition this season as well.
Jamison’s Sharks had a nearly unprecedented run in 2014-15, ranking first throughout the season in the Golfstat Relative Rankings, and for each of the last seven weeks in the Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll. They won five regular season events, including four of five in the spring, before taking the title at both the NCAA South/Southeast Super Regional and NCAA Championships. Then, during Medal/Match Play at the National Championships, they took out No. 5 Chico State, No. 11 Central Missouri (in a 5-0 shutout), and No. 3 Lynn in the final match, 3-2. The Sharks featured Division II Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol winnwe Santiago Gomez and Richard Mansell, both honored as PING First Team All-America and Sunshine State Conference First Team members. Jamison was voted Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year for the second time, while Gomez was named SSC Men’s Golfer of the Year. In addition, four members were named to the DII PING All-South Region team.
Conley recently completed his 28th campaign as head coach at Methodist. This past season he directed the Monarchs to their 11th NCAA Division III national championship in the last 23 years. Conley has been named Coach of the Year in both Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the USA South Athletic Conference 18 times, NCAA Division III Region III Coach of the Year 15 times, and a Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award recipient six times. He has produced nine individual national champions, 45 PING All-Americans and 11 Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars.
Cook was named Dave Williams Award recipient for the second-straight year after leading Coastal Georgia to back-to-back NAIA Championships. The Mariners led the NAIA Championships wire-to-wire and ultimately winning by 11 shots. Cook led his squad to eight wins in 10 tournaments during 2014-15. Coastal Georgia’s three seniors were named PING First-Team All-America selections.
Howell completed his 13th season with the Titans. This season he mentored Jack Nicklaus Award presentedy by Barbasol recipient Kerry Sweeney. In previous seasons Howell has chalked up 35 tournament wins and coached 16 All-Americans with two players, who won NJCAA individual national titles. He was District Coach of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015. The Titans have won five NJCAA District 4 championships and reached the NJCAA National Tournament in all 13 of Howell’s seasons, including a program best second-place finish in 2015.
Walker led South Mountain to a 15-shot victory at the NJCAA Division II Championships. South Mountain captured the team title in 11 of the 12 events they played this season. Three Cougar golfers earned medalist honors seven times in 2014-15 and were awarded PING All-America honors. John Souza was awarded with the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshmen Award presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation and Connor Klein earned the Arnold Palmer Award. Walker was previously named ACCAC and Golf Pride Grips Region Coach of the Year and NJCAA Coach of the Tournament.
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Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award Presented by Golf Pride Grips
Division I - Mike Small, Illinois
Division II - Ryan Jamison, Nova Southeastern
Division III - Steve Conley, Methodist
NAIA - Mike Cook, Coastal Georgia
NJCAA Division I - Jamie Howell, Eastern Florida State
NJCAA Division II - Andy Walker, South Mountain
Golf Pride Grips Region and District Coaches of the Year
Northeast - Brian Watts, Army
East - Bruce Heppler, Georgia Tech
Southeast - Chuck Winstead, LSU
Midwest - Mike Small, Illinois
Central - John Fields, Texas
West - Chris Zambri, Southern California
East - Harry Jennings, Wilmington
Atlantic - Frederick Joseph, IUP
Southeast - Mike Carlisle, USC Aiken
South - Ryan Jamison, Nova Southeastern
Midwest - Troy Halterman, UMSL
Central - Tim Poe, Central Missouri
South Central - Jerry Hrnciar, Cameron
West - John Buchanan, Simon Fraser
Northeast - Mike Nolan, RPI
Mid-Atlantic - Andy Tompos, Franklin & Marshall
Southeast - Lee Richter, LaGrange
Great Lakes - Jeff Roope, Wittenberg
Central - Jim Ott, Illinois Wesleyan
West - Butch Edge, Redlands
North - Barry Doty, William Woods
South - Mike Cook, Coastal Georgia
Central - Bobby Cornett, Texas Wesleyan
West - Greg Hutton, CSU San Marcos
NJCAA Division I
District I - Rich Holden, Trinidad State
District II - Paul Chavez, Odessa
District III - Mike Hagen, Indian Hills
District IV - Jamie Howell, Eastern Florida State
NJCAA Division II
East - Gary Hilton, Darton State
Central - Tommy Snell, Mississippi Gulf Coast
West - Sandy Terry, Tyler