Coach Owen is in his 33rd year at Oglethorpe University. This season marks Owen's 22nd year coaching the men's golf team and 10th year with the women's program. Owen, a 1981 graduate of Berry College, arrived on campus in the summer of 1981 as a graduate assistant basketball coach and intramural director. At Berry, Owen was a three-year starting guard and was named basketball team MVP his senior season. He was named Most Outstanding Senior Athlete at Berry College later that spring. At Oglethorpe, he served as an assistant basketball coach from 1981-97 before assuming the head coaching responsibilities from 1998-2003. During his tenure, Oglethorpe joined NCAA Division III and then the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) and expanded the sports programs offered at Oglethorpe from six to 16. After winning 10 SCAC golf titles, Oglethorpe opened a new chapter in 2012-13 with its first Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title in the conference's inaugural season.
In December of 2013 at the GCAA convention in Las Vegas, Owen was inducted into the prestigious Golf Coaches' Hall of Fame, joining an elite group of 110 coaches from around the college golf world. Owen joined Georgia Tech's Bruce Heppler and Georgia's Chris Haack as recent inductees. In April of 2001, Owen was inducted into the Oglethorpe Athletics Hall of Fame after 20 years of loyal service to the university. He now serves on the Hall of Fame committee.
In 1993, Owen took two individual male golfers to the SCAC Conference Golf Championship in Jackson, Miss. Those two golfers began the program that has developed in the last 20 years into one of the most respected in the nation. Since 2000, a span of 15 consecutive years, the Stormy Petrel men have been ranked inside the Top 10 in the nation. They have also finished in the Top 10 at the NCAA Championships 12 years during that span. Owen has coached 54 all-conference performers including two in 2014.
Owen and Oglethorpe have won 11 conference championships in the past 17 years, including four in a row from 2001-04. He was named conference coach of the year in 14 of the last 17 seasons, including the 2013-14 campaign. Owen was honored as the South Region Coach of the Year last year for the fourth time in his career and the second consecutive year, and was honored with the Dave Williams NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year award in 2012.
In 2014, Oglethorpe came within just a few strokes of winning their third national championship in six years, but came away with the program's first national runner-up finish and fifth Top 5 finish in program history.
In 2013, Oglethorpe men's golf recorded the greatest regular season in school history, shattering the school record of three wins in a single season by winning six times in 10 starts. The Stormy Petrels placed four players on the 2013 All-South region team, including senior Eric Quinn, juniors Anthony Amodeo and Hayden Jones, and sophomore Anthony Maccaglia. The squad qualified for its 14th trip to the NCAA Division III Championship.
In May of 2012, the Stormy Petrels won their second NCAA national championship in decisive fashion with a 20-stroke victory at The Mission Inn Resort near Orlando. Freshman Anthony Maccaglia won both the Arnold Palmer National Medalist award and the Phil Mickelson National Freshman of the Year award at the championship.
In 2009, Owen guided the Stormy Petrels to the school's first-ever NCAA championship in any sport when the team dramatically rallied to claim the title at the PGA Villages in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
He has coached 11 conference players of the year including Tolliver Williams (1996, 1998), Robert Fink (2001), Chris Summers (2002), Trent Erb (2003, 2004), Taylor Urbanski (2008), Scott Pugh (2009), Eric Quinn (2012) and Anthony Maccaglia (2014).
Under Owen's watch, the Stormy Petrels have had five two-time Academic All-America honorees and 14 total. The list of two-time honorees includes Robert Fink, Corey Garner, Trent Erb, Taylor Urbanski and Matt Rebitch. Anthony Maccaglia joined the program's illustrious list of Academic All-America honoreees in 2014 when he was named both the GCAA All-America Scholar and to CoSIDA's Capital One Academic All-America Second Team. He becomes the first golfer in Oglethorpe history to be named to a CoSIDA Academic All-America team. Oglethorpe also added Anthony Maccaglia, Dan Simonsen and Chase Feagin to a list that now totals 87 conference academic honor roll honorees since 1993-94.
Sophomore Maccaglia was named First Team All-America for the third consecutive year in 2014. Senior Hayden Jones garnered Second Team All-America honors for his third consecutive All-America designation. In addition, sophomore David Kleckner received All-America honorable mention accolades, marking his first All-America honors. These three become the 21st, 22nd and 23rd NCAA Division III All-Americans since the 1998 season.
In the fall of 2003, Owen retired from his basketball coaching duties and officially began the women's golf program. In 2008, Cindy Vaios joined the women's program as head coach. Vaios, an outstanding teacher and instructor, has raised the team's level of play in each of her years with the squad.
In 1998, after several years of posting only individual scores, the Oglethorpe women's program posted a fifth-place finish as a team at the SCAC Championship in Danville, Ky.
From 1998-2001, Kristi Wright twice earned Second Team All-SCAC conference honors. She finished eighth at the SCAC Championship in 1999 and ninth in 2001 to give the program its first individual golf honors.
From 2005-08, Julia Gates began the ascent of the women's program in earnest. During her four years on campus, she led the team to a program-best second-place finish at the 2006 SCAC Championship and a third-place finish in 2007. During he four outstanding years at Oglethorpe, Gates earned one First Team and three Second Team All-SCAC honors, as well as qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championship as an individual twice. Her first appearance at the NCAA Championship was the first ever by a Stormy Petrel women's golfer. She finished tied for 18th at the 2007 tournament at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., a tournament that was, coincidentally, hosted by Oglethorpe. She earned First Team All-America honors that year, the first OU woman golfer to earn All-America honors of any type. She did it again in 2008, finishing 13th at the NCAA Championship in Waverly, Iowa, again taking home All-America honors.
The Katie Dale era ran from 2007-10, and included a 2008 trip to the NCAA Championship as an individual. In betwee, she earned four straight Academic All-America awards, as well as four straight SCAC Academic Honor Roll designations. She was named First Team All-SCAC in two of her four years of competition, and took Second Team honors the other two. She finished tied for 64th at the NCAA Championship in Waverly, the only appearance of her career.
In 2012, the SCAC chapter closed and the new Southern Athletic Association was formed. In the school's first year as part of the SAA, sophomore Jordan Krahn set a new 54-hole school record at the 2013 SAA Championship in Birmingham, Ala., earning Second Team All-SAA honors in the process. She became the 17th women's golfer in OU history to earn all-conference honors. The team finished fifth at the event, setting a 54-hole team record, as well.
Chelsea Gatterdam earned her third consecutive Academic All-America award in 2012-13. She looks to join Dale as the school's only four-time Academic All-America in any sport.