2022 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company Finalists Announced
NORMAN, Okla. — California (PA)’s Kyle Bennett, North Carolina’s Matt Clark, Wake Forest’s Aaron O’Callaghan, Vanderbilt’s Gator Todd, Kansas’ Chris Wilson, and Pepperdine’s Blaine Woodruff have been named finalists for the 2022 Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company. The award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
In his fifth season as assistant men’s and women’s golf coach, Bennett helped lead the California (PA) to their 12th NCAA Division II regional in 13 years. The Vulcans finished in the top 10 in seven tournaments last season, including a second-place finish at Le Moyne (NY)’s NCAA Regional Preview and a sixth-place finish at the 2022 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship. They were led on the course by PING All-Atlantic/East Region and First-Team All-PSAC member Tyler Kipp.
North Carolina won three tournaments, including its first two tournaments of the season for the first time since 1996, and advanced to the NCAA Division I Quarterfinals for the second-straight season in 2021-22 under the assistance of Clark. The Tar Heels tied for the most PING Division I All-Americans, with Ryan Gerard (Second Team), Ryan Burnett (Honorable Mention), David Ford (Honorable Mention), and Austin Greaser (Honorable Mention) leading the charge. North Carolina finished stroke play at the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships tied for first place and Burnett was one of four players in a playoff for the individual title.
Under the direction of longtime Wake Forest head coach Jerry Haas, O’Callaghan’s fourth season in Winston-Salem proved historic. The Demon Deacons won their first ACC Championship since 1989 last season and set a program record at the 2022 NCAA New Haven Regional, shooting 26-under-par and winning the regional by seven strokes. They were led on the course by PING Second-Team All-American Michael Brennan and All-ACC performer Alex Fitzpatrick. Brennan captured individual victories in back-to-back tournaments, including at the Old Town Club Collegiate Invitational with Fitzpatrick, for the second time in his career, while also winning the Genesis Collegiate Showcase and representing Team USA in the 2022 Arnold Palmer Cup.
Todd’s fifth season in Nashville will live in Vanderbilt history. He helped lead the Commodores to a No. 2 end-of-season national ranking as Vanderbilt won the stroke play portion of the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships and earned the No. 1 seed, where they would advance to the semifinals in match play. Gordon Sargent won the NCAA individual title and was named the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman presented by Strackaline. Vanderbilt won their second-straight SEC Championship, was led by four PING All-Americans, and Todd assisted head coach Scott Limbaugh to his fourth SEC Coach of the Year award. Sargent and fellow PING First-Team All-American Cole Sherwood represented Team USA in the 2022 Arnold Palmer Cup.
Kansas has reached the postseason in every season possible during Wilson’s time in Lawrence, including a fifth-place finish at the 2022 NCAA Bryan Regional to qualify for the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships, the second time that’s happened under head coach Jamie Bermel. Led on the course by three Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars and PING All-Central Region honoree Harry Hillier, the Jayhawks closed the 2021-22 season with five tournament championships, the best NCAA Championships round in program history, and their best finish in the NCAA Championships since 1993.
Woodruff helped lead the defending national champion Waves to three wins last season, including at the West Coast Conference Championship and Valspar Collegiate, and their third-straight appearance in the NCAA Championships, advancing to the national semifinals. PING Honorable Mention All-Americans Joe Highsmith, Dylan Menante, and William Mouw, along with three-time Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar Derek Hitchner, created one of the deepest lineups in college golf. Woodruff was hired as Chattanooga’s head coach on June 2, 2022.
TaylorMade Golf Company has sponsored the Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award since its inception in 2003.
2021 - Bill Allcorn, Oklahoma
2020 - Jean-Paul Hebert, Texas
2019 - Armen Kirakossian, Arizona State
2018 - Corey Maggard, Auburn
2017 - Ryan Blagg, Baylor
2016 - Andrew DiBitetto, North Carolina
2015 - John Handrigan, Florida
2014 - Chris Hill, Houston
2013 - Ryan Murphy, Texas
2012 - Jim Anderson, Texas A&M
2011 - Christian Newton, Georgia Tech
2010 - Michael Burcin, South Carolina
2009 - Brian Sharp, Virginia Tech
2008 - Walter Chun, California
2007 - Andy Bischel, UNLV
2006 - John Knauer, Arizona
2005 - Greg Robertson, Purdue
2004 - Bowen Sargent, Tennessee
2003 - Mike McGraw, Oklahoma State