Finalists Announced for 2023 NCAA Division I Dave Williams Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips
NORMAN, Okla. – NCAA Division I finalists for the 2023 Dave Williams Award presented by Golf Pride Grips have been announced by the GCAA. The Williams Award honors the national coach of the year in NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, NJCAA Division I, and NJCAA Division II men’s golf.
The five finalists are Bruce Heppler of Georgia Tech, Scott Limbaugh of Vanderbilt, Conrad Ray of Stanford, Mike Small of Illinois, and Matt Thurmond of Arizona State.
Heppler led Georgia Tech to eight top-six finishes in nine stroke-play tournaments, including a win at the 2023 NCAA Salem Regional, and a 3-1-1 match-play record, including clinching their 19th ACC Championship, this season. The Yellow Jackets were led on the course by three All-ACC golfers, including 2023 Ben Hogan Award semifinalist Christo Lamprecht.
Vanderbilt finished in the top five in all 12 tournaments this season and went 4-2 in match-play under Limbaugh. The Commodores won six stroke-play tournaments, including the first three they played in the spring, and were led on the course by four All-SEC golfers, including 2023 SEC Player of the Year and 2023 Ben Hogan Award and 2023 Jack Nicklaus Award finalist Gordon Sargent.
Ray, the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, led Stanford to top-eight finishes in all 10 stroke-play tournaments this season, including wins at the Fighting Illini Invitational, Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, and their 12th Pac-12 Championship, and a 2-0 match-play record. The Cardinal were led on the course by three All-Pac-12 golfers, including 2023 Pac-12 Player of the Year and 2023 Ben Hogan Award and 2023 Jack Nicklaus Award finalist Michael Thorbjornsen.
Illinois finished no worse than fourth and won seven tournaments, including four of their six in the fall and the program’s eighth straight Big Ten Championship last month, under Small, the Big Ten Coach of the Year, this season. The Fighting Illini were led on the course by five All-Big Ten golfers, including unanimous three-time Big Ten Golfer of the Year and 2023 Jack Nicklaus Award finalist Adrien Dumont de Chassart.
Thurmond led Arizona State to top-six finishes in all 13 tournaments this season, including victories in two of their last three at the Thunderbird Collegiate and 2023 NCAA Las Vegas Regional. The Sun Devils were led on the course by five All-Pac-12 golfers, including 2023 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Michael Mjaaseth.
All five finalists are coaching at the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
About Golf Pride Grips
For over seven decades, Golf Pride® has been the global leader in golf grip innovation and technology, from the invention of the slip-on grip to groundbreaking advancements in cord with their new Brushed Cotton Technology (BCT®) to the introduction of the hybrid category of grips. Today, Golf Pride® has laid claim to more major wins than any other grip company. More than 80% of Tour professionals choose to play their grips and not one is paid to do so. And in this age of multi-million dollar endorsement deals, that’s the strongest endorsement of all. Whether you’re a Tour pro playing a major, a rising amateur, or an everyday golfer, you can rest assured knowing you’re playing the #1 Grip in Golf. To learn more about Golf Pride®, go to golfpride.com.