Florida’s Hart Named Recipient of 2023 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company
NORMAN, Okla. — Florida’s Dudley Hart has been named the 2023 Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company recipient. The Strickland 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.
“I am humbled to be considered for this Award along with the other finalists, Bo Andrews, Justin Bardgett, Isaiah Logue, and Chris Williams,” Hart said. “I am equally humbled to join the other Award winners.”
Hart and Dave Williams Division I National Coach of the Year and SEC Coach of the Year J.C. Deacon led Florida to six team victories, including their first SEC Championship in 12 years and their fifth NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, six individual titles, and top-10 finishes in all 13 2022-23 tournaments.
The Gators tied for the most PING All-Americans in Florida program history and NCAA Division I in 2023, with National Individual Champion Fred Biondi (First Team), Yuxin Lin (Second Team), Ricky Castillo (Honorable Mention), and John DuBois (Honorable Mention) leading the charge.
“I am very happy that Coach Hart’s tireless work ethic and dedication to our players and the University of Florida is being rewarded,” said Deacon. “He has been a tremendous addition to our golf program and his impact on and off the golf course has been incredible.”
Hart, the Buffalo, N.Y., native, is entering his seventh season as an assistant coach in Gainesville and third as full-time assistant coach. During his tenure, the Gators have won 14 tournaments, including the 2018 NCAA Reunion Regional, and earned nine PING All-America and 14 PING All-Southeast Region honors. Florida also had back-to-back SEC Freshman of the Year recipients in Castillo (2020) and Joe Pagdin (2021). Off the course, the Gators have earned 38 Academic All-SEC, seven GCAA All-America Scholar, and 2018-19 GCAA Outstanding Team Academic honors.
“I accept the Strickland Award on behalf of a team that has supported me over the years and has made this year very special,” continued Hart. “No coaching award is won without great players. J.C. and I challenged exceptionally-talented and dedicated young men to work harder and stay more focused than they ever had before – and, not surprisingly, each member of the team welcomed and met all of the challenges from the start of the season to the celebration of their first SEC Championship and the fifth NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. I share the Strickland Award with each member of the Gator Golf Team.”
Deacon echoes that sentiment.
“I have a great deal of trust and appreciation for Dudley,” he said. “He is a great friend and model college golf coach.”
A four-year (1987-90) player at Florida himself, Hart was the 1987 SEC Freshman of the Year, a three-time First-Team All-SEC selection, and a four-time All-American. He is one of five Gators in program history to be a four-time All-American and was the first of eight to earn SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Hart went on to have a decorated professional career that included two PGA TOUR victories; at the 1996 RBC Canadian Open and the 2000 Honda Classic, where he reached as high as 21st in the World Rankings.
“To say that coaching at my alma mater is a dream come true is an understatement”, he said. “At this stage in my life, it is a special experience for me to be able to help the student-athletes in this program improve as golfers and grow as young men.”
“I am grateful to the Strickland Award Selection Committee for awarding me with one of the greatest honors of my life. Thank you.”
TaylorMade Golf Company has sponsored the Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award since its inception in 2003.
2023 - Dudley Hart, Florida
2022 - Matt Clark, North Carolina
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