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Finalists Announced for 2024 NCAA Division II Dave Williams Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips

NORMAN, Okla. – NCAA Division II finalists for the 2024 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 Mark Hull of Colorado Christian, Gareth Lappin of Grand Valley State, Brad Robinson of Lincoln Memorial, Derrick Thompson of Central Oklahoma, and Bryson Worley of North Georgia.

Hull guided the assurgent Cougars to four wins this season, including their first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championship in program history, and a top-four finish in 11 of their 12 tournaments. Ranked fifth in Scoreboard powered by Clippd’s National Rankings after earning a trip to their second-ever NCAA Championship trip, Colorado Christian was led on the course by PING All-Region honorees Xavier Bighaus and Adam Duncan, who is looking to become the first Jack Nicklaus Award presented by Workday recipient in school history. 

After being named head coach in mid-October, the third-ranked Lakers didn’t miss a beat with Lappin in charge. Five of their seven victories on the season and the program’s third straight appearance in the NCAA Championship have come since his hiring, as well as five All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and three PING All-Region honors for his golfers. The Lakers were led on the course by GLIAC Golfer of the Year and Jack Nicklaus Award finalist Drew Coble as well as Manuel Cue Vargas and Nick Krueger. 

Lincoln Memorial collected wins at the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Championship and in high-profile fields such as the Las Vegas Desert Classic, Mizuno Intercollegiate, and Tennessee River Rumble this season under Robinson while finishing inside the top three eight times. Ranked second in Scoreboard powered by Clippd’s National Rankings for all of 2024, the Railsplitters and first-time SAC Coach of the Year Robinson were led on the course by five All-SAC and three PING All-Region recognitions, including SAC Golfer of the Year George Durkan.

Thompson led Central Oklahoma to five victories in 2023-24, including the Central/Midwest Regional that saw the second-lowest 54-hole score (823) and tied for the lowest 18-hole score (267 final round) in school history. With top-three finishes in all but one of their 12 tournaments, the Bronchos were led on the course by PING All-Region golfers Jordan Wilson, Nick Canales, and Bennett Baldwin, who was the regional runner-up with a nine-under 201 that tied for the second-lowest 54-hole individual score in program history.  

Ranked first in the Scoreboard powered by Clippd National Rankings throughout 2024 and in eight of the nine Bushnell/Golfweek DII Coaches Polls, Worley’s Nighthawks won six times and finished no worse than sixth this season. Their wins include the South/Southeast Regional, the program’s first Peach Belt Conference Championship, and the Cateechee Fall Invitational all by double-digit strokes. Worley became the first coach in conference history to win PBC Coach of the Year in three consecutive seasons while being led on the course by PING All-Region golfers Will Chambless, Ethan Day, and Jack Nicklaus Award finalist Jack Vajda.

Hull, Lappin, Thompson, and Worley are coaching this week at the 2024 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship at Orange County National Golf Club in Winter Garden, Fla.

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