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

NORMAN, Okla. – NAIA 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 Chris Butler of Lindsey Wilson, Tom Harp of Wayland Baptist, Kevin Long of Texas Wesleyan, Chris MacDonald of British Columbia, and Ben Rickett of Dalton State.

Lindsey Wilson, ranked seventh in the Scoreboard powered by Clippd National Rankings, won eight of their 10 tournaments this season under first-year head coach Butler. The first coach in program history to have earned both the Mid-South Conference’s Head Coach of the Year (this season) and Assistant Coach of the Year (in 2022) awards in their coaching career, Butler’s Blue Raiders were led on the course by PING All-Region and First-Team All-Mid-South golfers Milan Reed, Rio Saigal, and Callum Waugh.  

Harp’s Pioneers collected three wins and five top-three finishes in 10 2023-24 tournaments. Eighth-ranked Wayland Baptist was led on the course by the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Player of the Year and PING All-Region honoree Benjamin Lubker, the fourth-ranked player in Scoreboard powered by Clippd’s National Rankings. Lubker finished inside the top 10 seven times and won the TPC San Antonio NAIA Shootout in February.  

The Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Coach of the Year, Long led the Rams to a top-six finish in all 13 tournaments this season while winning five times, including their second SAC Championship in three years. Ranked fourth in Scoreboard powered by Clippd’s National Rankings, Texas Wesleyan was led on the course by five PING All-Region recipients, including All-SAC honorees Juan Ricardo Davila Bone and Colin Price, the conference’s Freshman of the Year. 

MacDonald guided his defending national champion Thunderbirds to seven top-three finishes and six wins this season, including their fourth straight Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Championship, en route to earning his second CCC Coach of the Year award. Sixth-ranked British Columbia was led on the course by PING All-Region awardees Mackenzie Bickell, Manu Gandhi, and Dylan MacDonald. Gandhi and MacDonald were the CCC Co-Players of the Year.  

Ranked first in the Scoreboard powered by Clippd National Rankings for all but three weeks in 2024, Rickett’s Roadrunners won seven of their nine tournaments, including the program’s eighth Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Championship, before hosting this week’s NAIA Championship. Dalton State was led on the course by five PING All-Region golfers, including SSAC Freshman and Player of the Year and 2024 Jack Nicklaus Award presented by Workday finalist Jack Whaley. 

All five finalists are coaching this week at the 2024 NAIA Men’s Golf Championship at Dalton Golf and Country Club in Dalton, Ga.

About Golf Pride Grips

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