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GCAA to Induct Six for 2016 Hall of Fame Class


NORMAN, Okla. – The GCAA will induct six coaches - Vince Clark, Mike McGraw, Tim Poe, Jay Seawell, Mike Small and Dick Spybey - in its 2016 Hall of Fame Class. The group will be officially inducted at the GCAA Hall of Fame Reception and Awards Banquet Monday, Dec. 12 in Las Vegas.

Clark stepped into the role of head coach of the McClennan Community College golf team in 2007, having spent the previous six years as an assistant in the program. Since taking over the helm, Clark has led the Highlanders to three NJCAA Division I National Championships, back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 and another title in 2016, bringing the school’s title count to four.

In 2009, the team’s success earned him Coach of the Year honors from Region V, NJCAA and the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips. He received the region and NJCAA awards again in 2010. He was named the NJCAA District II Coach of the Year for the 2013 season, and in 2016 was inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Clark serves at the president of the NJCAA Coaches Association and sits on several committes for the GCAA.

During his McLennan tenure, Clark has coached 15 PING All-American selections and eight NJCAA Academic Award winners, and the team has received NJCCA All-Academic Team Honorable Mention seven times.

In addition to his coaching duties, Clark has taught history classes since joining the McLennan faculty in 1994.

Three-time national champion coach McGraw is in his third season leading Baylor and his 12th season as a Division I head coach. McGraw has 19 years of experience coaching at the Division I level, including eight seasons as Oklahoma State men’s golf head coach, and he’s led teams to the NCAA Championship in 17 of those 19 seasons. In addition to three national titles, more than half of McGraw’s 19 years have ended with top-five finishes at the NCAA Championship, including 10 times in the top five and three times finishing as national runner-up.

McGraw led Oklahoma State to five Big 12 titles and was named Big 12 Coach of the Year five times in his eight seasons as men’s golf head coach. The Cowboys won 30 total tournaments and advanced to the NCAA Championships seven times, recording five top-five national finishes during his tenure. His players earned 30 individual medalist honors and he produced 21 PING All-Americans while he was men’s team head coach at OSU. He was twice honored with the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips.

While an assistant at Oklahoma State, McGraw received the inaugural Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year Award presented by TaylorMade adidas Golf.

The 2016-17 season marks Poe’s 27th year as head men’s golf coach Central Missouri. During his tenure he has built the Mules’ golf program in to one of the best in all of NCAA Division II.

Poe has led Central Missouri to 14 MIAA Championships, including six straight from 1997-2002. The Mules have made 23 straight NCAA postseason appearances, including qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Championships 11 times and every year since 2009.

Poe has been named MIAA Coach of the Year 14 times and is a 10-time recipient of the Golf Pride Grips Division II Regional/District Coach of the Year Award.

He has produced 83 All-MIAA players, 24 PING All-Region selections, 20 PING All-Americans, seven MIAA Players of the Year, one All-Nicklaus Team Award winner, and the 2015 NCAA Division II Individual National Champion and Arnold Palmer Award recipient, Sam Migdal.

In 2010, Poe led the Mules to a second place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Noblesville, Ind., the highest finish in school and MIAA history. He received the 2010 Division II Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips. To highlight the season, he was selected to coach the 2011 United States Arnold Palmer Cup team, the first non-Division I coach to be named to the position.

He has been a member of the PGA of America since 1990.

Named Alabama’s head men’s golf coach on July 26, 2002, Seawell led the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championships in 2013-14. His teams have captured a total of four Southeastern Conference championships. Seawell has led Alabama to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances and nine NCAA Championship berths. Seawell has coached Alabama to 46 team tournament championships with 34 individual medalists. He received the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award in 2013.

Seawell has coached 31 PING All-Americans during his coaching career. His golfers at Alabama have been nominated for the sport’s highest national awards, including the Ben Hogan Award, the Jack Nicklaus Award, the Fred Haskins Award, the Phil Mickelson Award and the Byron Nelson Award. Justin Thomas won the Nicklaus, Haskins and Mickelson awards in 2012 and Robby Shelton was named the Mickelson Award winner in 2014.

Alabama has put 77 players on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in the last 14 years and has seen eight players (16 honors) earn Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar accolades. Joseph Sykora was voted by the league golf coaches as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year an SEC-record three times. In 2008, Sykora won the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award (all sports, all males in the league) and Alabama’s Bryant Award, as the top male student-athlete from any sport. Cory Whitsett received the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Elite 89 Award, presented annually to the golfer at the NCAA Championships with the highest GPA. He also was named 2013 and 2014 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year while winning the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award and the Bryant Award in 2014.

Seawell began his coaching career at Anderson College, where he coached from 1991-96 and won five consecutive NJCAA Region 10 championship and earned five Region Coach of the Year awards. After briefly leaving Anderson for another career pursuit, Seawell returned to coach Anderson again in 1997-98. He was hired by Augusta State as its head coach prior to the start of 1998-99 season. He led ASU to four straight NCAA Regional appearances and three trips to the NCAA Championships. He coached three PING All-Americans during his tenure at Augusta State.

Small has brought national recognition to Illinois golf in his 16 years at the helm of the program. The 2015 Dave Williams National Coach of the Year guided the Illini to Big Ten Championship titles in seven of the last eight seasons and coached two NCAA individual champions in that span (Scott Langley: 2010 and Thomas Pieters: 2012). He also has coached five consecutive Big Ten Players of the Year. In all, Small has coached seven Big Ten Players of the Year.

Small has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year a conference-record eight times in his career (2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2002), taking home the top honor for the fifth year in a row in 2013. He also has been named Midwest Regional Coach of the Year eight times in his career (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2003), including each of the past four seasons. Under his direction, Illinois athletes have won 21 All-America honors and 38 All-Big Ten accolades. The Illini have qualifed for 12 NCAA Championships, advancing to the finals 11 times - including each of the last nine years. Illinois has advanced to the match play portion of the NCAA Championships a record five times.

Several Illini have represented the program on a national level, competing in the Arnold Palmer Cup, as Langley also won the clinching match at the Palmer Cup in 2010 and Thomas Pieters, also helped Europe clinch the 2012 Palmer Cup by halving both of his singles matches in the event. Thomas Detry went 3-1 in helping Europe to a 2014 Palmer Cup win in 2014, while Charlie Danielson received the event’s Michael Carter sportsmanship award in 2016.

In addition to success on the course, Small’s players have also had academic success, capturing several Big Ten Medal of Honor awards with Scott Langley in 2011, Luke Guthrie in 2012 and Charlie Danielson in 2016. Additionally, his players have earned 45 Academic All-Big Ten and 12 Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors.

Small was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and received the 2013 Labron Harris Award.

Spybey served as Alabama’s women’s head coach from 1985-88 and its men’s head coach from 1988-2002. He lead the Crimson Tide to eight regional appearances and advanced to the NCAA finals four times. Spybey was named Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award recipient in 1992 and was time recognized as GCAA District 3 South Coach of the Year. He earned SEC Coach of the Year Awards as both a men’s and women’s coach, the only individual to win both honors. Spybey also served on the team USA coaching staff for the inaugural Arnold Palmer Cup in 1997.

Five of Spybey’s golfers earned All-America honors while five received All-America scholar recognition. Marten Olander received the 1993 Ben Hogan Award. Allen MacDonald represented GB&I in the inaugural Arnold Palmer Cup matches. A total of 16 golfers earned All-SEC honors and 48 were All-SEC Academic Honor Roll recipients.

An active member of the GCAA, Spybey served as the Association’s president from 1995-97 and served on the National Advisory Board from 1991-99. He served a two-year term as the GCAA representative on the USGA Committee on Amateurism and was the District 3 South Selection Committee chairman. Additionally, Spybey hosted a number of college tournaments and was tournament directoy for the 1998 Arnold Palmer Cup held at St. Andrews.