Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company Finalists Named
NORMAN, Okla. – Zach Barlow of Illinois, North Carolina’s Matt Clark, Debbie Dove of Keiser, Arizona State’s Armen Kirakossian, UCLA’s Andrew Larkin, and Chris Wilson of Kansas have been named finalists for the 2019 Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company as selected by the GCAA. 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.
Barlow is in his fifth season on the coaching staff of the Fighting Illini men’s golf program. In his first four seasons with the Illini, Barlow helped coach the team to four consecutive Big Ten Championship titles, two consecutive NCAA Regional victories, and four consecutive NCAA Championships appearances. Barlow helped Illinois return to the NCAA Championship Semifinals in three of his four seasons with the program. He has coached four Big Ten Players of the Year.
Clark is in his second season as assistant coach at North Carolina. Last year, he helped the Tar Heels finish 15th at the NCAA Championship, the program’s highest showing in 15 years. Three Tar Heels earned all-region honors and a fourth was an honorable mention All-America. Six players made the ACC Honor Roll, four were Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars and one was recipient of an ACC post-graduate scholarship. Clark was previously a Division I head coach for 14 years – from 2008-17 at UNCW and 2003-08 at Georgia State.
Dove is in her fourth season as assistant men’s and women’s golf coach at Keiser. During her first three seasons the teams combined for 14 tournament wins, 22 NAIA All-Americans, 22 All-Sun Conference honorees, 34 Academic All-Conference selections, and 27 NAIA Scholar Athletes. Dove was previously a Strickland Award finalist in 2017.
Kirakossian is in his second season at Arizona State after serving two years as assistant at Pepperdine. This season the Sun Devils have posted four team victories - all in the spring - after posting three team wins in Kirakossian’s first campaign. While at Pepperdine he helped the Waves to their best finish at the NCAA Championships and best end-of-season ranking since 2004. Prior to his stint at Pepperdine Kirakossian was the head coach at his alma mater, Texas Pan American.
Larkin is in his fourth season as the UCLA men’s golf assistant coach in 2018-2019. In his first three seasons, the Bruins recorded 17 top four finishes and players earned All-Pac-12 Conference honors. This past summer, Larkin caddied for Devon Bling, who finished runner-up at the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. Prior to his time in Westwood, Larkin spent the previous three seasons as the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Occidental College.
Wilson joined the Kansas coaching staff in January 2016 as an associate head coach after spending the previous five-plus seasons at the U.S. Air Force Academy. In his first two and a half seasons the Jayhawks claimed six team victories and three-straight at-large bids to NCAA Regionals. While at Air Force the Falcons won six team titles and shattered the program record for average team score. Wilson began his career at head men’s and women’s golf coach at Louisiana-Monroe (ULM).
The Strickland Award recipient will be announced May 7.
TaylorMade Golf Company has sponsored the Strickland Award since its inception in 2003.