Seven to be Inducted into GCAA Hall of Fame
NORMAN, Okla. – The Golf Coaches Association of America will induct six coaches - Bob Alpers of Saint John’s (Minn.), Oklahoma City’s Kyle Blaser, Michael Carlisle of South Carolina-Aiken, Texas Wesleyan’s Bobby Cornett, Steve Desimone of California and Floyd Horgan of Brevard CC and Centenary - in its 2010 Hall of Fame Class. Additionally, Ron Balicki of Golfweek will be inducted for his contributions to college golf. The group will be officially honored at the GCAA Hall of Fame Reception and Awards Banquet Monday, Dec. 6 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.
Alpers is currently in his 18th season as head golf coach at Saint John’s. He has guided the Johnnies to nine MIAC titles and 12 consecutive NCAA appearances. The 2007 Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year, Alpers led his squad to back-to-back national titles in 2007 and 2008. SJU has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships nine of 11 appearances under Alpers. A four-time Eaton Golf Pride Regional Coach of the Year, Alpers has won MIAC Coach of the Year honors eight times. Alpers has coached 21 PING All-America selections and 22 Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America scholar honorees. In addition to his duties as golf coach, he serves as assistant athletic director and director of SJU’s intramural and club sports programs. Alpers also serves as the Division III Representative at-Large to the GCAA’s National Advisory Board.
Last May Blaser led Oklahoma City to its seventh NAIA championship. He has led the Stars to more NAIA men’s golf championships than any coach. A six-time Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year, Blaser has won 11 regional titles and 12 Sooner Athletic Conference Championships in 13 seasons. He has coached four NAIA individual champions, 21 All-Americans, 11 NAIA scholar-athlete award winners, four CoSIDA academic All-Americans and seven Sooner Athletic Conference individual champions and players of the year.
A three-time Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year, Carlisle has coached South Carolina-Aiken for 20 years. His squad’s captured three-straight NCAA championships from 2004-06 and he has additionally led the Pacers to three national runner-up finishes. Carlisle is a six-time Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year and led his program to eight PBC championships. The Pacers have qualified for the postseason 18 of the last 19 years, advanced to the national finals 14 times and claimed five region championships. Carlisle’s teams have captured 72 team titles in his 19 seasons, including a stretch of 23 of 28 events from 2004-06. Coach of the 2005 USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship, Carlisle has coached 45 PING All-Americans, nine Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars and two Jack Nicklaus Award winners.
Cornett is in his 16th season as head coach at Texas Wesleyan. He lead the Rams from 1985-99 then served ten seasons as an assistant coach while focusing on the playing the National Senior Tour and Champions Tour before returning to his role as head coach prior to the 2009-10 season. Cornett has been named NAIA National Coach of the Year three times while leading the Rams to national championships in 1990, 1995 and 1999. Cornett’s teams have won 65 tournaments under his guidance and claimed at least one victory in each of his 15 seasons. He has produced 25 All-America selections and three national medalists. Cornett also played at Texas Wesleyan for Hall of Fame coach O.D. Bounds when he earned All-America honors while helping lead the Rams to the NAIA championship.
Desimone is in his 32nd season as Cal golf coach, a program that he transformed from a club program to an NCAA championship in 2004. Desimone became head coach in 1980 and he formed the Cal Golf Committee with the intent of upgrading the program to a varsity sport, which became a reality in 1982. During this time he has raised every penny to fund the men’s golf team budget. The 2004 Golfweek National Coach of the Year and 1987 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Desimone has led the Golden Bears to 15 NCAA Regional appearances. He coached eight PING All-America selections and 11 Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars. Desimone has also coached two individual Pac-10 champions. He also mentored 2008 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf (national assistant coach of the year) recipient Walter Chun. Desimone was named the 2004 Northern California Golf Association Grand Master of the Year.
Horgan’s career spanned from 1966-93 and included two long stints at Brevard CC around a short stay at Centenary. He won seven national championships at Brevard as well as 14 state junior college championships. Horgan made two NCAA appearances while at Centenary and where he coached 1981 national player of the year Hal Sutton. A member of the NJCAA Hall of Fame, Horgan was a seven-time NJCAA National Coach of the Year, coached 48 All-America selections and helmed the 1990 U.S. team competing in the World University Games. Horgan is currently at Riverside Country Club in Bozeman, Mont., and has been named Golf Digest Best Golf Teacher in the state of Montana eight times.
Few individuals have done more to bring exposure to college golf than Balicki. With Golfweek since 1983, He covered his first golf tournament in 1980 while with the Northwest Florida Daily News. Balicki has covered 26 consecutive NCAA Championships dating back to 1985 and every GCAA National Convention. He has also covered NCAA Regionals, Division II Championships, NJCAA Championships, Palmer Cups and numerous regular season events. Balicki has won first-place and third-place in Golf Association of America writing contests and won four first-place and numerous honorable mention awards with the International Network of Golf. He has also won three first-place awards from the Teas Golf Writers Association. Balicki is a winner of the Golf Writer’s Association of America Jimmy D’Angelo Award and the Northwest Florida Sports Association Al Byrne Award, both of which are presented to a person for contributions, devotion and service to the organization and the community.