WSCC’s Gardner receives second national coach of the year honor
The Golf Coaches Association of America, in conjunction with diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation, announced Monday the six outstanding collegiate golf coaches receiving the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Award presented by Golf Pride Grips.
Golf Pride Grips will present the coaches with their awards during the Hall of Fame Banquet at the GCAA Convention on December 8.
Jay Seawell of Alabama (Division I), Ken Hyland of Malone (Division II), Jim Owen of Oglethorpe (Division III), Mike Cook of Coastal Georgia (NAIA), Mike Hagen of Indian Hills (NJCAA Division I) and Bill Gardner of Walters State (NJCAA Division II) earned coach of the year honors for 2014. Golf Pride Grips Region and District Coaches of the Year were also named.
Gardner earned the Williams Award for the second-straight season. He led Walters State to its first national championship this season. The Senators also finished runner-up three times on the year and only finished outside the top five twice in 10 events. Brad Hawkins was named a first-team All-America selection while Andrew Hall was named to the second team.
Seawell led Alabama to back-to-back national championships. The Crimson Tide produced a school-record nine wins and a team scoring average of 280.39 (-2.86 shots below par per round). Alabama won its third straight SEC title with a conference and school record 34-under-par. Robby Shelton was not only named winner of the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award, but also won the SEC Player and Freshman of the Year honors while earning First-Team All-America accolades. Bobby Wyatt was also a First Team All-American while Trey Mullinax garnered second-team and Cory Whitsett third-team accolades.
Seawell’s teams also combined to win a NCAA-record 11 consecutive tournaments from March 2013 to March 2014.
Hyland led Malone to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Championships in its first year of eligibility. The Pioneers won seven tournaments on the season, were runner-up twice and never finished outside the top three in 11 events. Nate Tarter was named a first-team All-America selection while Tyler Light was a third-team selection. Malone was also named GLIAC Coach of the Year.
In 2014, Oglethorpe came within just a few strokes of winning their third national championship in six years, but came away with the program’s first national runner-up finish and fifth Top 5 finish in program history. Sophomore Maccaglia was named First Team All-America for the third consecutive year in 2014 and became the first Division III golfer selected to compete in the Palmer Cup. Senior Hayden Jones garnered Second Team All-America honors for his third consecutive All-America designation. In addition, sophomore David Kleckner received All-America honorable mention accolades. Owen was named conference coach of the year for the 14th time in the last 17 seasons. In December, He was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame.
Cook has led Coastal Georgia to remarkable success since starting the program from scratch as a junior-college team four years ago. The Mariners capped a strong campaign by winning the NAIA national championship in May. The national title was the first for Coastal Georgia in any sport. The national-championship triumph was the fifth victory of the season for Coastal Georgia. The team never finished lower than third in any tournament during the 2013-14 campaign. Cook also was named the SSAC Coach of the Year by his fellow conference coaches before later being named the league’s Male Coach of the Year for all sports.
Indian Hills’ golf team this spring won the school’s third NJCAA Division I National Championship in the past four years by a convincing 16-stroke margin. This past year, the Warriors won seven of the 12 tournaments they entered in the fall and spring seasons and were second in two others. They finished first in their final four meets in the spring, capped by their performance in the national tourney, where they led after all four rounds. Hagen was also named the Dave Williams Award recipient in 2011 and 2012.
-From Contributed Reports