FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas head men’s golf coach Brad McMakin has been named one of 12 finalists for the Dave Williams Award presented by Eaton Golf Pride which goes to the national coach of the year the Golf Coaches Association of America announced late Wednesday.
McMakin, who is in his fifth year with the Razorbacks, has his 2011 team in the NCAA Championships field for the second time in the last three years. This season a pair of Razorbacks, Sebastian Cappelen and Ethan Tracy, have stroke averages among the lowest in Arkansas history and will be in the discussion for all-America honors after each received all-region and all-SEC recognition. This year the Razorbacks won four of their 12 tournaments played including a streak of three straight in March that matched Arkansas’ longest ever which had been set during the 1992-93 season.
"I am honored to be considered a finalist for the Dave Williams Award," McMakin said upon hearing the news. "There are some great coaches being considered for this and to have my name among them is humbling. Of course I couldn’t have done it without the hard work of each of the members of this team. The hours that they put in practicing and honing their craft and their desire to learn and get better makes my job much easier."
Arkansas entered the NCAA Championships this week ranked as high as No. 14 and comes into the final day of stroke play with an opportunity to qualify for the match play segment. The Razorbacks are just four strokes outside the cut line and forecasts are calling for stiff winds on Thursday which could send scores skyrocketing.
Over the course of his five-year tenure with the Razorbacks, McMakin has assembled an impressive resume. His 2009 team finished as the national runner-up at the NCAA Championships and sent four consecutive teams to the NCAA Regional round. His teams have two top four finishes at the Southeastern Conference Championships and he has been named SEC Coach of the Year once.
Other finalists for the Williams award include: Buddy Alexander (Florida), Ryan Donovan (San Diego State), Derek Freeman (UCLA), Mark Hankins (Iowa), Bruce Heppler (Georgia Tech), J.T. Higgins (Texas A&M), Mike McGraw (Oklahoma State), Jay Seawell (Alabama), Colin Sheehan (Yale), Mike Small (Illinois) and Jeff Thomas (Liberty).