NCAA Golf News

Small Named GCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year

Small Named GCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year

NORMAN, Okla. – Fighting Illini men’s golf head coach Mike Small was named the 2024 Golf Pride Grips Midwest Region Coach of the Year for NCAA Division I by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) on Tuesday.

The award is the 13th GCAA regional coach of the year honor for Small who just completed his 24th season at the helm of the Fighting Illini program.

Small, who was also a finalist for the GCAA’s Dave Williams National Coach of the Year honor, led the Illini to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship and No. 6 in the final NCAA Division I men’s golf rankings with a head-to-head record of 157-27-2 in 13 stroke play events on the season.

The Orange and Blue recorded six team victories capped by a sensational postseason run that included the NCAA Stanford Regional title, followed by a runaway victory in stroke play at the NCAA Championship to advance to match play as one of the final eight team vying for the team national championship at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.

The Illini’s regional title at Stanford was the sixth under Small, a mark that now ranks tied for fourth all-time in NCAA men’s golf history. And the team’s NCAA match play berth marked the program’s ninth under Small’s guidance, moving the Illini into a tie with Oklahoma State for the most in the nation since the current format began in 2009.  

Small led the Orange and Blue to a victory in the season opener at the Sahalee Players Championship in September. During the spring season, the Illini also added victories at the Hal Williams Collegiate, Duck Invitational, and the Fighting Illini Spring Collegiate.

Individually, Small guided four Illini to five tournament victories: Junior Jackson Buchanan earned a pair of wins at the Purdue Fall Invitational and Duck Invitational, while fifth-year senior Timmy Crawford (Flyer Invitational), sophomore Ryan Voois (Fighting Illini Spring Collegiate), and freshman Max Herendeen (NCAA Stanford Regional) all earned their first collegiate wins. Herendeen and fifth-year senior Tyler Goecke also finished tied for second, one shot off the national championship pace, in stroke play at La Costa.  


  • Northeast – Will Green, Princeton
  • East – Andrew DiBitetto, North Carolina
  • Southeast – Nick Clinard, Auburn
  • Midwest – Mike…


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