Head coach Steve Desimone is in his 37th season at the helm of the Cal men’s golf team in 2015-16 and has led the Golden Bears’ program to sustained success for nearly four decades including its lone national title in 2004. Although Cal reached the pinnacle of college golf with its 2004 national title, the five-year run Desimone’s team put together from the 2009-10 through 2013-14 season with five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championship including semifinals showings in 2012 and 2013 is considered the golden era of the program and one of the best in the history of college golf.
A new era of Cal golf started in 2014-15 with freshmen making up five of the nine players that saw action during a campaign in which the Bears established a new school record with their ninth straight NCAA Regional appearance. Cal came up just short of a sixth straight trip to the NCAA Championship when they finished seventh one shot out of a playoff for the fifth and final qualifying spot at the NCAA Lubbock Regional but did win four times (Windon Memorial, Alister MacKenzie Invitational, John A. Burns Intercollegiate, National Invitational Tournament) for the fourth-highest win total in school history and extended their school-record string of three or more victories in a season to six. Cal also spent most of the season ranked in the top 25, finishing No. 24 (Golfstat) and No. 26 (Bushnell Golfweek, Golfweek/Sagarin) despite a roster with no seniors.
Junior Shotaro Ban (John A. Burns Intercollegiate) and freshman KK Limbhasut (Aggie Invitational) led the way in 2014-15 and were two of the team’s three individual medalists along with sophomore Cameron Shaw (Itani Quality Homes Collegiate co-individual medalist). Limbhasut had the hot hand down the stretch, finishing tied for fourth at the NCAA Lubbock Regional and tied for sixth at the Pac-12 Championship to equal the best showing ever by a Cal freshman at both events and also become only the third player in school history to finish in the top 10 at both. He finished his first campaign at Cal with five top-five showings, six in the top 10 and eight in the top 15 to lead Cal in all three categories. The honorable mention All-Pac-12, Pac-12 All-Freshman team and Cal Newcomer of the Year selection also led the Bears with a 71.58 stroke average and was the only Cal player to participate in each of the team’s 13 events and 40 rounds. Ban had a strong second half, adding a second-place showing at the Western Intercollegiate that was the best ever by a Cal player at the event and a tied for third-place finish at the Arizona Intercollegiate to his victory. He was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection and also the team’s Most Valuable Player and winner of the Ben Furth Award for academic and athletic excellence. Freshmen Sebastian Crampton (honorable mention Pac-12 All-Freshman), Alex Helgans (Ed Arnold Coaches Award) and Alexander Wilson (Most Improved Player) also received honors during the season. Ban (No. 43 Golfstat, No. 49 Golfweek/Sagarin) finished the campaign ranked in the nation’s top 50, while Limbhasut (No. 78 Golfstat, No. 94 Golfweek/Sagarin) was in the top 100.
“It was a heck of a year,” Desimone said. “The transition continues in a really positive way. There are bigger and better things to come, and I’m already looking forward to late August and getting going again, and I know the guys are, too.”
The combined accomplishments of the last three teams of the golden era were unprecedented not only at Cal but on a national level as the Bears won 24 of 40 stroke-play events and were in the top five on 38 occasions as well as each of their four match-play tournaments during the period. The final three seasons of the era also included the two NCAA semifinals appearances, a single-season NCAA record 12 stroke-play victories in 2012-13 when the Bears were widely thought to have registered the best season in the history of college golf, and both the first two NCAA Regional and Pac-12 titles in school history in 2012 and 2013. The Bears were the nation’s top-ranked team at the end of the 2012-13 campaign despite a second straight defeat in the NCAA Championship semifinals.
Five Cal players from the golden era – Brandon Hagy, Max Homa, Michael Kim, Joël Stalter and Michael Weaver – were first-team All-Americans at least once in their careers with all five being recognized as either first or second-teamers in 2012-13 to make Cal the first team in the history of college golf to have five first or second-team All-Americans in the same season.
There were plenty of other firsts during the era including Kim’s selection as both the unanimous National and Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2012-13 as well as Homa’s NCAA individual title the same campaign. Hagy, Homa and Weaver also became the first three players in the history of the program to each play in the NCAA Championship four times.
The golden era came to an end following the 2013-14 campaign when four of the team’s five players at the NCAA Championship were seniors but not before the Bears extended their school-record string of appearances at the national finals to five seasons in a row, something only six teams accomplished during the period.
Cal tied for the second most wins in school history with six in its final season of the golden era in 2013-14, with each coming over its first nine events. The Bears won three of five tournaments during the fall (Saint Mary’s Invitational, Jack Nicklaus Invitational, Alister MacKenzie Invitational) and moved up to as high as tied for No. 2 nationally according to Golf World/Nike Golf after winning three of its first four events in the spring (Arizona Intercollegiate, John A. Burns Intercollegiate, National Invitational Tournament). The Bears would not win another event in 2013-14 but did head into the NCAA Championship as the No. 5 seed before finishing tied for 11th.
Hagy raked in the honors in 2013-14 with the long list including All-Nicklaus Team, first-team Golfweek All-American, first-team Division I PING All-American, Byron Nelson Award, first-team Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s At-Large, first-team Division I PING All-West Region, Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Pac-12 All-Academic, Tom Hansen Conference Medal, first-team All-Pac-12, Co-Team MVP, Cal’s Ben Furth Award, Golden Bear Achievement Award, The Ben Hogan Award Semifinalist, and September 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Month. Stalter joined Hagy on the All-Nicklaus Team, as well as the first-team Division I PING All-American and All-West Region squads, while adding second-team All-American recognition from Golfweek. He was also a national finalist for the Byron Nelson Award, a first-team All-Pac-12 pick, an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic selection and the team’s co-MVP along with Hagy.
Hagy (Jack Nicklaus Invitational, Aggie Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate) and Stalter (Alister MacKenzie Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate, National Invitational Tournament) were both three-time individual medalists including a shared title at the Arizona Intercollegiate, which was one shy of the single-season school record of four set by Kim in 2012-13. Stalter was Cal’s top finisher at the Pac-12 Championship (T4th) and NCAA Championship (T19th) with the best finishes of his career at both events, while Hagy led the Bears with a fifth-place showing at the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional. Hagy finished the season ranked No. 6 nationally by Golfweek and Golfstat while Stalter was No. 17.
Cal’s 2012-13 season that was arguably the best in the history of college golf earned Desimone the 2013 Dave Williams Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year honor in Division I men’s golf as well as the Golfweek National Coach of the Year. He was also the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season to mark the third time in his career he earned the award.
The Bears posted the top 54-hole stroke-play score at the 2013 NCAA Championship hosted by Georgia Tech at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course to earn the top seed for match play at the event for the first time in school history. Cal opened NCAA match play with a quarterfinal victory over Arizona State before a semifinal loss to Illinois ended an incredible season that saw the Bears move into the top spot in late-September and spend the remainder of the season as the nation’s top-ranked team in all three sets of rankings (Golfstat, Golfweek, Golf World/Nike Golf) including the final version of each after the NCAA Championship despite their national semifinal loss.
Cal set a modern-era NCAA win record in 2012-13 with 12 victories in 14 stroke-play tournaments, eclipsing the previously established record of 10 by the 1985-86 Oklahoma State team. Cal’s first five wins came in the fall at the Gopher Invitational, PING/Golfweek Preview (shared with Georgia Tech), Pac-12 Preview, Alister MacKenzie Invitational and Isleworth Collegiate Invitational to record the first sweep of its fall schedule in school history. In addition to finishing as the top team during stroke play at the NCAA Championship and winning titles at the NCAA Pullman Regional and Pac-12 Championship, the Bears had spring wins during the regular season at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate, Fresno State Lexus Classic, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and Western Intercollegiate.
Kim, who would turn professional during his junior season following the team’s 2013 fall schedule, swept the Haskins Award, Jack Nicklaus Award and Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year in 2012-13 as he became the first Cal golfer to win national player of the year honors. In addition, Kim was one of three national finalists for The Ben Hogan Award presented by the Golf Coaches Association of America to the best college golfer in the nation for their amateur play over the previous 12 months. Kim, along with Homa and Weaver, was a GCAA/PING Division I first-team All-American while adding Golfweek first-team All-American honors, with Homa and Weaver second-team choices. All three were also GCAA/PING Division I All-West Region and first-team All-Pac-12 selections, while Hagy and Stalter were both GCAA/PING Division I and Golfweek second-team All-Americans, GCAA/PING Division I All-West Region picks and second-team All-Pac-12 choices. In addition, the Bears swept Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Month honors in 2012-13 to become the first conference team to ever do so, with Kim (October 2012, March 2013) and Homa (September 2012, April 2013) winning twice each, and Stalter picking up the honor once (February 2013).
A school-record six Cal players at least shared individual medalist honors a school-record 10 times in 2012-13 led by the single-season school-record four captured by Kim (Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate, Fresno State Lexus Classic, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters). Homa (NCAA Championship, Pac-12 Championship) and Stalter (Arizona Intercollegiate, John A. Burns Intercollegiate) won twice each, with Homa becoming the first Cal player to ever win the NCAA title and the third to win the Pac-12 crown. Weaver (NCAA Pullman Regional) and Hagy (Alister MacKenzie Invitational) were individual medalists once each.
The individual NCAA title earned Homa the Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway given annually to the individual medalist at the NCAA Championship. Kim also captured the Golfstat Cup given to a single player for all levels of collegiate golf with the lowest adjusted stroke average in the nation heading into the NCAA Championship. Kim (70.14), Homa (70.56), Stalter (70.68), Hagy (70.80) and Weaver (70.92) all finished with stroke-play averages under 71.00. Kim was the No. 1 player nationally in the final rankings by Golfweek while he finished at No. 4 according to Golfstat. Cal had five players ranked in the final top 20 by Golfweek (No. 1 Kim, No. 11 Weaver, No. 12 Stalter, No. 13 Homa, No. 19 Hagy) and top 25 according to Golfstat (No. 4 Kim, No. 10 Homa, No. 16 Stalter, No. 22 Hagy, No. 23 Weaver).
Weaver also became the first current Cal player to compete in the Masters during the 2012-13 season after qualifying for the 2013 event with a runner-up finish at the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club. In addition, Weaver gained an exemption for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion with his U.S. Amateur showing and was joined by Kim and Homa, who reached the U.S. Open through the 36-hole sectional qualifying. Kim was the low amateur at the U.S. Open with a tied for 17th place finish after rising as high as third on the leaderboard during the third round, while Weaver also made the cut. The trio became what is believed to be the first three players from the same collegiate team to play in the same U.S. Open. Kim (United States), Stalter (Europe) and Weaver (United States) also played for their respective countries in the 2013 Palmer Cup at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. Homa, Kim and Weaver later led Team USA to a victory in the 2013 Walker Cup at National Golf Links of America.
The string of exceptional play started in 2011-12 when Desimone was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the second time in his career and added GCAA/Eaton West Regional Coach of the Year honors for the first time. His 2011-12 squad reached the national semifinals and posted a series of firsts along the way that included a trip to NCAA Championship match play as well as a match-play victory over San Diego State in the quarterfinals of the event hosted by USC at The Riviera Country Club. Cal also won NCAA Regional and Pac-12 titles both for the first time in events hosted by Stanford and Oregon State, and posted a then-school-record six tournament wins. Cal finished the season ranked No. 3 by both Golfstat and in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches Poll, while Golfweek put the Bears at No. 6. The squad featured three GCAA/PING Division I All-Americans in Hagy, Homa and Kim.
Cal opened the 2011-12 campaign with a victory at the Wolverine Intercollegiate and also shared a win with Oregon at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational hosted by the Bears in the fall. The team’s Pac-12 and NCAA Regional wins in the two events leading up to the NCAA Championship were preceded by victories at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate and ASU Thunderbird Invitational earlier in the spring. Cal also finished second twice by a single stroke during the spring schedule to host schools Arizona at the Arizona Intercollegiate and UNLV at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters. Hagy, Homa and Kim were each named second-team All-Pac-12 and shared team MVP honors, with Kim adding the squad’s Newcomer of the Year award. Stalter was honorable mention all-conference and the team’s Most Improved Player. Homa (71.19) narrowly edged Hagy (71.41) and Kim (71.41) for the team’s lowest stroke average. Homa tied for ninth individually at the NCAA Championship, which at the time was the second-highest finish ever by a Cal player but is now fourth after being surpassed by both his own victory and Hagy tying for eighth in 2013. All three finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Stanford Regional with Hagy third, Kim tied for fourth and Homa tied for 10th, giving Cal three top-10 players at an NCAA Regional for the first time in school history and making Homa the first player ever at Cal to finish in the top 10 in the same season at both the NCAA Championship and NCAA Regionals, with Hagy becoming the second in 2013. Hagy (T5th) and Stalter (T9th) also had top-10 showings at the Pac-12 Championship.
Cal tied for 19th at the NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek to conclude a strong campaign in 2010-11, reaching as high as No. 13 in the national polls and equaling a then-school record with three regular-season tournament wins (The Prestige at PGA WEST, Alister MacKenzie Invitational, John A. Burns Intercollegiate). All told, Cal had eight top-five finishes in 2010-11, also taking third at the NCAA Arizona Regional, Windon Memorial and Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, placing fifth at the Pac-10 Championship and tying for fifth at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Weaver was named a GCAA/PING Division I All-American after posting an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championship that at the time was the highest ever by a Cal player and is still tied for second. Stephen Hale, Homa and Eric Mina all picked up second-team All-Pac-10 selections, while Ben An (Byeong-Hun An) was an honorable mention choice. Homa was the team’s lone individual medalist, sharing the title at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate before falling in a playoff. An had a stretch of top-notch golf in the fall to lead the Bears during back-to-back team victories when he placed third at The Prestige at PGA WEST before tying for second at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational.
Cal had missed the NCAA Championship for five consecutive seasons (2005-09) before returning to its spot among the nation’s elite with a 23rd-place finish in 2010. Cal qualified for the NCAA Championship at The Honors Course by tying for third at the NCAA San Diego Regional. The Bears also posted three regular-season victories to tie a then-school record, winning the Spartan Golf Classic, Alister MacKenzie Invitational and Arizona Intercollegiate. Several individuals had tremendous accomplishments during the campaign, highlighted by the Pac-10 Championship individual medalist honors won by Mina at the event hosted by Arizona State. Mina is one of only three Cal golfers to ever capture the event, with Charlie Wi the first in 1995 and Homa the third in 2013. Mina, who earned GCAA/PING Division I All-American honors, also won at the Spartan Golf Classic while Hale captured the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. Weaver became the first Cal player to finish in the top 10 at both the Pac-10 Championship and NCAA Regionals in the same season, tying for sixth and taking eighth, respectively.
Prior to its five-year run of appearances at the NCAA Championship, the team’s previous appearance at the event came at the end of the magical 2003-04 campaign when Desimone orchestrated one of the greatest stories in the history of college golf as Cal came from eight strokes behind UCLA on the final day of the event at The Homestead in Virginia to win the 2004 national title by six strokes over the Bruins. It was the culmination of a season in which the Bears had to overcome several injuries but were able to play their best golf when it counted the most. As a result of his team’s impressive accomplishment, Desimone was named Golfweek’s Collegiate Coach of the Year and was honored as 2004 Grand Master of the Year by the Northern California Golf Association.
Desimone’s journey to a national championship and the elite status the program enjoys today started in the fall of 1979 when he came aboard as head coach at Cal to take over a program which had lost its varsity status following the previous season. But Desimone was intent on not only returning the program to varsity status but taking it to a higher level. Among the first steps was the formation of the Cal Golf Committee in 1980, the primary support group for the men’s golf team, which helped return the program to varsity status in 1982.
By 1986-87, Cal was ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation for the first time in the history of the program. One outstanding performance that season was a dramatic comeback at San Diego State’s Frank Scott Memorial Tournament. Trailing fourth-ranked Fresno State by 17 shots going into the final round, the Bears rallied to win their first major championship in 17 years. Cal’s success that season helped Desimone win Pac-10 Conference Co-Coach of the Year honors for the first time.
During an outstanding 1989-90 campaign, Desimone brought the Bears’ program to a then-unprecedented level when the team earned its first NCAA postseason berth in 26 seasons and first under Desimone by qualifying for an NCAA Regional. Cal had most recently competed in the 1964 NCAA Championship, but didn’t actually earn its first berth until 1990 at New Mexico State, two years after the NCAA switched to a selection/qualifying format. Cal played in 13 tournaments that year, placing among the top 10 in all but two, including a then-regular-season school-record-tying three team titles and a tie for third place at the Pac-10 Championship. In addition, the Bears were ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation throughout the season. Ben Furth, the school’s first All-American in men’s golf and one of only two men’s golfers in the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame, was a major contributor to the Bears’ success.
The following season came to a disappointing conclusion for Desimone and the Bears. A career-ending back injury to Furth brought to an end the hope that 1990-91 would surpass Cal’s great season the preceding year. Off the course, however, another important step in the rebuilding of the program was undertaken. With the generous support of the Cal Golf Committee, a minimal amount of financial aid was offered to incoming student-athletes for the first time in 15 years. This was a critical step because it finally demonstrated the Bears were committed to competing nationally in all respects and gave Desimone a new and critical tool in recruiting.
The 1994-95 season was historic as the Bears qualified for the NCAA Championship via NCAA Regionals for the first time ever and posted the best finish in school history at the time and still the fourth-best ever by taking sixth in the event hosted by Ohio State in Columbus. Cal was appearing at the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1964 when there was no selection/qualifying format. The Bears were previously selected to play in their third NCAA Regional in six years and came up with a sixth-place showing at the event hosted by New Mexico in Albuquerque after a second-place finish to Arizona State at the Pac-10 Championship. Wi led the way by earning first-team All-American honors and was Cal’s first Pac-10 individual champion, while Garrett Larson picked up honorable mention All-American recognition.
Cal returned to the NCAA Championship for three consecutive years from 1998-2000, finishing 15th at New Mexico, 16th at Minnesota and 17th at Auburn, respectively. The Bears were tied for fourth at the NCAA Tempe Regional, fourth at the NCAA Tucson Regional and tied for 10th at the NCAA Madera Regional to qualify for the NCAA Championship during those three seasons, after finishing fourth, fifth and third, at the Pac-10 Championship.
The 1997-98 team led by All-American Dan Arroyo used the best final round of the day at the NCAA Tempe Regional to reach the NCAA Championship and then was the final team to make the cut at the national event before eventually settling for its 15th-place finish.
Arroyo was back again in 1998-99 and led a now-veteran group that also included 2001 U.S. Amateur runner-up and 2002 Masters participant Robert Hamilton to its 16th-place showing. The Bears missed a playoff at the NCAA’s to have an opportunity to make the cut by a single shot.
The 1999-2000 squad featured All-American Han Lee and current associate head coach Walter Chun. The Bears needed a dramatic finish at the 2000 NCAA Regional at Riverbend Golf Club in Madera when Chun birdied the last hole of the entire tournament to force a three-team playoff for the final spot to advance to the NCAA Championship. The Bears would eventually win the playoff on the third hole, beating Stanford and Idaho. At the NCAA’s, Cal would miss making the cut by a single shot but Hamilton would move on in the championship as an individual.
All told, Desimone has directed Cal to the NCAA Championship in 10 of the 13 appearances the Bears have made in school history (1995, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’04, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, ‘14), including the recent school-record stretch of five in a row. The Bears have played in all 20 of their NCAA Regionals (1990, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, ‘14, ‘15) under Desimone with a current school-record run of nine straight that has surpassed the Bears’ previous school record of eight in a row from 1997-2004.
Desimone has a total of 64 stroke-play victories in his Cal career and has coached 13 All-Americans (Arroyo, Furth, Hagy, Homa, Jeff Hood, Kim, Larson, Lee, Mina, Stalter, Tomasulo, Weaver, Wi) who have earned 20 All-American honors including a school-record five during the 2012-13 season. Hagy was a three-time All-American, while Homa, Kim, Stalter, Tomasulo and Weaver were each named twice.
The Bears have also had success in the classroom during Desimone’s tenure with 13 All-America Scholars (Bill Albers, Scott Carlyle, Chun, Dan Coyle, Furth, Gandranata, Hagy, Hale, Murphy, Stalter, Tomasulo, Weaver, Michael Wilson) that have combined to earn the award given only to juniors and seniors 23 times. Hagy, Stalter and Weaver all earned the honor in each of the last two seasons to join Albers, Chun, Carlyle, Furth, Hale, Tomasulo and Wilson as two-time honorees. Carlyle was also selected a first-team Academic All-American in 2003-04, while Hagy was a first-team Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s At-Large selection in 2013-14, becoming the first Cal golfer since Carlyle to earn first-team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Hagy’s academic prowess also helped earn him the Byron Nelson Award in 2013-14, as well as the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a Tom Hansen Conference Medal. In addition, he was a third-team 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-America® pick for the Division I Men’s At-Large squad.
In addition to their success both on and off the course at Cal, Desimone has coached several Cal players that have gone on to play professional golf including current PGA TOUR card holders in James Hahn and Homa.
Hahn became the first former Cal player to win on the PGA TOUR when he was victorious on the third playoff hole of a three-way playoff at the 2015 Northern Trust Open at The Riviera Country Club. Hahn is in his third season on the PGA TOUR in 2015, picking up his card after finishing fifth on the final Web.com Tour money list in 2012. Hahn turned professional in 2003.
Homa earned full-time PGA TOUR status in 2015 after finishing 17th on the Web.com Tour’s money list in 2014 while also playing eight times on PGA TOUR the same season. He has earned more than $500,000 on the PGA TOUR since 2014 and played in more than two dozen events with a pair of top-10 showings.
Charlie Wi is arguably the most successful former Cal golfer on the PGA TOUR, having finished second five times in his career among 21 finishes in the top 10, most recently at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He has played primarily on the Web.com Tour during the 2015 season and is looking to regain his PGA TOUR card after 11 previous seasons on the tour. Wi has more than $10 million in golf earnings since turning professional in 1995.
Tomasulo and Kim are both currently playing on the Web.com Tour, while An is on the European Tour and Stalter the European Challenge Tour. All have played in PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour events along with Hagy, Hamilton, Jesse Ruda, Weaver and Wilson. Several others have played professionally on other tours around the globe, with George Gandranata (PGA TOUR China), Hagy, Hale, Jeff Hamm (PGA TOUR Canada), Michael Jensen, Lee (Japan Golf Tour), Mina (PGA TOUR China) and Weaver currently active in the professional ranks.
Desimone and his players have also had success at high-level national and international events in the world of amateur golf. Desimone had the honor of being the head coach of the American team at the 2014 Palmer Cup at Walton Heath Golf Club near South of London with Hagy one of his players. Kim, Stalter, Tomasulo and Weaver have also played in the Palmer Cup, while Homa, Kim and Weaver have competed in the Walker Cup. All but Hagy (2014) and Tomasulo (2003) participated for their country in 2013.
In August of 2012 Cal players made arguably the strongest showing ever by active members of the same collegiate team at the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club, when four of the school’s national-best five qualifiers reached the Round of 64. Weaver finished as the runner up to earn his spot in the Masters, while Hagy reached the semifinals, Homa the Round of 32 and Kim the Round of 64. Walker Huddy was also a participant in the stroke-play portion of the event.
The amateur play during the summer of 2010 was also noteworthy as a school-record six then-current Bears – An, Jamie Coré, Homa, John Murphy, Ben Mangum and Mina – qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay. No other school in the country had as many qualifiers. An, an incoming freshman at the time who had become the event’s youngest winner ever at the age of 17 in 2009 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., reached the 2010 semifinals while attempting to defend his title. Homa made the quarterfinals before falling to his future Cal teammate An.
In addition to his coach of the year selections, Desimone has earned several other prestigious honors most recently when the Northern California Golf Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2014. The previous year the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association made Desimone the first coach to receive the Jack Lemmon Ambassador of Golf Award. Both honors were presented in February at the CGWBA’s annual gala event during the week of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Three years earlier, Desimone was one of seven members of the 2010 class inducted in December into the GCAA Hall of Fame during the Reception and Awards Banquet at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.
In addition to his role as Cal’s head coach, Desimone is also the former manager of the University of California Golf Club (1979-2010), a 130-member associate club of the Northern California Golf Association, as well as a former member of the PING Advisory Committee for college golf. In addition, he served two stints on the NCAA Pacific Region Selection Committee for the NCAA Western Regional (1991-93, 2002-04) and was on the campus-wide NCAA Self-Certification Committee in the mid-1990’s.
Desimone played men's basketball for the Bears as an undergraduate and then served in the United States military before returning to Cal to earn a pair of bachelor’s degrees by completing a double major in history and physical education, while also earning his master’s degree in physical education. After graduating from Cal, Desimone became the Director of Athletics at College Preparatory School in Oakland where he remained until 1988. Desimone returned to Cal in 1979 as the men’s golf head coach, and shared responsibilities with both jobs until 1988, when he joined Cal on a full-time basis.
Desimone lives in Orinda with his wife, Linda. The couple has two children who live in Minneapolis. Kim graduated in 2006 from Cal Poly and Robert is a 2008 graduate of Northern Michigan.