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Walter Chun
Position: Associate Head Coach
Alma Mater: Cal (2001)
Experience: 11 Years

A former Cal men’s golf standout, Walter Chun is in his 11th season on the Golden Bears’ coaching staff and his sixth as associate head coach in 2014-15. The Bears have reached the NCAA Championship in each of his first five campaigns in his current role after a previous five-year absence. Chun was promoted to the position he now holds in September 2009 after five seasons as an assistant coach. He was also as an administrative assistant when Cal won the NCAA title in 2003-04.

“Walter and I are in this together,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “We talk constantly about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We’re always looking to find ways to improve and be a better team. What one of us doesn’t think of the other one does. That’s how a good team and a good staff work. He’s been a tremendous asset, ally and friend. I could never say enough good things about Walter.”

Chun has been instrumental in the accomplishments achieved during the recent golden era of the program that arguably came to an end following the 2013-14 campaign when four of the team’s five players at the 2014 NCAA Championship finished their collegiate careers but not before the Bears extended their run of consecutive appearances at the NCAA Championship to each of the last five seasons, a claim only six teams in the country can make. The accomplishments of the last three teams of the 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 its four match-play tournaments during the period. The final stretch of the era also included two appearances in the national semifinals (2011-12, 2012-13), 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 (2011-12, 2012-13). Cal spent nearly the entire 2012-13 season as the nation’s top-ranked team and despite a second straight defeat in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship, remained No. 1 in all three final national polls with both the Golfweek and Golfstat rankings released following the NCAA Championship and the Golf World/Nike Golf poll prior to the NCAA Championship.

The Bears also had several firsts in 2011-12, including an NCAA Championship match-play victory over San Diego State in the quarterfinals, a trip to match play at the NCAA Championship, NCAA Regional and Pac-12 titles, a then-school-record six victories, and top-five finishes in all 12 stroke-play events and 15 tournaments overall.

Chun has played a huge role in the team’s recent run of success through his recruiting and player development capabilities including the recruitment of a promising 2014 class that has begun a new era in Cal golf. The class includes three players in Sebastian Crampton, Ben Doyle and KK Limbhasut that played a significant role in the team’s strong 2014 fall that included two victories to go with second, third and sixth-place finishes. Crampton registered a team-low 70.00 stroke average and three finishes in the top seven, while Limbhasut was in the top 15 three times and one of only two players to play in all five events for the Bears. Doyle saved his best performance for the final event of the fall against a top field at the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational that included four top-10 teams. Tanner Hughes is the other member of the class and will redshirt his first season at Cal in 2014-15 but had tremendous amateur success during the 2014 calendar year, becoming the first player to ever win both the Christmas Classic and Tour Championship presented by Callaway Golf in the same season and subsequently win Player of the Year.

The last two recruiting classes that also includes a highly-touted 2015 group join a long list of players Chun has helped recruit with several turning into top-notch golfers such as Brandon Hagy (All-America Scholar, All-Nicklaus Team, The Ben Hogan Award Semifinalist, Byron Nelson Trophy, First-Team Academic All-American®, First-Team All-American, Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Palmer Cup), Stephen Hale (All-America Scholar, All-Pac-10), Max Homa (First-Team All-American, NCAA Champion, Pac-12 Champion, U.S. Open, Walker Cup), Michael Kim (All-Nicklaus Team, First-Team All-American, Palmer Cup, Unanimous National Player of the Year, U.S. Open, Walker Cup), Eric Mina (All-American, 2010 Pac-10 Champion), Joël Stalter (All-America Scholar, All-Nicklaus Team, First-Team All-American, Palmer Cup) and Michael Weaver (All-America Scholar, First-Team All-American, Masters, Palmer Cup, Walker Cup). He also recruited Ben An (Byeong-Hun An) after he became the youngest champion in the history of the U.S. Amateur at age 17 in 2009.

“Walter has really good interpersonal communication and connects with people, and has great instincts with young people,” Desimone said. “With Walter you know you will get as genuine of a human being as you will ever find, which I think relates very well to young people and their parents. He’s bright, articulate and a great representative of our program and the University of California.”

Chun has been recognized nationally for his coaching exploits. He was honored with the Jan Strickland Award as the nation’s top assistant coach for his work during the 2007-08 season. In June of 2009, he served as a Team USA assistant coach for the Palmer Cup.

Chun is in his 18th season associated with the Cal men’s golf program since he began his playing career for the Bears in 1997. He was a two-time team captain while competing on three occasions at the NCAA West Regional (2000-02) and once at the NCAA Championship (2000). Chun has also qualified for two U.S. Amateur Championships, the first in 1999 at Pebble Beach and the second in 2002 at Oakland Hills Country Club.

Chun received a pair of degrees at Cal with his bachelor’s degree from the Haas School of Business in 2001 and his master’s from the Graduate School of Education in 2003. He was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection (2000, 2001, 2002) and a two-time All-America Scholar (2001, 2002).

He and his wife, Grace, live in Hayward along with their son, William.

Last Updated
February 21, 2015

Cal Bears Men's Golf