June 21, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. - Cal head coach Steve Desimone was named the winner of the Dave Williams Award as the national men's golf coach of the year Friday by the Golf Coaches Association of America in conjunction with diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation. Eaton Golf Pride will present the award December 9 during the Hall of Fame Banquet at the GCAA Convention.
Desimone was also named Friday as the Eaton Golf Pride West Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Desimone won the 2012-13 national coach of the year award at the Division I level after his team set a modern-era NCAA record with 12 victories in 14 stroke-play events and finished the season ranked as the No. 1 team nationally in the final Golfstat and Golfweek polls released after the NCAA Championship despite being defeated by Illinois in the match-play semifinals of the NCAA's.
"I'm honored and humbled to win such a wonderful award," Desimone said. "This goes directly back to the players for all of their hard work and being such an incredible part of the team. Many people are involved when somebody wins a coach of the year award. Our players, associate head coach Walter Chun and the Cal Golf Committee are all a huge part of this award. This is not just an award for me but an award for every one of us involved with our program. This is about as special as it can get, and in many respects, it's the culmination of the greatest season in the history of college golf."
Cal spent nearly the entire 2012-13 season as the nation's No. 1 ranked team, moving into the spot after winning its first two events in late September and never dropping out. The Golden Bears reached the NCAA semifinals with a match-play victory over Arizona State in the quarterfinals after posting the top 54-hole stroke-play score of the event to earn the top seed in match play for the first time in school history. Cal also defended both its NCAA Regional and Pac-12 titles, winning both events for the second time ever. Cal swept its fall schedule - Gopher Invitational, PING/Golfweek Preview (shared with Georgia Tech), Pac-12 Preview, Alister MacKenzie Invitational and Isleworth Collegiate Invitational - for the first time in school history and also had wins at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate, Fresno State Lexus Classic, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and Western Intercollegiate.
Michael Kim became the first player from Cal to win national player of the year honors with a sweep of the Haskins Award, Jack Nicklaus Award and Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year. In addition, he was one of three national finalists for The Ben Hogan Award presented by the GCAA to the college golfer in the nation with the most outstanding amateur record. Kim, along with Max Homa and Michael Weaver were first-team PING Division I All-Americans. Kim added first-team Golfweek All-American honors, while Homa and Weaver were second-team choices. All three were also PING Division I All-West Region and first-team All-Pac-12 selections, while Brandon Hagy and Joël Stalter were second-team PING Division I and Golfweek All-Americans, PING Division I All-West Region picks and second-team All-Pac-12 selections.
Cal players at least shared individual medalist honors a school-record 10 times in 2012-13 led by the 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 capture the Pac-12 crown. Weaver (NCAA Pullman Regional) and Hagy (Alister MacKenzie Invitational) were individual medalists one time each.
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-ranked player nationally in the final rankings by Golfweek while he finished at No. 4 according to Golfstat. Cal had five players ranked in the 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 became the first current Cal player to participate in the Masters in 2013 after qualifying for the event with a runner-up finish at the 2012 U.S. Amateur.
Homa, Kim and Weaver played in the U.S. Open, with the trio becoming what is believed to be the first time three players from the same collegiate team played in the same U.S. Open. Kim was the low amateur at the U.S. Open with a tied for 17th place finish, while Weaver also made the cut. Weaver gained an exemption for the 2013 U.S. Open with his 2012 U.S. Amateur showing, while Homa and Kim reached through sectional qualifying.
Kim (United States), Stalter (Europe) and Weaver (United States) played for their respective countries in the 2013 Palmer Cup, while Hagy, Homa, Kim and Weaver were among 16 players nationally to participate in practices and are under consideration for the 2013 Walker Cup (Sept. 6-8).
Desimone is one of six collegiate coaches at the Division I, II, III, NAIA, NJCAA I and NJCAA II levels to win 2012-13 national coach of the year honors from the GCAA. Other award winners include Jimmy Stobs of Barry (Division II), King Campbell of UT Tyler (Division III), Kyle Blaser of Oklahoma City (NAIA), Dave Jennings of Central Alabama (NJCAA Division I) and Bill Gardner of Walters State (NJCAA Division II).
The national coach of the year honor is the second in Desimone's career. He was named Golfweek's Collegiate Coach of the Year after Cal won the NCAA title in 2004.