June 1, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Less than a week after leading the UCF men's golf team to the best finish in school history at the NCAA Championship, Nick Clinard was selected as the Eaton/Golf Pride Southeast Region Coach of the Year, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Monday. In 2008-09, Clinard guided the Knights to four tournament victories.
The campaign was highlighted by the title at the NCAA Regional in Sorrento, Fla., in mid-May. Following the regional win, the Knights participated in the NCAA Championship, which was held in Toledo, Ohio. The squad tied for 10th out of 30 teams. The finish was the best in school history for the Knights, who were competing at the championship for the fourth time.
The Knights spent the majority of the season ranked in the top-25 nationally. The squad is currently 15th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
UCF finished in the top-five in nine of its 13 tournaments. The four victories were the most since the 1989-90 season for the Knights.
In April, the squad took the title at the Conference USA Championship in Sorrento. UCF also recorded wins at the Rio Pinar Invitational (Orlando) in February and The Hummingbird Intercollegiate (Sapphire, N.C.) in November.
Several of Clinard's golfers received individual honors at the conclusion of the year, including Blayne Barber (Lake City, Fla.), who earned a spot on the GCAA All-Freshman Team. Barber was also selected as the C-USA Golfer and Freshman of the Year. Junior Simon Ward (County Monaghan, Ireland) was named the C-USA Newcomer of the Year.
Clinard's team also shined in the classroom. His program was recognized for having the top grade point average among UCF men's teams. In the spring, six golfers were named to the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll for having a GPA of 3.0 or better.
Clinard was one of five coaches nationally to receive regional coach of the year honors, joining Greg Nye of Penn State (northeast), Mark Guhne of Chattanooga (east), Mike Small of Illinois (Midwest) and Matt Thurmond of Washington (west).
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.