Tiger Hall of Famer served as Memphis' coach last 11 years
Tigers head to Raleigh, N.C. regional hosted by NC State
Lars van Meijel finishes tied for first overall
Tyner Shoots 71 in Final 18 Rounds
Tigers will play in five fall tournaments
Episode 67: Jeff Brightwell talks with Memphis Men's Golf Head Coach Grant Robbins and recaps Auburn Tigers Invitational, Will Pearson being named C-USA Player of the Week, and preview the 9th Annual Memphis Intercollegiate on March 25&26 at the Colonial Country Club in Cordova, TN.
Episode 30: Jeff Brightwell sits down with Memphis Men's Golf Coach Grant Robbins and talks about the recent Fall season and outlook of the Spring.
The University of Memphis men's golf team will look to make the 2012-13 season another memorable one as the team returns eight letterwinners from a squad that captured its first Conference USA title and made the school's first trip to the NCAA Championships in 24 years.
The University of Memphis men's golf team previews its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance.
University of Memphis head men's golf coach Grant Robbins' Coach's Show - April 30, 2012
Now in his 11th season as the University of Memphis men's golf head coach, Grant Robbins continues to build the Tigers program into a national contender. Prior to being named the Tigers head coach, Robbins improved his craft at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he built the Seahawks into a national powerhouse.
Robbins, a 1994 Memphis graduate and a three-time All-Great Midwest Conference (GMC) selection, returned to his alma mater as head coach in June of 2003. Robbins replaced his former coach Jim Cook, who unexpectedly passed away in November of 2002.Robbins has put together an impressive resume in his Memphis tenure. The 2008 and 2012 Conference USA Coach of the Year, Robbins has guided the Tigers to four NCAA Regional and one NCAA Championships appearances, nine tournament titles (including the 2012 C-USA Championships crown) and 49 top-five showings. He is the only head coach to guide the Tigers to four NCAA Regionals and one of five Tigers coaches to take the program to the NCAA Championships.
In addition to racking up tournament victories, Robbins has earned a reputation for developing players. Under his tutelage, Robbins has coached golfers that garnered eight All-C-USA, five C-USA All-Freshman Team and five C-USA All-Tournament Team accolades. During Robbins' tenure, 10 Tigers golfers have won 15 tournaments, including Jonathan Fly's medalist performance at the 2011 Conference USA Championships.
Under Robbins, the Tigers have set individual records for lowest round (Keven Fortin-Simard), lowest 36 (Ian Rochester) and lowest 54 (Rochester). Of the program's top-15 lowest season averages, 10 were posted with Robbins at the helm. For career-low averages, Robbins coached 13 of the top-15 golfers on that list.
Away from the links, Robbins' program has been just as impressive in the classroom. The Tigers have placed at least one golfer on the C-USA All-Academic Team six of the last seven years and had a representative on the Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholar list four of the past five seasons. Jack Belote was named to the 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA All-District IV second team and selected a 2012 C-USA Scholar Athlete. Brad Benjamin earned C-USA Scholar Athlete recognition in 2008 and 2009. In 2011 and 2012, Robbins' program was honored with a C-USA Sport Academic Award. The honor is given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest grade-point average for that academic year.
The 2012-13 campaign marked the third-straight season the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a showing in the NCAA West Regional as the No. 11 seed. At the regional, Memphis came close to advancing to their second-straight NCAA Championships, missing out by just five strokes to finish ninth.
The Tigers posted five top-five finishes in the 2012-13 season with their highest outing coming at Auburn's Tiger Invitational in March where Memphis finished second. The Tigers also had good performances at the Turning Stone Tiger Invitational and at their own Memphis Intercollegiate where the Blue and Gray racked up third-place finishes.
The 2011-12 campaign was Robbins best to date in the Bluff City, and the results proved it. Returning a veteran crew from the previous season, the Tigers looked to build on a 2010-11 season that saw them post a Conference USA Championships second-place finish and earn an NCAA Regional at-large berth. And, Memphis did just that.
The past 2011-12 campaign, the Tigers were impressive on the links with 11 top-five showings, the most in the last 30 years. The previous most top-five finishes were nine in the 1987-88 season.
Of the 11 top-five finishes, the Tigers placed first at the C-USA Championships and Wolfpack Intercollegiate and finished second at its own Memphis Intercollegiate. The C-USA Championships crown was the program's first and also the Tigers' first conference title since Memphis claimed the 1992 Great Midwest Conference (GMC) crown. Robbins was a sophomore on that Tigers' GMC-title squad.
The 2012 Conference USA Championships title also was the program's fourth overall crown. In addition to the 2012 C-USA and 1992 GMC championships, Memphis won Metro Conference titles in 1976 and 1988.
After a fifth-place showing at the NCAA Bowling Green Regional, the Tigers advanced to their first NCAA Championships since the 1987-88 season, where they finished 28th.
The Tigers' 2010-11 campaign not only set the stage for their impressive 2011-12 showing, but also proved a solid campaign in its own right. Memphis had four top-five finishes, including a first-place at the 2010 Mason Rudolph Championships and a second-place at the 2011 C-USA Championships.
Memphis placed two golfers on the All-C-USA squads (Belote, Fly) and had one representative on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Before the 2010-11 campaign, the Tigers last made the postseason in 2008, Robbins' fifth season at the helm. In that 2007-08 year, Memphis recorded seven top-five finishes, the most since the Tigers had nine top-five showings in 1987-88. The Tigers won the Charleston Southern Spring Kick-Off -- the program's first victory since the 2005 fall -- and placed third at the C-USA Championships, Memphis' highest finish at the league's postseason event since 1999.
Robbins' Tigers earned a 2008 NCAA Regional at-large berth, marking the program's first trip to NCAA play in 20 years. Robbins returned to his alma mater in the summer of 2003 and directed the Tigers to four top-five finishes in his inaugural campaign (2003-04). The following year (2004-05), he guided his squad to five top-five finishes, including three-straight, first-place showings to start the fall season. The Tigers won the Radrick Farms Intercollegiate, Memphis Intercollegiate and Missouri Bluffs Challenge.
Prior to his Bluff City return, Robbins served as UNC Wilmington's golf head coach for four seasons (1999-2003). In his short tenure on the North Carolina coast, Robbins guided the Seahawks to 28 top-three finishes, 11 tournament victories and a 2003 NCAA Regional berth. The NCAA postseason bid was the program's first.
Robbins, the 2001 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year, coached one CAA Golfer of the Year, two CAA Rookies of the Year and 13 All-CAA performers. In addition, seven different golfers were individual medalists in 10 tournaments.
Before taking the UNC Wilmington position, Robbins served as an assistant coach at Penn State. From 1997-99, he helped the Nittany Lions advance to two-straight NCAA East Regionals (1998, 1999). Robbins, the program's recruiting coordinator, was the Penn State Golf Camps instructor and Rutherford Intercollegiate tournament director.
Between his collegiate and coaching career, Robbins gained valuable experience on three professional golf tours. Robbins played on the North Florida PGA Winter Tour (1994-95), Tommy Armour Professional Golf Tour (1994-95) and Tour America Mid-South Professional Golf Tour (1995).
Robbins was a Tigers four-year letterman from 1990-94 and served as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. He was an All-Great Midwest Conference (GMC) team selection three times (1992, 1993, 1994) and also a Jake Fondren Golf Scholarship recipient.
The Memphis, Tenn., native earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from Memphis in 1994 and returned to his hometown university after his playing career to earn his master's degree in sports management in 1997.
Robbins entered the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) in August of 2007 and is now a PGA Class A Professional. He is currently a Jerry Haas Golf Camp instructor at Wake Forest University. Robbins has also served as an instructor at the Duke University Golf School, Pine Needles Youth Golfari (Southern Pines, N.C.) and the Fighting Scot Golf Camp (Wooster, Ohio).
Robbins and his wife, Brooke, reside in Cordova, Tenn. The couple has two children, Bryce and Brayden.