Kansas State Men's Golf History
Kansas State Men's Golf History
The 2009-10 marks the 76th season of men’s golf at K-State. Mike Ahearn, the namesake of Ahearn Fieldhouse, was the first men’s golf coach in K-State history, beginning his 20-year tenure in 1927. 12 different coaches have guided the Wildcats during the program’s history, including Ahearn and current coach Tim Norris.
After Ahearn’s retirement and Benny York’s one year stay in 1948, Mickey Evans took over from 1949-1961. Evans’ 1956 team finished third in the Big Seven Championship, which is tied for the highest conference championship placing in school history. The program’s other third-place finish came under Bill Guthridge at the Big 8 Championship in 1965. Other Wildcat golf coaches of note include Ray Wauthier, (1977 & 1980-86) who holds a K-State record with seven all-time wins by a men’s golf coach, and Mark Elliot, whose 1993 team was the first to compete in post-season play in school history after advancing to the NCAA Central Regional.
When current head coach Tim Norris arrived in Manhattan on August 1, 1997, he inherited a program that hadn’t finished in the top half of its conference since placing fourth in the former Big Eight Conference in 1969. Making the assignment even tougher was the fact that the Wildcats finished last in the Big Eight for 14 straight years from 1978-1991. Now in his 10th season at Kansas State, Norris has turned a once dormant Division I golf program into a legitimate Big 12 contender that is now on the brink of qualifying for its first trip to the NCAA Championships.
Norris’ work might begin on the golf course, but it doesn’t end there. Norris places a heavy emphasis on academics, which is why he produces true student-athletes. Through his first nine years at K-State, Norris has seen 27 academic distinctions given to his golfers including four GCAA All-American Scholar awards and 19 Academic All-Big 12 honors. In 2006, both Kyle Yonke and Jonathan James earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors. It marked the seventh-straight year that Norris has placed at least two of his golfers on the Academic All-Big 12 team.
The Wildcats have qualified for the NCAA regionals five times, with four of the five appearances coming in consecutive years. Even though the Wildcats have yet to advance a team past regionals, Norris has guided individuals to the NCAA Championships in two of the last three years. AJ Elgert tied for 12th at the 2003 Central Regional to extend his collegiate career to the national championship where he finished tied for 28th following a 72-hole score of 8-over 288. In 2005, Robert Streb became the fourth Wildcat, but the first freshman ever, to advance to the NCAA Championship after tying for 12th at regionals.
Following a down year in 2007, the Cats returned to postseason competition in 2008 as they advanced to the NCAA West Regional in Bremerton, Wash. And then, in 2009, K-State had arguably its best season, setting numerous team and individual records, and advancing to its second-straight NCAA West Regional.
Mike Ahearn, 1927-47
Benny York, 1948
Mickey Evans, 1949-61
Howard Shannon, 1962-64
Bill Guthridge, 1965-1967
Ron Fogler, 1968-75 & 1978
Ray Wauthier, 1977 & 1980-86
Paul Anderson, 1979
Rob Sedorcek, 1986-88
Russ Bunker, 1989-91
Mark Elliot, 1991-97
Tim Norris, 1997-present