The Kansas men’s golf program has a new coach — and hopefully a new direction.
KU announced the hiring of former Colorado State coach Jamie Bermel on Tuesday, a move meant to spur the program to better days after a last-place finish in the Big 12. The hiring comes nearly two months after KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger fired former coach Kit Grove, a KU graduate who spent five years at the helm.
Bermel comes to KU after leading Colorado State to 12 NCAA regional appearances in the last 13 years — including a spot in the NCAA finals in 2011.
"We have found an incredible coach to lead our men's golf program," Zenger said. "Jamie led his team to 12 NCAA appearances in the last 13 years. That's a great track record and one that we will be happy to bring to the University of Kansas."
A 1986 graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa., Bermel also spent two seasons at Iowa State in 1997-99 after five seasons at Drake.
"KU is such a great school that plays in a great conference,” Bermel said. “I think this is an awesome opportunity for me professionally and I can't wait to move my family to Lawrence and get started."
Among Bermel’s most notable former players: 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who played for Bermel at Drake, and PGA player Martin Laird, who played at Colorado State.
“He's a great guy," Laird said. "The fact that I still count him as one of my good friends and still talk to him a lot as a past player — and I know Zach Johnson is the same — says a lot about a coach. I've been gone eight years now and still call him one of my good friends.
“He always looked out for his players. They were his number one concern. It's a huge thing to know as a college athlete that your coach has your back."