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Chris Haack was named the Georgia men’s golf coach on July 18,1996 – and he has taken to Bulldogs to a new level of success.
Haack has guided the Bulldogs to two national championships (the only two in school history), seven Southeastern Conference crowns, 56 team tournament titles, and several squad and individual records.
Under Haack, the Bulldogs have had nine top-10 and 15 top-20 efforts at the NCAAs, including the 1999 and 2005 national titles and runner-up efforts in 2007 and 2011. Haack has developed 56 All-Americans during his tenure, including at least one in 17 of the past 18 seasons.
Georgia’s win in the 2013 Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup was the 50th in Haack’s career. He enters the 2015-16 season with 56 team titles, Georgia’s school record.
In 2012, Bubba Watson, an All-American for Haack in 2000, became the first Bulldog to win a professional major as he captured the Masters title. And in 2014, Watson won the Masters again, made the U.S. Ryder Cup Team and was one of an unprecedented six Bulldogs (joining Brian Harman, Harris English, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd) to win a PGA Tour event. In both 2014 and 2015, eight Bulldogs qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs.
In 2012, Haack added the position of Director of Golf. He serves as the liaison between the Athletic Association and the UGA Golf Course, oversees the Boyd Center and the adjacent practice facilities, and is available as counsel to women’s coach Josh Brewer.
Haack was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame in December of 2012, joining Georgia predecessors Howell Hollis and Dick Copas. Haack was chosen for induction into the GSGA’s Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.
In 2014-15, Haack led the Bulldogs to three victories, then piloted the squad to the “Final Fore” in the NCAA Championships. Lee McCoy was a First-Team All-America and All-SEC pick after claiming medalist honors a school-record-tying four times and Zach Healy was an Honorable Mention All-American.
Haack’s 2013-14 Bulldogs won four times, including the NCAA Regional in San Antonio. Haack produced three All-Americans in Joey Garber (who spent much of the season as the country’s No. 1 player), Michael Cromie and McCoy.
Haack’s charges picked up two titles in 2012-13, winning the Brickyard Collegiate Championship and the Bulldog Battle at Mountain Lake.
In 2011-12, Haack took a quintet of one junior, three sophomores and one freshman to the NCAAs and Keith Mitchell earned All-America honors. Haack piloted the 2010-11 Bulldogs to the final match of the NCAAs. English, Henley and Swafford capped their careers with All-America recognition. In 2009-10, Haack coached Henley to National and SEC Player of the Year honors. He also guided the Bulldogs to three wins, including the SEC Championship. In the Williams Intercollegiate, Haack’s squad made up a 15-shot deficit after two rounds to win by one stroke – the largest rally in his tenure.
The 2008-09 Bulldogs won five tournaments, including the SEC title. His Bulldogs finished No. 1 in the final Golfstat poll and came in third at the NCAAs. The 2007-08 Bulldogs finished the year with the No. 1 ranking. Haack’s team won three times and came in eighth at the NCAAs. In 2006-07, Georgia won five out of seven tournaments. Despite placing second at the NCAAs, Georgia held the final No. 1 ranking. In 2005-06, Haack led the Bulldogs to a school-record-tying six tournament wins and he was chosen as the SEC Coach of the Year. He also was selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America as the 2006 head coach for the United States Palmer Cup Team.
The Bulldogs won three tournaments in 2004-05 – including the most memorable one in the spring as Georgia capped the season with a wire-to-wire win at the NCAAs. Haack was chosen as the National Coach of the Year. Haack’s 2003-04 Bulldogs won the SEC title. In 2002-03, his Bulldogs finished 16th at the NCAAs and third at the SECs, but cracked the win column at the Tennessee Tournament of Champions. Though his 2001-02 Bulldogs did not win a tournament, Haack was recognized as one of the nation’s top coaches as he was chosen as coach for Team USA for the Palmer Cup.
Haack’s 2000-01 Bulldogs won six events, including a school-record four straight, and finished the season ranked No. 1 in the nation. Haack’s 1999-2000 Bulldogs won three tournaments and he earned SEC Coach of the Year honors.
Haack’s breakthrough season with the Bulldogs came in 1998-99. No Georgia team had ever ascended to the No. 1 position in the polls, but Haack’s team did so early in the spring campaign. The Bulldogs later validated their ranking by winning the program’s first national championship. Haack was named National Coach of the Year.
In 1997-98, Haack led Georgia to four wins, including its first SEC crown since 1988. Haack’s first Georgia squad in 1996-97 showed glimpses of what lay ahead as the youthful Bulldogs finished fourth or better in seven of 11 events and advanced to the NCAA Regional.
Before being named Georgia’s coach, Haack was a driving force for the American Junior Golf Association. He joined the AJGA in 1981 as a tournament director before becoming director of operations in 1984 and director of development in 1985. He also served a seven-year stint as captain of the Canon Cup West Team, squads that included Tiger Woods and Chris Riley. In an initiative begun as foundation director from 1988-90, he also organized and established fund-raising programs to build surplus moneys for the AJGA’s perpetuity, bringing in more than $750,000 for the foundation and other junior programs. Haack served as assistant executive director from 1990-96, helping manage a staff of 22 and an annual budget of $2.5 million. Additionally, he helped oversee the running of 38 events and 19 qualifiers nationwide.
The recipient of the AJGA Sportsmanship Award, Haack graduated from Newnan High School in 1978. He attended West Georgia College, where he played on the golf team, and he received his degree from Mellen.
Haack has two children attending UGA, his son Charlie and his daughter Katie.
• 1999, 2005 National Coach of the Year
• 1998, 2000, 2006, 2010 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year
• 2 National Championships (1999, 2005)
• 7 Southeastern Conference Championships (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010)
• 56 All-Americans (9 1st Team, 17 2nd Team, 6 3rd Team, 24 Honorable Mention)
• 59 All-Southeastern Conference Selections (35 1st Team, 24 2nd Team)
• 2012 GCAA Hall of Fame Inductee
• 2016 GSGA Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Inductee
• 1 Ben Hogan Award Winner
• 1 Fred Haskins Award Winner
• 4 Southeastern Conference Players of the Year
• 7 Southeastern Conference Freshmen of the Year
• 56 Team Championships (school record)
• 44 Individual Medalists
• 14 Scholar All-Americans
• 1 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient
• 8 Faculty Athletic Representative Awards (highest team GPA at Georgia)
• 6 Team and Individual School Records
• 2001, 2006 U.S. Palmer Cup Coach
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