Seven Inductees in 2012 GCAA Hall of Fame Class
NORMAN, Okla. – The Golf Coaches Association of America will induct six coaches - J. Perry Cole of LSU, John Fields of Texas, Georgia’s Chris Haack, Jerry Hrnciar of Cameron, Harry Mussatto of Western Illinois and Barry Rodenhaver - in its 2012 Hall of Fame Class. Additionally, longtime NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship head Rules official Clyde Luther will be honored for his contributions to college golf. The group will be officially honored at the GCAA Hall of Fame Reception and Awards Banquet Monday, Dec. 10 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.
Cole coached LSU from 1933-1943 and led the Tigers to NCAA Championships in 1940 and 1942. He also led the Tigers to five SEC Championships and placed fifth at the 1939 NCAA Championship and was runner-up in 1941. Two of his players, Fred Haas and Earl Stewart, won NCAA individual crowns and he coached three individual SEC champs. LSU’s championship in 1940 was the first NCAA title won by a southern school.
Fields became the Longhorns’ golf coach in August 1997, and has guided UT to four top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships, including the 2012 NCAA Championship, and six appearances in the top 10 in the final national rankings. He also has produced 14 All-Americans at Texas who have earned a total of 21 All-America honors. The architect of a Texas team that won eight team titles last season, Fields’ Longhorns held the No. 1 national ranking all but two weeks during the 2011-12 season and Fields received the Dave Williams Award presented by Eaton Golf Pride as national coach of the year after leading Texas to its first national title since 1972. Fields came to Austin after leading the University of New Mexico to nine NCAA Championship appearances in 10 years. While at the helm of the New Mexico men’s golf program, the Lobos won three Western Athletic Conference titles and placed in the Top 15 a total of five times at the NCAA Championships. He tutored four WAC Players of the Year, three WAC individual champions, nine All-Americans, 24 all-conference players and six Academic All-Americans with the Lobos. Fields’ efforts also helped bring the NCAA Championships to Albuquerque in both 1992 and 1998. He served eight years on the GCAA National Advisory Board including two seasons as the Association’s president.
Haack has guided the Bulldogs to two national championships (the only two in school history), seven Southeastern Conference crowns, 48 tournament victories, and several team and individual records. In April of 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. In July of 2012, Haack was named Georgia’s Director of Golf. The Bulldogs have eight top-10 showings at the NCAAs in the last 14 years, including the 1999 and 2005 national titles and runner-up efforts in 2007 and 2011. Haack has developed 51 All-Americans during his tenure, including at least one each of the last 15 seasons. 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. Haack’s contributions to the GCAA include serving as chair of the All-America, International Selection, Hogan Award and Coaches Poll committees.
In his 38 years as coach of the Cameron golf team, Hrnciar has set high standards for his players both on and off the course. He has helped shape Cameron into one of the premier NCAA Division II golf institutions in the Southwest, taking his teams to 18 national tournament appearances. Additionally, Hrnciar in the Lone Star Conference has led the Aggies to eight championships. He has been honored as district or regional coach of the year 13 times during his career. The Aggie teams under Hrnciar were also a dominant force in the NAIA ranks. Cameron qualified for the NAIA national tournament eight times, including a remarkable run of six consecutive trips form 1982-87. He was named the National Coach of the Year in 1983, as his team won the school’s first men’s golf national championship that year. In 1989, the school realigned itself with the NCAA and became a member of the NCAA Division II’s Lone Star Conference. Hrnciar has coached 38 All-America players and 22 Academic All-Americans during his career. He recently completed eight years as the Division II Representative at-Large on the National Advisory Board of the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Luther served as NCAA Division I head Rules official from 2000-11. Over his career he has officiated 21 NCAA Division I, II and III championships. He also serves as head Rules official for the ACC Championship, a post he has held since 1991. Luther has served as a Rules official at the Palmer Cup and many regular season collegiate events over the years. Outside of college golf, Luther has officiated 120 USGA championships including 21 US Opens. He has also officiated at The Masters, PGA Championship and Presidents Cup. Luther has been honored by the USGA with the Joe Dey Award and Ike Grainger Award. He has served as an instructor for the USGA-PGA Rules of Golf Workshop 17 years and twice taught the GCAA Rules Workshop. Luther has also served in many capacities for the Virginia State Golf Association including as its president.
Mussatto served Western Illinois for 35 seasons as head golf coach. From 1952-1970, Mussatto’s team completed the longest home winning streak in the nation with 95 straight wins. From 1978-1984, the Leatherneck golf team won seven straight AMCU-8 Conference Championships. In 1959 and 1962, WIU won the NAIA national team title. Jim King won the individual title in 1959 as the team produced the first national championship in any sport in WIU history. In recognition of his successful career and service to Western Illinois, Mussatto was inducted into the WIU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He received the Western Illinois University Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989. He retired from Western Illinois University due to illness in 1985. Mussatto passed away December 30, 1998.
Rodenhaver coached at Odessa College from 1969-87 and SMU from 1987-93. He led his teams to 14 conference and 10 regional championships. Rodenhaver’s charges also earned All-America honors 24 times. He was Team USA head coach at the 1986 World University Games in 1986 and of Venezuela at the 1987 World Cup. While at Odessa Rodenhaver served as president of the NJCAA Golf Coaches Association from 1972-77 and hosted the 1979 and 1987 NJCAA Golf Championships. He was inducted into the NJCAA Golf Hall of Fame in 1987. In addition to his coaching duties at Odessa, Rodenhaver served as an instructor in the physical education department and as the school’s director of athletics. Rodenhaver founded the Collegiate Players Tour in 1994 and serves as the tour’s executive director. In addition to providing playing opportunities for many student-athletes during the summer the CPT has also donated $2,000,000 to local charities in the last 14 years.