Oglethorpe Places First in Coaches’ Preseason Golf Poll

The Golf World/Nike Golf Division III College Preseason Coaches’ Poll has been released, combining the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). The complete results, including those from Divisions I, II, NAIA and NJCAA will appear in the September 3, 2012 issue of Golf World and are live now .

Oglethorpe once again has been named “the team to beat” in Division III as the 2012-13 college season begins. The Stormy Petrels garnered 12 of the 16 available first-place votes to grab the No. 1 ranking in the Golf World/Nike Golf D-III preseason men’s coaches’ poll. Oglethorpe comes off a season in which it won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship along with the national title.

This prestigious poll ranking gives the Petrels further reason to celebrate, as the team members and their coach, Jim Owen, have recently received numerous other accolades.

Accolades Continue for Oglethorpe’s National Golf Champions

Following a national championship and top national D-III coach honors for Coach Jim Owens, the honors for the 2011-2012 Oglethorpe men’s golf team continue.

Petrels Golfers Earn Academic Honors

The Oglethorpe men’s golf team earned recognition as a Division III All-Academic Team for the 2012 season, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced recently.

To be eligible for recognition as an All-Academic Team, a squad must have a team grade-point average of 3.0 or better for the academic year. Oglethorpe is one of 27 teams to earn the honor this season.

The Petrels brought home their second national championship, in addition to their 10th SCAC title, in May. They return all but three players from last year’s squad next season.

Rebitch Earns All-Academic Scholar Honors

Oglethorpe senior golfer Matt Rebitch recently was named a Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Rebitch is one of 48 Division III golfers to earn the award this year.

A student-athlete who is eligible for a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar award is either a junior or senior academically and competes in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participates in at least 70 percent of his team’s competitive rounds or competes in the NCAA Championships, has a stroke average under 79 in Division III, and maintains a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.

Rebitch helped the Stormy Petrels to their second NCAA championship in May, finishing in a tie for 40th in individual competition at the national tournament.

Maccaglia Named to All-Nicklaus Team

The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) named Oglethorpe freshman Anthony Maccaglia to its All-Nicklaus Team late last month. Maccaglia is one of 24 golfers named to the team, which awards the top men’s collegiate golfers in all divisions of college athletics (all three NCAA divisions, NAIA and NJCAA). He is the first Stormy Petrel ever named to the squad.

The accolade is another in a flurry that Maccaglia received after leading Oglethorpe to its second national championship in May. He was the NCAA individual champion, for which he won the Arnold Palmer Award. He also brought home the GCAA’s Phil Mickelson Award as the nation’s most outstanding freshman, and was named to the organization’s PING All-America First Team. His overall tournament score of five-under-par was the only individual below-par score posted over the course of the week.

Maccaglia also helped the Stormy Petrels to their 10th SCAC title in April, and earned SCAC Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-SCAC honors.

Oglethorpe’s Jim Owen Named Nation’s Best D-III Golf Coach

Coach Owen instructs Anthony Maccaglia.

Yesterday, the Golf Coaches Association of America, together with Eaton Corporation, announced the six outstanding collegiate golf coaches receiving this year’s Dave Williams Award, presented by Eaton Golf Pride to recognize the national coaches of the year. Oglethorpe University head men’s golf coach Jim Owen earned the honor among all D-III coaches.

Owen guided the Stormy Petrels through a magical 2011-12 season that culminated with the program winning their second NCAA Championship in just four years. After a fall season that featured three top-five finishes, Owen settled on a spring lineup of a freshman (Anthony Maccaglia), two sophomores (Hayden Jones and Anthony Amodeo), a junior (Eric Quinn) and a lone senior (Matt Rebitch). That quintet proved nearly unbeatable, winning three of six spring events while narrowly settling for second place in the other three.

Coach Owen with Hayden Jones.

The Petrels won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) for the 10th time in April when they led wire-to-wire en route to an easy 21-stroke victory at the Tunica National Resorts in Mississippi. Less than a month later, Owen’s squad duplicated the feat, this time on the biggest stage of them all at the NCAA Championships, on their way to a convincing 20-stroke win at the Mission Inn Resort in Florida.

In addition to the 2012 NGCAA Coach of the Year (COTY) honor, Owen has been named SCAC Men’s Golf COTY 12 times! He’ll be looking to guide his program to their 13th straight trip to the NCAAs when the 2012-13 season gets underway this fall as the Petrels begin play in the new Southern Athletic Association.

Congratulations, Coach Owen!

Golfers Break from NCAA Prep to Train Special Olympians

Fresh off winning their 10th SCAC title, the Oglethorpe men’s golf team is prepping for the 2012 NCAA D-III Championships at the Mission Inn Resort in Florida. Following Sunday’s practice round, the squad took a break to spend time with members of the Lake County Special Olympics and help sharpen their golf skills.

The NCAA has recently partnered with the Special Olympics to help celebrate the uniqueness of Division III college athletics. The clinic was coordinated through the NCAA by Mary Adamson, Lake County Special Olympics Coordinator, and Oglethorpe Head Men’s Golf Coach Jim Owen (pictured far left). More than 30 members of the Lake County Special Olympics attended with 10 different teams and coaches participating at the 2012 Championships lending a hand with instructional advice.

The Special Olympians rotated through five stations of drills that were tailored to fine-tune their golf skills. The stations included 15 minutes of one-on-one instruction on iron play, driving skills, bunker play, short game situations and putting.

“The response to participate in this clinic was overwhelming,” said Owen. “We actually had to turn volunteers away to keep the instruction to a one-on-one basis. It was a thrill to work with the Special Olympians and I know our kids really enjoyed the experience.”

All five starters on the Stormy Petrel squad—Matt Rebitch, Eric Quinn, Anthony Amodeo, Hayden Jones and Anthony Maccaglia (pictured far right wearing white in the photo)—participated in the clinic as the team gets set for Tuesday’s first round.

“We’re really focused on bringing home the school’s second golf title so the break from our pre-tournament routine to help out with the Special Olympians was a welcome one,” said senior Matt Rebitch. “Now we’re hoping they can come back out later in the week to help cheer us on!”

Oglethorpe Names New Athletics Director

Oglethorpe University has chosen Rebecca “Becky” Hall as director of athletics. Hall is currently the assistant athletics director and senior woman administrator at Wittenberg University and will become Oglethorpe’s fourth director of athletics since reassigning to NCAA Division III in 1990.

OU's newest Petrel - Rebecca Hall

Becky Hall will replace Jay Gardinerwho has served as director since 2004. Gardiner is now the inaugural commissioner of the new Southern Athletic Association, Oglethorpe’s athletic association beginning in the 2012-2013 season.

“After a national search that yielded exceptional candidates, the committee identified the best match for Oglethorpe,” said Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Michelle Hall. “Becky is truly a great fit, full of energy, ideas and experience that will guide our growing athletic program.”

A 1998 graduate of Urbana University where she was a star softball player, Hall was immediately hired by Wittenberg University as an assistant coach and rapidly made an impact on Tiger athletics. She was promoted to head softball coach in 1999 and, just one season later in 2000, led Wittenberg to their first North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. That season concluded with the Tigers making their first trip to the NCAA Championships and securing the school’s first NCAA Tournament softball victory.

While remaining as head softball coach, Hall took on progressive responsibilities. She served as Wittenberg’s director of intramurals and club sports from 2003-2007 before being promoted to assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator in July of 2007. In that span, Hall has continued to lead a successful softball program and overseen a 3.5 million dollar budget while also fundraising over $58,000 of supplemental income to the department.

In recent years, Oglethorpe has experienced a surge in growth, having added two new dormitories to the campus with plans to break ground on a state-of-the-art new campus center soon.

“Becky’s addition to our leadership team is a strategic move to continue to elevate our athletic programs, build a winning tradition and develop scholar-athletes who are successful on and off the playing fields,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall.

In addition to her fundraising success, Hall directly supervised all phases of 10 varsity sports teams while at Wittenberg. An advocate for several non-profit organizations, Hall engaged the Wittenberg student-athletes in a variety of community service efforts including events for Strike Out Cancer and Toys for Tots. Continue reading