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Florida Golf's Deacon Named National Coach of the Year

113 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Florida Athletics

NORMAN, Okla. - Florida head men's golf J.C. Deacon was named the Division I Dave Williams National Coach of the Year the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCCA) announced on Wednesday.

He is only the second Gator head coach to receive the honor and third overall in program history and first since 2004 when Buddy Alexander received the recognition.

Deacon led the Gators to his first and fifth National Championship in program history and first in 22 years last week as Florida also swept NCAAs with Fred Biondi winning the individual title. It was the third UF golfer (Nick Gilliam 2001, Bob Murphy 1966) to achieve the honor and second time in 30 years the program swept both titles. Florida is one of seven schools to achieve the mark twice.

In nine seasons, Florida has won 21 total events and medalist honors under Deacon.

UF reached match play at nationals for the first time in program history after Deacon led the Gators to its best finish in the match play era (2009) last year in 10th. Florida played in the fourth round of stroke play for the fifth time in program history and third with Deacon. It was also the second consecutive season to clinch a spot in the final 18.

Florida finished stroke play in 2nd with a score of 1118 (-2), its lowest all-time at Grayhawk and first under par team score at the NCAAs since 2006. The 1,118 was the lowest round score at the National Championships in program history. A final round of 279 (-1) marks the third consecutive under round after back-to-back 2-under 278s in round two and three. The -2 performance by UF is the best round at the NCAA Championships since the opening round in 2007.

Florida made its 56th NCAA Championship appearance this year, ranking fifth most in the country. The Gators have advanced out of regionals six times under Deacon and the last two years. UF has qualified for regionals every season with Deacon at the helm.

In his ninth season, Deacon guided Florida to its 16th SEC Championship and first in 12 years. The Gators got revenge and defeated No. 1 Vanderbilt 3-1-1 at Sea Island. The conference championship was Deacon's first as the Gators won the NCAA team title, individual title and conference title in the same season for the first time ever. He was also named the SEC Coach of the Year for the first time.

Florida claimed six team titles and six individual titles this season, the most all-time under Deacon. The six team wins was the most since seven in 2003-04 as it was the sixth time the Gators have won at least six events in a season. The six medalist honors tied the program record in a season and only the third time in Florida history, the others were in 1989-90 and 2010-11.

Prior to the postseason, the Orange and Blue won four regular season tournaments, including the season opener and finale. At the Augusta Haskins Award Invite, Florida finished 39-under par, to tie second all-time in program history by par and only three shots away from the record (-42) set under Deacon at the 2018 NCAA Regional.

At the VyStar Credit Union Gators Invitational, Florida won its home event for the fourth straight year under Deacon and the 29th time overall in the tournament's 46th occurrence.

Deacon saw four golfers (Fred BiondiRicky CastilloJohn DuBois and Yuxin Lin) all earn PING All-American honors, tied for the most selections by a school this year and tied the Florida record. It was the seventh time the Gators had four selections with the last time being in 2006.  Biondi, Castillo, Lin and Quentin Debove were also selected to the PING All-Region Team. The trio of Biondi, Castillo and Lin collected All-SEC honors with Matthew Kress collecting freshman team recognition.