MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Huntingdon Athletics Director Buzz Phillips
announced on Thursday that current men’s golf coach Matt Mahanic has
been named the College’s Director of Golf and will now oversee both the
men’s and women’s programs.
Current women’s head coach Gwen Checho will not return to the College
“After careful studies and discussions, we decided that combining the
golf programs would be best for Huntingdon College,” Phillips said. “I
am very appreciative of the hard work of Gwen Checho to get this program
off on the right foot. I am also confident in the abilities of Matt and
know he is up for the challenge of working with both programs.”
In Mahanic’s three years as head coach, Huntingdon has only improved
its reputation as one of the top programs in the South Region and
throughout the nation. Since taking over the program, he has led the
Hawks to a ranking within the top-five nationally every week, including a
30-week stay atop the Golf World/Nike Division III Coaches’ poll during
the 2008–09 season.
During his tenure, Mahanic has coached the Hawks in 35 events,
guiding them to victory in 17 of those, including a team championship in
his first event as head coach. He has also helped Huntingdon to a pair
of top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.
Mahanic was named the Division III Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of
the Year, after leading Huntingdon to seven wins in 10 regular season
tournaments during the 2008–09 season. The Hawks finished runner-up in
two events and third in the other, while finishing sixth at the NCAA
Championships. In his first season, Mahanic and the Hawks won three
times in 10 events and finished eighth at the NCAA Championships.
In addition to team success, several Hawks have also experienced
individual success under Mahanic’s leadership. In each of his first two
seasons, a Huntingdon student-athlete earned the Phil Mickelson Award as
the most outstanding freshman in Division III men’s golf. He has also
coached seven All-South Region performers and three All-Americans.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Mahanic said. “Gwen
(Checho) did a tremendous job of building a foundation for the women’s
golf program and I look forward to continuing the development of that
ground work. I see no reason that we cannot have two
nationally-respected golf programs here at Huntingdon College.”
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