Liberty's Jeff Thomas Named National Coach of the Year Finalist
During last week's NCAA Men's Golf National Championship, the Golf Coaches Association of America released their finalist list for the Dave Williams Award, the National Coach of the Year award in Division I men's golf.
Among the six finalists was Liberty's Jeff Thomas, along with Auburn's Nick Clinard, California's Steve Desimone, San Diego State's Ryan Donovan, Oregon's Casey Martin and Alabama's Jay Seawell.
Because of Texas claiming the program's third Division I national team title on Sunday with a 3-and-2 match play victory over Alabama, Longhorn's head coach John Fields will be added to the award's list for consideration.
This is the second year in a row Thomas has been a finalist for the Dave Williams Award, following one of the most notable runs in program history.
Under Thomas' direction, Liberty won three straight tournament team titles during the 2011-12 season. The Flames started the run with a victory at the River Landing Intercollegiate in April, its last regular season event, followed by a second consecutive Big South Men's Golf Championship title two weeks later.
Liberty continued its run of success during the middle of May, capturing the title at the NCAA Greensboro Regional, defeating Florida by three strokes and Auburn by six.
Liberty's magical run ended last week when the Flames finished in 10th place at the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship.
Liberty fell one stroke short of forcing a three-way tie for the eighth and final spot in the championship match play rounds. The Flames carded a 24-over par 876 to eighth place finishers Kent State and Florida State, who finished with a 23-over par 875.
Liberty's 10th place finish at last week's NCAA Men's Golf National Championship was the highest national championship finish by any team in athletics department history. The previous best finish was a 12th place finish by men's track at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championship in 2011.
Liberty, who just finished up its eighth season under Thomas' direction, is currently ranked No. 26 in the latest Golfstat team rankings and No. 28 in the most recent Golfweek team listings.