Churchman Wins U.S. Amateur Qualifier With 36-Hole Total Of 135
The return to national prominence for North Texas golf has been led by sixth-year head coach Brad Stracke. Since taking the reins of the program in December of 2009, Stracke has taken the Mean Green golf program to heights it hasn't seen in over 40 years.
In 2013, the Mean Green won a second consecutive Sun Belt Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. It marked the first time that North Texas had captured back-to-back conference titles since 1974-75. It had been 30 years since North Texas made it to the NCAA Tournament in three straight years.
The Mean Green climbed into the top-25 rankings in the spring of 2013, which was the highest ranking in school history that late in the year since the modern ranking system began in 1998.
Stracke was named the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. Stracke was just the fifth coach in school history to win Coach of the Year honors and it was the first time since 2003 a North Texas coach has captured the award.
Stracke also brought out the best in Rodolfo Cazaubon. He ended his highly-decorated career as the 13th All-American in school history. He was the first North Texas golfer to be named an All-American since 1992.
Cazaubon won three individual tournaments in 2012-13, the most in the modern era for an individual. Cazaubon was named to the all-conference team for a fourth straight season, becoming just the second player in school history to earn all-conference honors in four consecutive years. His teammate, Carlos Ortiz duplicated what Cazaubon did in his four seasons as he was just the third player in school history to earn all-conference honors in four straight years.
In addition Jason Roets was named to the all-conference team in 2013, giving North Texas three players on the all-conference team for the second straight season. Since taking over, Stracke has had 12 players earn all-conference honors in five seasons.
The Mean Green captured the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championship, the first conference title since 2003 and another bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2010-11, Stracke led the Mean Green to the first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, and it marks the first time that North Texas has been in the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons since 1974-75.
He has coached back-to-back individual conference champions in Ty Spinella (2012) and Carlos Ortiz (2011), a feat accomplished for only the second time in school history.
The 2010-11 season saw Stracke lead North Texas to its highest ranking in decades at No. 3 in the country after winning the UTA/Waterchase Invitational to begin the year. North Texas received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the first since 2003 and only the second at-large selection in school history.
Stracke led the Mean Green to a top-5 finish in nine of the 11 tournaments in 2010-11. North Texas finished the season ranked in the top-40 in the nation, the highest end of the year ranking for the Mean Green in decades. Individually, Carlos Ortiz won the 2011 Sun Belt Conference title with a score of 7-under par, becoming the first North Texas player to win the conference title since 2003.
Two of Stracke's first recruits, Cazaubon and Ortiz, paid immediate dividends. Both players were selected to play in the NCAA Men's Golf Regional, marking the first time in school history that two individuals have advanced to a regional. Stracke's freshmen competing at the regional puts North Texas in elite company. North Texas is the only school in the nation that sent two freshmen to play at a regional in 2010.
Cazaubon was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, the first-time in the program's storied history that has happened.
In 2009, Stracke led North Texas to a third-place finish at the Sun Belt Conference Championship as they posted the lowest team score of the season.
Stracke brings a wealth of experience and a championship pedigree to North Texas after spending time as a highly successful assistant coach and head coach.
Prior to North Texas, Stracke spent the previous three years as an assistant coach at Florida and he was the head coach at Indian Hills Community College for nine seasons from 1996-05, winning a NJCAA National Championship.
At Florida, Stracke helped guide the Gators to the NCAA Championship three straight seasons, culminating with a second-place finish in 2006. That year the Gators won the West Regional Championship with a tournament record score of 37-under par. Florida finished ninth at the NCAA Championship in 2007 and 11th in 2008.
In three years at Florida, Stracke also coached six All-Americans, eight SEC All-Conference players, and one Walker Cup player. At Indian Hills, his team won the national championship in 2000 and had six straight seasons of finishing either first, second, or third at the national championship.
He coach 21 All-Americans at Indian Hills and led them to its first number one ranking and national title.
Stracke earned an associate of arts degree in arts and science at IHCC in 1990. He also earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1993, where he played for the Blazers.
After redshirting his junior year, Stracke won all-conference honors in 1993. As a professional player, Stracke was a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open in 1995 and earned a top-10 finish in Player of the Year Points in 1995 and 1996. He won the Lake Bracken Pro-Select in 1996, the Fort Dodge Pro-Am in 1996 and the Bos Landen Prairie Tour event in 1997.