South Africa Native Returns To Denton To Join Stracke's Staff
North Texas Posted A +15 In First Round Sunday In Central Florida
North Texas Tees Off Its Second Tournament Of The Year Saturday In Baton Rouge
Head Coach Brad Stracke's Program Looks Ahead To Challenging Slate
Mean Green Sports Revisits Some of the Year's Biggest Highlights
The return to national prominence for North Texas golf has been led by Brad Stracke, who enters his eighth season with the Mean Green. 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.
The 2014-15 season saw the Mean Green program transform from one that was rebuilding into an NCAA contender.
Stracke led North Texas to the Conference USA Championship in 2015 and was named the Coach of the Year, after the team won the stroke-play competition and then knocked off Charlotte and UAB in match play to capture the program’s 30th conference championship. Stracke coached his third individual conference champion in Juan Munoz in 2015. Munoz went on to earn all-conference and all-tournament honors.
NT made its 34th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and the fourth under Stracke. He has led the Mean Green to conference titles in three of the last four seasons.
NT captured the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate title, marking the fifth straight year that the Mean Green has won a tournament title.Stracke also saw the rise of one of his first recruits in Carlos Ortiz at the professional level. Ortiz, a four-time all-conference player from 2010-13, won three tournaments on the Web.com Tour and was named the 2014 Web.com Player of the Year. Ortiz is now playing on the PGA Tour full-time.
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 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, 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 six 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. In his five seasons playing in the Sun Belt, North Texas has had 10 players named to the All-Sun Belt team.
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 last season. 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. Ortiz and Rodolfo Cazaubon both were named to the All-Sun Belt team for a second straight season.Ortiz won three individual tournaments throughout the year and Curtis Donahoe won the fourth individual tournament title of the year for the Mean Green.
The Mean Green posted the lowest stroke average as a team in 2010-11 since 1994-95 and Ortiz had the lowest individual stroke average since 1993-94.
Starting in 2010, Stracke led North Texas golf back onto the national scene. The Mean Green captured its first tournament title in five seasons and had numerous individual accomplishments throughout the 2009-10 school year.
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. He also posted the lowest stroke average in seven seasons for North Texas and was an all-conference selection.
Ortiz was also an all-conference pick and shot the third-lowest round of golf with a 64 in the nation this season.
Along the way as a team, Stracke guided North Texas to the best stroke average since the 2002-03 season. North Texas had seven top-5 finishes or better this season.
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.