A History of North Texas Men's Golf
A golf magazine once called the University of North Texas the "Notre Dame" of men's golf -- for a very good reason. With 83 tournament championships, including four NCAA crowns and 30 conference titles to its credit, North Texas has earned international recognition in the sport.
In all, the Mean Green have competed in the NCAA Tournament 34 times as a team and placed in the top 10 on 16 of those occasions. The program's long list of successes also includes seven Lone Star Conference titles, two Gulf Coast Conference championships, 13 Missouri Valley Conference titles, three Southland Conference championships, three Sun Belt Conference championships one Big West Conference title and now one Conference USA championship.
In 2011 the Mean Green received its first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in the modern era. North Texas then captured consecutive conference titles in 2012 and 2013 for the first time since 1974-75. In 2015 the Mean Green captured the first C-USA title and their third league crown in the last four seasons.
North Texas sponsored its first varsity golf team in 1939, but much of the squad's history was written after Fred Cobb, a college golf pioneer, was named head coach in 1946. He saw his efforts pay off just two years later when the Eagles went undefeated and untied in 11 matches and won three tournaments.
Cobb's 1949 team garnered its first of four consecutive NCAA championships in 1949. The many standouts who donned the green and white during that period included Billy Maxwell, Don January, L.M. Crannell Jr., Buster Reed, Palmer Lawrence, Gene Towry, Joe Conrad, Bill Turner, Stan Mosel, A.J. Triggs and Marion Hiskey.
During Cobb's reign, the Mean Green fashioned a 72-10-3 record. Nine of the defeats, however, came in his first two seasons at the helm.
Following Cobb's death in 1955, Herb Ferrill took over the program. Among the team's accomplishments during his 30 years as head coach were two runner-up finishes and two third-place finishes at the NCAA Championships and 13 Missouri Valley Conference titles.
Since the All-America team was created in 1958, a host of North Texas players have earned selection to the elite group, including Dick Whetzle, Dick Smith, Bobby Greenwood, Frank Luke, Don Wilson, Ron Folk, Jimmy Clayton, Jerry Greiner, Guy Collins, John Granger, Doug Higgins and Mike McCaffrey. Many of them went on to enjoy professional careers.
Under current head coach Brad Stracke, the program is having a rebirth to national prominence. After capturing the first Conference USA title in school history in 2015 and winning the third league crown in four years, Stracke was the C-USA Coach of the Year. It is the second time he has been named Coach of the Year in the last three seasons.
In 2013, Rodolfo Cazaubon was named to Golfweek's All-America team as he was tabbed as an honorable mention pick after his record-breaking season. Cazaubon became the first North Texas golfer to be named an All-American since Mike McCaffrey in 1992 and is the 13th player in school history to earn the honor, picking up the Mean Green's 21st All-America award since 1958.
2015 saw the Mean Green advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 34th time in school history and Juan Munoz win the Conference USA championship. Freshman Michael Cotton was named the C-USA All-Freshman team and North Texas finished the season ranked in the top-75 for the third time in the last four seasons.
Additonally former North Texas golfers Carlos Ortiz and Cazaubon have been enjoying success on the PGA Tour. Ortiz was the 2014 Web.com Tour Player of the Year and is a full-time member of the PGA Tour. Cazaubon is working his way towards the PGA Tour as well, having captured one PGA Tour Latinoamerica event.