Abilene Christian releases golf coach Mike Campbell
ABILENE, Texas - ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley announced late Thursday afternoon that he has decided to make a change in the leadership of the Wildcats' men's golf program and that the contract of head coach Mike Campbell will not be renewed for the upcoming season.
Mosley said a national search to find Campbell's replacement would begin immediately and that he would take the appropriate time to make sure the right person to lead the program is found.
"I appreciate the 11 years that Mike gave to ACU as the head coach of the men's golf program," Mosley said. "We were able to build a program under his leadership that was very strong at the NCAA Division II level. But we have to improve the competitive level and development of our roster so that we can consistently compete in the Southland Conference. I'm certainly looking forward to finding that person and I'm confident we will find the right fit."
Campbell recently completed his 11th season at the helm of the program, which was the third-longest tenure among active ACU head coaches behind men's and women's tennis coach Hutton Jones (19 years) and baseball coach Britt Bonneau (18 years).
The program had a tough transition to NCAA Division I affiliation and the Southland Conference in 2014 as the Wildcats failed to finish above fifth in any of their six spring tournaments. ACU finished eighth in the Southland Conference Tournament with junior Corbin Renner earning all-conference honors with a third-place finish.
Campbell's 2013 team won three tournaments, finished with a No. 16 national ranking and extended its streak of NCAA regional tournament appearances to an eighth season. Two of his players made all-region and three were named all-conference. Campbell's Wildcats last made the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament in 2011, finishing third with a team led by the all-America trio of seniors Cyril Bouniol and Tyler Sheppard and sophomore Alex Carpenter. The Wildcats' finish was the best under Campbell as he went on to receive his first South Central Region Coach of the Year Award. That same season Campbell also had his first golfer, Carpenter, win the Jack Nickalus Award, voted on by the Golf Coaches Association to the top golfer in each division. Carpenter also was the first player in ACU history to win the Phil Mickleson Award in 2010 given to the top freshmen in NCAA DII. Campbell also coached Bouniol to the 2010 NCAA Division II individual national championship.
Campbell's best season at ACU prior to 2011 was the spring of 2007 during which the Wildcats tied for third at the LSC championship tournament, and then finished a strong second at the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament. The runner-up showing earned ACU its first at-large bid to the national tournament since 1997.
Campbell, who was voted Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year for the first time by his peers that spring, led ACU to an eighth-place finish at the NCAAs as Hugues Joannes earned first team all-America honors.
Information for this story provided by Abilene Christian Athletics.