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Coastal Carolina alum Jacob Wilner named men’s golf head coach

(CCU Athletics)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 3:31 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina graduate Jacob Wilner has been named the head men’s golf coach, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and University Recreation Matt Hogue announced on Friday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jacob and his family back to Teal Nation! He has produced a consistent track record of head coaching success, most recently exemplified with his being named coach of the year in his conference,” said Hogue. “As an alum, he uniquely understands and appreciates the value of our program and is passionate about leading Chanticleer men’s golf to championship heights. We look forward to getting to work and writing the next chapter of our program.”

“I would like to thank Matt Hogue, President Benson, and the University leadership for their confidence in me to lead the Coastal Carolina men’s golf program. It has always been a dream of mine to coach at my alma mater,” stated Wilner. “My main goal is clear; to guide our program to where the University, community, alumni, and student-athletes are all proud.”

Named the 2021-22 Mountain West Conference Men’s Golf Coach of the Year, Wilner returns to his alma mater after 13 seasons as the head coach at the University of Nevada in which he led the Wolfpack to four consecutive NCAA Regional appearances in each of the last four years.

In 2021-22, the Wolf Pack finished ninth at an NCAA Regional for the second time in the last four years, just two spots back of tying its highest finish at regionals with a seventh-place finish in both 2018-19 and 1988-89. The Pack did not finish outside the top 10 in any single tournament on the season and carded a record-setting team stroke average of 283.42 over 12 rounds of play.

During his time at the helm of the Nevada program, the Wolf Pack posted eight of the program’s 15 best seasons in terms of team scoring average, including each of the top-five spots over the last five years (2021-22, 283.42; 2019-20, 286.05; 2017-18, 287.45; 2020-21, 288.38; and 2018-19, 287.44).

Over the last five years, the Wolf Pack has finished in the top 75 of the national Golfstat rankings, including coming in at No. 34 at the end of the 2021-22 season, which is the second-highest national ranking in program history.

Wilner coached five of the top-six single-season scorers in Nevada men’s golf history, including Quim Vidal Mora (70.03), AJ Lintunen (71.28), and Peyton Callens (71.67) this past season, while he also mentored five of the top-six career scoring leaders in Wolf Pack history in Callens (72.13), Grant Booth (71.86), Joey Vrzich (72.30), Sam Harned (72.32), and Sam Meek (72.48).

He has also had six golfers earn Mountain West Conference All-Conference first-team honors in Grant Booth (2017-18), Joey Vrzich (2018-19), Sam Harned (2019-20 and 2020-21), Peyton Callens (2021-22), A.J. Lintunen (2021-22), and Quim Vidal Mora (2021-22).

Prior to his promotion to head coach in 2011-12, Wilner spent two seasons with the Wolf Pack as an assistant coach with the Nevada golf program. In 2009-10, the Wolf Pack finished in the top five at six different events, including a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference Championships. That also included a team championship at the Saint Mary’s Invitational at Poppy Hills G.C. in Pebble Beach, Calif. During the course of the season, the Pack earned its highest ranking in the polls in nearly a decade.

In his first season on staff with the Wolf Pack in 2008-09, Wilner helped the men’s golf team to five top-five finishes, including a win at the 2009 Stevinson Ranch Invitational, while Jared Becher, Ryan Hallisey, and Scott Smith all earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors. On the women’s side, the Wolf Pack had three top-five showings, including a second-place team finish and an individual win by first-team All-WAC honoree Melanie De Leon at the Northwest Inland Cup.

Before arriving at Nevada, Wilner brought over seven years of experience as a golf instructor to the Wolf Pack, spending a year as a lead instructor at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, S.C. He has also worked at golf courses throughout southern California and Myrtle Beach S.C., including three years as an assistant golf professional at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles from 2003-06 and a stint as an assistant instructor at the Golf Digest Schools in 2003 in Myrtle Beach.

A 2001 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and leisure service management, Wilner was a member of the Chanticleer golf team for four years. He earned All-Big South Conference honors in 1999-2000 and was on the dean’s list for two years. Wilner averaged 72.3 strokes per round in 1999 and set Coastal Carolina’s 54-hole scoring record (205), while he helped the Chanticleers rank fourth in the nation in scoring average in 1999. He also finished second at the 2000 Big South Conference Men’s Golf Championship Tournament, leading the Chanticleers to their fourth-straight conference championship title.

A native of Coral Springs, Fla., Wilner graduated from JP Taravella High School in Coral Springs. He met his wife, Amanda, at Coastal Carolina. He has one daughter, Violet.