April 29, 2014
HOUSTON - University of Houston Men's Golf Associate Head Coach Chris Hill was honored Tuesday afternoon as the recipient of the 2014 Jan Strickland Award, presented to the nation's top assistant coach by TaylorMade-adidas Golf as selected by the GCAA.
This marked the second straight season that Hill was recognized as one of the nation's top assistant coaches. He was named one of three finalists last week and was honored as one of eight semifinalists in 2013. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
Hill became the first Canadian to receive the award in its 12-year history.
"I am both very humbled and honored to win the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of The Year award," Hill said. "I am extremely grateful to Taylor Made Adidas Golf and the GCAA committee for granting me this prestigious award. When I started coaching, I only dreamed that someday I would be included in the ranks of coaches even considered for such an honor. I share this award with Coach Jonathan Dismuke, a great friend and amazing mentor. He took a chance on me, and in the process has taught me so much! I would also like to thank my parents, my wife, Alyssa, and son, Graham, for believing in and supporting me through my coaching endeavors. Finally, my most important thank you goes to all my players, past & present, because without them this award was never even a possibility."
Hill was joined as finalists by Northwestern's David Inglis and Blake Smart of Oklahoma. As the 2014 recipient, Hill will further his professional development with an invitation to the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Kingdom in Carlsbad, Calif.
The Cougars have enjoyed tremendous success during the 2013-14 season under director of golf Jonathan Dismuke's and Hill's watch. Houston has been ranked among the top-10 national leaders in the Golfweek/Sagarin, Golfstat and Golf World/Nike Coaches polls.
Robledo was ranked among the nation's top-10 collegiate players earlier this season, and senior James Ross recently was selected to compete for Team Europe during the Palmer Cup in late June.
Off the course, the Cougars enjoyed equally impressive achievements. The program posted its highest ever cumulative grade-point average and best Fall GPA. Pilgrim posted a perfect 4.0 semester GPA in the fall, and six team members will graduate during the 2013-14 academic year (Jordan Rumora graduated in December 2013; Jesse Droemer, James Ross, Curtis Reed, Wesley McClain and Bryn Flanagan will receive their bachelor's degrees in the spring.)
This award is nothing new to the Cougars. In 2008, Dismuke was named a finalist as an assistant coach at Auburn, his alma mater.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf has sponsored the Strickland Award since its inception in 2003.
The Cougars will wrap up play at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships on Tuesday afternoon on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla.
From there, the team will compete in the NCAA Regional for the third consecutive season, a first since 1999-01. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled to air at 9 a.m., Monday, on the Golf Channel
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