Greg Priest departs after 11 years leading the BU program
Bears continue 17-year NCAA postseason streak
Third time in last four seasons Bears have had four players honored
Bears have placed in top five in all four spring events
Kyle Jones repeats as tournament's individual champion
Greg Priest, who was named the ninth head coach in school history on Aug. 25, 2003, is in his 11th season at the helm of the Baylor men's golf program. In 2012-13, Baylor advanced to its 16th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance - one of the nation's longest active streaks. The Bears finished tied for 10th at the 2013 NCAA Pullman (Wash.) Regional.
Baylor recorded seven top-five finishes in 2012-13, including a tournament championship at the 2012 Warrior-Wave Intercollegiate in Kauai, Hawaii. The Bears also finished in fifth place at the season-opening Topy Cup, which was the best finish among four American teams at the international event.
One of the major highlights of the 2011-12 season was the play of senior Joakim Mikkelsen, who won the 2012 Big 12 Championship individual title. Mikkelsen posted one of the best individual seasons in program history, while earning third-team PING All-American honors.
In a follow-up to their 2010 NCAA Championship run, the Bears notched six top-five finishes, including two tournament victories, during the 2010-11 season. Despite a seventh-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Florida Regional, Baylor posted its lowest 54-hole NCAA postseason score in program history, shooting 5-under 859. Payne Gniewek's 7-under 209 tied a Baylor NCAA postseason 54-hole low, tying him for sixth place overall.
Baylor posted seven top-five finishes in 14 tournaments during the 2009-10 season, which culminated in the program's fifth NCAA Championship appearance (1960, 1966, 1967, 2002, 2010) and the first for Priest as head coach. The Bears, who tied for fifth at the 2010 NCAA South Central Regional, finished 25th at the NCAA Championship in Ooltewah, Tenn. Joakim Mikkelsen was named PING All-Central Region - the first Baylor golfer to earn all-region honors since Ryan Baca in 2006. Earlier in the season, he became the first Baylor golfer in nearly three seasons to win a tournament, claiming the Border Olympics title in 2010.
In 2008-09, the Bears won three tournaments including winning the first two tournaments to open the fall slate with victories at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate and the Hartford Hawks Invitational. Baylor added a third victory in the spring when it won the Border Olympics. At the Big 12 Championship, Baylor finished fifth, while senior Bill Allcorn led after three of the tournament's four rounds, before finishing second overall. The Bears later advanced to their 12th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, earning a bid the NCAA South Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla. Sophomore Cody Paladino finished third overall at the regional, becoming the first golfer in program history to earn an individual berth to the NCAA Championships.
|THE PRIEST FILE|
|College||East Texas State, 1993 (B.S.)
East Texas State, 1995 (M.S.)
children: Tyler and Kate
|1994-95||Pleasant Grove HS, head coach|
|1996-98||Tyler JC, head coach|
|1998-2000||Sam Houston State, M/W head coach|
|2000-03||Texas, assistant coach|
|2003-Present||Baylor, head coach|
|1996-97||NJCAA, national champions (Tyler)|
|1997-98||NJCAA, national champions (Tyler)|
|2000-01||NCAA Regional (Texas)|
|2001-02||NCAA Championships (Texas)|
|2002-03||NCAA Championships (Texas)|
|2003-04||NCAA Central Regional (Baylor)|
|2004-05||NCAA Central Regional (Baylor)|
|2005-06||NCAA West Regional (Baylor)|
|2006-07||NCAA Central Regional (Baylor)|
|2007-08||NCAA Central Regional (Baylor)|
|2008-09||NCAA South Central Regional (Baylor)|
|2009-10||NCAA Championship (Baylor)|
|2010-11||NCAA Florida Regional (Baylor)|
|2011-12||NCAA Ann Arbor Regional (Baylor)|
|2012-13||NCAA Pullman Regional (Baylor)|
|HEAD COACHING RECORD
|1998-99||Sam Houston State||3rd (SLC)|
|1999-2000||Sam Houston State||3rd (SLC)|
|2003-04||Baylor||9th (Big 12)|
|2004-05||Baylor||7th (Big 12)|
|2005-06||Baylor||7th (Big 12)|
|2006-07||Baylor||8th (Big 12)|
|2007-08||Baylor||5th (Big 12)|
|2008-09||Baylor||5th (Big 12)|
|2009-10||Baylor||6th (Big 12)|
|2010-11||Baylor||7th (Big 12)|
|2011-12||Baylor||5th (Big 12)|
|2012-13||Baylor||6th (Big 12)|
Baylor had a solid start to both the fall and spring seasons in 2007-08 as the Bears won the Saint Mary's College Invitational in September and later followed it up with a win at the Rice Intercollegiate in February. Included in BU's victory at Saint Mary's was Wes Williams winning the individual title with a 2-under 214 for the tournament. At the Border Olympics, sophomore Colton Williams won the individual title with an impressive 9-under 207 after three straight under-par rounds. Williams would later be named to the 2008 All-Big 12 team and card a top 10 finish at the Big 12 Championship to earn all-tournament honors. Baylor's fifth-place Big 12 finish was the best under Priest's watch.
In Priest's fourth season (2006-07), the Bears notched just one tournament win in 12 events, while finishing in the top 10 eight times. BU carded a 277, its lowest round of the year, to tie for the team championship with a 13-under par at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. Baylor's 840 at Bulls Bay was the third-lowest score in school history. The Bears concluded the season with an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional.
In 2005-06, Baylor enjoyed one of its most successful regular-season campaigns, capturing four team titles, three runner-up finishes and five individual crowns. Baca, a senior, was named the program's first PING first-team All-American and was a Ben Hogan Award semifinalist. He also set the single-season stroke average record and the 54-hole tournament scoring record. The Bears finished seventh at the Big 12 Championship, where junior Chase Thomas was named to the all-tournament team. The squad finished 20th at the NCAA West Regional, in its ninth straight postseason appearance.
In his second year, Priest led the Bears to their eighth straight NCAA Regional appearance, four top-three finishes, including the tournament title at the Border Olympics. Jeremy Alcorn earned PING All-American and All-Big 12 first-team honors and was twice named Big 12 Golfer of the Month.
In his first season at Baylor, Priest guided the Bears to four top-five finishes, including a victory at the Hyatt Dorado Beach Intercollegiate. Baca earned his second straight All-Big 12 selection, while Jon Antunes was named to multiple all-academic teams and was a Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar.
Priest came to Baylor from the University of Texas, where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach. During his tenure in Austin, the Longhorn golf program compiled three national top-10 finishes, including a third-place finish at the 2002 NCAA Championship, and captured back-to-back Big 12 championships in 2002 and 2003.
Prior to his stint at Texas, Priest spent two seasons (1998-2000) as head coach of both the men's and women's golf programs at Sam Houston State. Priest led the Bearkats to consecutive third-place finishes in the Southland Conference in 1999 and 2000 and seven top-10 team finishes.
In his first season at Sam Houston State, Bearkat golfers Brandt Kieschnick and David Bolen were co-individual medalists at the Southland Championships. Kieschnick also earned 1999 Southland Player of the Year honors and Ryan Polzin was named the 2000 conference newcomer of the year. The Bearkat women earned four tournament titles in Priest's two seasons. Before taking the reigns at SHSU, Priest was head coach at Tyler Junior College for two seasons (1996-98).
His 1997 and 1998 squads won back-to-back national championships, and Priest was honored as the National Junior College Athletics Association Division II Coach of the National Tournament both seasons. Tyler's Cameron Conway won the individual medalist title at the 1997 NJCAA Division II Championships. Priest also led Tyler to its first-ever Texas State Junior College championship in 1998. Priest began his coaching career as head coach at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas, in 1994.
For two seasons he coached Pleasant Grove's boys' and girls' squads. Priest led PGHS boys' program to a runner-up finish at the 1995 Class 3A state championships and a seventh-place showing at the 1996 tournament. His 1996 boys' team won the Region 3A title.
The Canton, Texas, native is a graduate of East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas, having earned a bachelor's degree in health and kinesiology in 1993 and a master's degree in physical education in 1995. Priest was a member of the golf team at East Texas State, and as a student assistant, received the school's Robert Parnell Scholarship.
Priest is married to the former Nida Prapan, and they are the parents of one son, Tyler Gregory, who was born April 21, 2005, and one daughter, Kate Malee, who was born Nov. 21, 2007.