Zambri Named 2015 GCAA West Region Coach of the Year|
June 8, 2015
USC men's golf coach Chris Zambri, who led the Trojans to the NCAA Championships Match Play final last week for the program's best-ever finish, was named the 2015 Golf Coaches Association of America West Region Coach of the Year today.
Zambri has guided USC to the NCAA Championships all nine years as head coach. The Trojans' previous best under him came in 2008, when USC finished third by a mere two strokes.
But the 2015 Trojans bettered that in just their second appearance in the NCAA Championships match play format.
USC won three regular-season tournaments among eight top 3 finishes and featured 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Sean Crocker and All-Pac-12 first teamers sophomore Rico Hoey and Crocker. The pair also earned PING All-West Region honors. The Trojans qualified for the NCAA Championships final field of 30 teams after finishing third at the NCAA Bremerton Regional.
At the NCAA Championships final at the Concession G.C. in Bradenton, Fla., the Trojans played strong and steady golf during four rounds of stroke play to finish fifth at 9-over 1161 (289-285-296-291), earning a spot in the eight-team match play final.
USC, as the No. 5 seed, faced No. 4 seed and second-ranked Texas in the quarterfinals and upset the Longhorns, 4-1, Crocker clinching the win on his first extra hole to complement victories by Hoey and junior Bobby Gojuangco.
The Trojans then downed No. 1 seed and fourth-ranked Illinois, 3.5-1.5, in the semifinals. Gojuangco and Hoey won again and senior Eric Sugimoto provided the clincher after winning the 17th hole.
USC, which had never finished better than third place in program history (something it had done seven times), finished as NCAA runner-up. The Trojans battled eventual champion LSU deep into all five matches before ultimately falling, 4-1.
Zambri's GCAA Region of the Year honor is the second of his career and the first since 2008.