Nov. 8, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona director of golf Rick LaRose has been selected for induction into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Now in his 25th season at the helm of the Arizona golf program, LaRose has established Wildcat golf as one of the nation's finest collegiate golf programs. To that end he led the Wildcats to another top-10 finish at the 2002 NCAA Championships, his ninth since 1988. He is the only coach in NCAA history to win a men's (1992) and women's (1996) national championship.
LaRose began coaching at the UA in 1973 as the head coach of the water polo team and swimming coach. He has coached four different teams at the University of Arizona during his tenure, and all four of these programs have been ranked in the top-five nationally, while producing All-American athletes on all fronts. LaRose has consistently produced winning programs and individual golfers who have been among the country's elite.
In terms of length of service as an Arizona head coach, LaRose's 31 years ranks fourth all time. Only J.F. "Pop" McKale (43 years/1914-57), Fred A. Enke (36 years/1925-61), and Dave Murray (35 years/1967-2002) rank ahead of the Wildcat golf mentor.
His players have also left their mark on the professional tours, with such players as Jim Furyk, Robert Gamez, Mike Springer, Larry Silveira, Manny Zerman, David Berganio and most recently Rory Sabbatini carrying on the UA golf tradition in the pro ranks. Additionally, current Wildcat senior Ricky Barnes capped last season by winning the 2002 U.S. Amateur Championship, marking the second LaRose protege to capture amateur golf's most prestigious event.
Joining LaRose in the Class of 2002 is UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight. The duo will be officially inducted at the GCAA's National Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
To be selected to the Hall of Fame, a coach must be nominated by his peers, and then selected by the GCAA Hall of Fame Committee. Knight and LaRose will become the 70th and 71st members of the GCAA Hall of Fame, which honors a coach for his record on the golf course, as well as his contributions to the game, student-athletes and school.