Oct. 13, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona head men's golf coach Rick LaRose will be inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame as part of the 2009 induction ceremonies on Monday, Nov. 23, the Arizona Golf Association announced Tuesday.
LaRose joins amateur Ken Kellaney and architect Gary Panks in the induction class of 2009. Ceremonies will take place at Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"With the tradition and history of golf in this state, it is a great honor to be recognized for contributions to the game," said LaRose. "To be inducted as part of a class that includes Ken and Gary is very special. Obviously, golf is important in Arizona and I am proud to receive this distinction."
Now in his 36th year as a Wildcat head coach and his 32nds at the helm of the men's golf program, LaRose is the only coach in collegiate history to win NCAA championships in both men's (1992) and women's (1996) golf. He was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association America Hall of Fame in 2003.
He began coaching at the UA in 1973 as head water polo coach and assistant swim coach, and has coached four different athletic teams while at the university. All four of these teams have been ranked in the top five nationally.
In 1978, LaRose took over the men's golf program, which had not competed at the NCAA championships since 1963 and developed one of the strongest programs in golf over the last 30 years. He took on the position of director of golf in 1994 and developed the UA women's golf program into the most successful women's team in the nation over the last two decades.
Under his direction, Arizona's golf teams have won three national championships, produced 77 All-Americans, 113 all-Pac-10 Conference players, two United States Amateur champions, six United States Walker Cup players, nine Pac-10 champions, eight national players of the year, and 42 who have represented their countries in world competition.
This prestigious honor recognizes individuals for service to the game of golf in the state and is spearheaded by the Arizona Golf Association (AGA), Southwest Section of the PGA (SWSPGA), Arizona Women's Golf Association (AWGA), Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) and the Cactus and Pine Golf Course Superintendent's Association of Arizona (CPGCSA). Since its establishment in 1968, a total of 69 people have been recognized.
As part of the festivities, a pro-am golf tournament will be held prior to the induction ceremony. For more information contact either the AGA Office at 800-458-8484, the Southwest Section PGA at 480-443-9002, Cactus and Pine at 480-609-6778 or AWGA at 602-253-5655.