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John Knauer Biography
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 17, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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John Knauer enters his ninth season as assistant men’s golf coach at the University of Arizona.  Primarily responsible for recruiting, Knauer played a major role in recruiting yet another class that was widely regarded as one of the top groups in the country.   He is known around the country as an outstanding recruiter and brings a great deal of enthusiasm and expertise to the Wildcat program.

  With more than 11 years of experience as a Division I assistant, Knauer has been a part of three teams that have captured NCAA Regional championships and has advanced to the NCAA Championships 10 times.  He was a part of the Texas A&M staff that won the NCAA Central Regional in 1996 and the Arizona staff that won the 2000 and 2006 NCAA West Regionals.

  Since joining the UA staff in the fall of 1998, Knauer’s efforts have helped the Wildcats win 15 tournaments, including the 2000 CGF Match Play national championship, and advance to eight NCAA Championships.

  Knauer was also instrumental in helping Arizona win the 2004 Pac-10 Championship, the program’s first since 1991.  The Wildcats placed three golfers in the top 10 and posted a 14-stroke, final-round turnaround to win the event by five strokes.

His efforts were rewarded in 2005-06, as Knauer was earned the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year Award, presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.  He will serve as the Palmer Cup assistant coach in 2007.  Knauer was also a finalist for the honor in 2004-05.

  In the last eight years, 17 UA golfers have earned All-America accolades and 25 players were named all-Pac-10 Conference.  Knauer’s influence helped the Wildcats to back-to-back third-place finishes at the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Championships and a string of three straight top-10 NCAA finishes.

  His successes on the recruiting trail have helped maintain Arizona’s presence on a national scale.  With Knauer’s assistance, the Wildcats have been ranked as high as second in the national polls and have finished in the top 10 in five of the last eight years.  UA has tallied a freshman All-American in three of the last eight years as well, including 2004 Pac-10 individual medalist Henry Liaw.

  “John has been a big plus for our program and I am excited to have him on our team,” said UA director of golf Rick LaRose. “He is a well-known figure on the national junior golf scene, especially in Texas, and with his great organizational and motivational skills he can certainly continue the great golf tradition at the University of Arizona.”

  Knauer also heads the Wildcat junior varsity program.  Under his direction, the UA JV has 23 top-10 finishes against NCAA Division I varsity competition, including three tournament victories over the last six seasons.  The program’s scoring average has improved in each of the last four seasons.

The 2005-06 Wildcat JV enjoyed a stellar campaign, compiling one team win and posting five top-five finishes in seven starts.  In the end, the squad tallied a 71.94 countable stroke average, easily the lowest in recent years.

  En route to six top-10 finishes in 2004-05, the Wildcat JV’s 72.64 countable stroke average was the lowest in Knauer’s tenure.  All told, UA golfers posted at least one top-10 finish in four of six junior varsity outings, including one individual medalist.

The 2003-04 UA junior varsity was almost as good, tallying four top-10 finishes as a team to go with three individual efforts.

  The JV tallied one tournament win and another top-five finish in four events in 2002-03.  All told, the junior varsity’s countable stroke average was a respectable 73.54 in those four appearances.

  Knauer guided the Wildcat JV to a pair of top-five finishes in four events in 2000-01 and lowered its scoring average by nearly nine strokes per round.

  He came to Tucson from Texas A&M, where he served as assistant coach with the Aggies for four years (1995-98), including one season as a volunteer assistant.  Knauer was a key figure in helping Texas A&M to two NCAA Championship appearances in his tenure.  In fact, those are two of only three championship appearances the Aggies have made since the regional format was adopted in 1988.

  A native of College Station, Texas, Knauer graduated from Texas A&M in 1995 with a degree in sport management. He served as an instructor at the John Jacobs/Texas A&M Golf Schools under Texas A&M head coach Bob Ellis from 1989-93.

  Knauer was a four-year letterman at A&M Consolidated High School, where he helped the Tigers to a third-place finish at the state tournament in 1990, and earned first-team all-region and all-district honors. He was the 1994 Club Champion at the Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station.

  He and his wife, Jennifer, were married on Aug. 14, 1993.  The couple’s first child, Ellen Marie, was born Oct. 26, 2004.  When not on the golf course, Knauer is an avid hunter and fisherman, and his barbecue and barbecued ribs are legendary.
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