Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday

John Knauer
John Knauer

Assistant Coach, sixth year at Arizona

John Knauer enters his sixth 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 eight years of experience as a Division I assistant, Knauer has been a part of two teams that have captured NCAA Regional championships and has advanced to the NCAA Championships seven 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 NCAA West Regional.

Since joining the UA staff in the fall of 1998, Knauer's efforts have helped the Wildcats win eight tournaments, including the 2000 CGF Match Play national championship, and advance to five NCAA Championships. In that span, 10 UA golfers have earned All-America accolades and 15 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 three of the last four years. UA has tallied a freshman All-American in two of the last four years as well.

"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 Arizona 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 led 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. Over the last four seasons, the UA JV has 11 top-10 finishes against NCAA Division I varsity competition, including one tournament victory.

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 instrumental in helping Texas A&M to two NCAA Championship appearances in his tenure. In fact, those two appearances are the only two NCAA Championship appearances the school has 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. When not on the golf course, Knauer is an avid hunter and fisherman.