Springfield, Ohio – For the second straight year, all five members of Wittenberg University’s men’s golf team competing in the NCAA Division III Tournament have earned first-team PING All-Great Lakes Region honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
Seniors Alex Andrews (Kirtland, Ohio/Gilmour Academy), John Chaney (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) and Jared Wissinger (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson), junior Sam Geise (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) and sophomore Sam Stilwell (Sterling, Va./Dominion) all claimed all-region honors for their regular season performance. All five players will now be considered for All-America honors, which will be announced later this week.
The five Tiger student-athletes received their all-region certificates at a banquet hosted by the GCAA on Tuesday, May 12, at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC, the site of the 2015 NCAA Division III Tournament. The all-region awards were among several different announcements during the banquet.
Also of note for Wittenberg was the announcement that Head Coach Jeff Roope was named one of five finalists for the Dave Williams Award, presented by Golf Pride Grips. The Dave Williams Award honors the national coach of the year in NCAA Division III men’s golf.
“I am so proud of these student-athletes and the way they have worked all year to put them in position to gain such impressive recognition,” Roope said. “These young men went undefeated against teams from the Great Lakes Region, and I’m pleased to see them recognized for such a tremendous achievement.”
Andrews was named the winner of the Dick Gordin Award as the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Player of the Year for the second time in his career. Heading into the NCAA Division III Tournament, Andrews led the Tigers with a 73.37 stroke average, which ranked 16th nationally. He won two tournaments during the 2014-15 regular season and recorded five top-five finishes.
A member of the NCAC’s 30th Anniversary All-Decade team, Andrews has earned All-Great Lakes Region honors three times in his career, and he followed that up with second-team All-America in 2013 and honorable mention All-America in 2014. He has earned first-team All-NCAC honors all four years of his collegiate career, and he won the NCAC’s Bob Nye Award as the Championship Series medalist in 2013.
Chaney ranked second on the team and 19th in NCAA Division III in scoring average at 73.53 prior to the national tournament. He has earned first-team All-NCAC honors each of the last two years, and he capped his conference career in style with the 2015 Bob Nye Award after taking first place in the NCAC Championship Series.
Chaney, who won two tournaments and recorded seven top-five finishes in 11 tournaments in the 2014-15 season, is now a two-time first-team All-Great Lakes Region honoree. He also claimed third-team All-America for his play in 2014, and he was recognized by the GCAA with NCAA Division III All-America Scholar recognition following his junior season as well.
Wissinger also earned his second straight All-Great Lakes Region award after ranking fifth on the team with a 75.37 stroke average during the regular season. He was named first-team All-NCAC in 2015 after claiming a spot on the second team a year earlier. He posted three top-five finishes during the 2014-15 season.
Geise earned his first all-region award after posting his best collegiate stroke average at 74.38, which ranked fourth on the team prior to the national tournament. He recorded four top-five finishes in 10 tournaments during the 2014-15 campaign, and he earned second-team All-NCAC honors. In 2013, Geise was a first-team all-league selection, and in 2014 he claimed honorable mention for the NCAC.
Stilwell also picked up his first all-region award in 2015 after he finished the regular season third on the team with a 73.78 stroke average. He earned first-team All-NCAC recognition after finishing third in the league’s Championship Series, and he posted seven top-10 finishes in 10 tournaments during the 2014-15 season.
The team’s victory in the NCAC Championship Series earned the Tigers their sixth straight trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Wittenberg has made a total of 21 NCAA Division III Tournament appearances and 22 national tournament appearances overall, including a 1974 berth in the NCAA College Division Tournament.
Wittenberg finished first in seven of its 11 tournaments in the 2014-15 regular season, including wins in four straight competitions to close the campaign. The last two tournament victories combined to give the Tigers the NCAC Championship Series title by 24 strokes over runner-up Kenyon.
Written By: Ryan Maurer