Ryan Donovan Named MWC Men's Golf Coach of the Year
May 10, 2011
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State men's golf head coach Ryan Donovan has been named the 2010-11 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, while juniors Alex Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) and J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.) each picked up all-league accolades, the MWC office announced Tuesday morning. Donovan becomes the first Aztec in the conference's 12-year history to be named coach of the year, after already directing SDSU to six tournament victories, including the program's first MWC title this past weekend.
In his eighth year at the helm of his alma mater, Donovan's squad is in the midst of one of the finest campaigns in program history. The Aztecs have been ranked as high as fourth nationally by golfstat.com, and have 11 top-five finishes, including 10 in the top three, while boasting a combined head-to-head record of 142-16, which amounts to a 89.9 winning percentage. SDSU hasn't finished lower than seventh at any 2010-11 outing and has twice been named the national team of the week by GolfWeek.
The Yorba Linda, Calif., native has led the team to first-place finishes at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate, the Arizona Invitational, the USC Invitational, the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic, the Barona Collegiate Cup and the Mountain West Conference championships. The six titles rank second nationally to only consensus No. 1 Oklahoma State, which has claimed seven titles.
Donovan was a four-year member of the Aztec men's golf squad from 1997-2001, before earning his degree in public administration and playing professionally. He returned to The Mesa as an assistant coach in 2003, and later was promoted to head coach, where he has guided SDSU to 85 top-10 tournament finishes, 61 top-five performances, 18 team titles and three trips to the NCAA national championships.
Spaun and Kang rank first and second on the team this season in stroke average and are third and fourth in that category in the conference. The juniors have both won an individual title and have received league golfer-of-the-month accolades at least once in 2010-11. This marks the first campaign that San Diego State has had two players selected to the all-conference team since 2007-08.
Spaun picks up his second consecutive all-league honor, after posting a team-best season stroke average of 71.69, and tallying six top-10 finishes in nine spring events. He is the MWC's highest ranked golfer in the current Golfstat Cup standings (No. 57) and claimed his second career individual title at the Thunderbird Invitational in mid-April, after which he was named the national player of the week by Golfweek.
Kang is the 11th different Aztec to garner all-MWC honors and continues a season in which he has recorded a stroke average of 71.75 and placed in the individual top 20 on 10 occasions. Kang had a phenomenal fall campaign, coming in as the squad's top golfer in all three events and winning the Alister MacKenzie Invite by becoming the first Aztec to break 200 in a 54-hole tournament with a 16-under 197. The junior also tied the school record for lowest round with a career-best 62 and was SDSU's top finisher at this past week's Mountain West Conference championships, placing fourth with a 4-under 209.
San Diego State, which is currently ranked seventh nationally by golfstat, will return to the OMNI Tucson National Golf Course next week for the 2011 NCAA Arizona Regional, scheduled for May 19-21. The top five teams and low individual not on an advancing squad will earn a trip to the national championships, May 31-June 5, at Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla.
2010-11 Mountain West Conference Honors
Coach of the Year Ryan Donovan, San Diego State
Golfer of the Year
Freshman of the Year