|Title:||Head Golf Coach|
Now in his 23rd year as the men’s head golf coach and 22nd in charge of the women’s program at Campbell University, John Crooks is one of the top collegiate golf coaches in the country. In January 2006, the Winston-Salem, N.C., native was inducted into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
During his tenure, Crooks has led the women’s team to 11 conference titles and 15 NCAA Regional
appearances. His women’s teams have earned regional berths
12 times in the last 15 years.
Upon the program’s return to the Big South Conference in
2011-12, he led the squad to the league title and was voted Big
South coach of the year by his peers.
In 17 years during Campbell’s membership in the Atlantic
Sun Conference (1995-2011), Crooks guided the Lady Camels to
three-consecutive league championships from 1996-98 and again in
2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. In 2004 at Keith Hills Country
Club No. 1, the Lady Camels set a record for lowest 54-hole score
in the league tourney.
Crooks has also directed the Camel men to five conference championships, including the 1999 and 2009 Atlantic Sun Conference titles. The Campbell men made their first NCAA Regional team appearance in 2009 after CU individuals earned regional berths on four previous occasions. CU’s men received a pair of individual NCAA regional berths in 2011 (Vaita Guillaume, Matt Moot).
In 2012 Vaita Guillaume won the NCAA Greensboro Regional and
earned the program’s first-ever berth into the NCAA
Championship. He named 2012 Big South player of the year, Ping
All-Region and honorable mention Ping All-American.
Crooks has been named conference coach of the year 15 times for either the men’s or women’s program. He was named Atlantic Sun Women’s Golf Coach of the Year eight times in CU’s 17 years as a league member. His men’s teams have claimed 45 team titles and his women have won 67 tournaments.
Entering the 2013 spring season, Crooks ranks second among all active Division I women’s coaches in tournament victories with 67, trailing only Dan Brooks of Duke (112). His women have won a tournament in 21 of the 22 years in which he has served as head coach, including three during the 2011-12 campaign and three in the 2012 fall season.
He stands fourth on the Division I all-time coaching victories chart.
With three victories in five tournaments, Campbell University ended the 2012 fall women’s golf season ranked 26th among the country’s 257 NCAA Division I programs, according to Golfstat. The ranking was the highest at the end of the fall season in Crooks’ 22-year tenure with the program. Campbell finished the fall campaign with a 63-6 record against NCAA Division I competition while setting school 18-, 36- and 54-hole records.
In addition to securing his 11th women’s league coach of the year honor, Crooks’ squad placed four members -- Kaylin Yost, Michelle Koh, Lisbeth Brooks and Teresa Urquizu -- on the Big South all-conference team in 2012. Yost was tabbed player of the year and Brooks freshman of the year in the Big South.
He has also been actively involved in the oversight of the college game, serving as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee from 2004-2008.
Coach Crooks has directed 126 golfers to all-conference honors
during his tenure and 182 individuals to all-academic honors.
He has mentored dozens of professionals, including PGA Tour members David Mathis and Brad Fritsch, as well as eGolf Tour member Vaita Guillaume.
On the women’s side, Sandra Angulo is playing on the LPGA FUTURES Symetra Tour, while Mary Mattson is on the Ladies European Tour.
In 2011-12, the Campbell men won three tournaments, led by Big
South player of the year Vaita Guillaume, who captured five
individual titles. Mitch Gray was named Big South men’s golf
scholar-athlete of the year.
In 2011, Matt Moot and Guillaume received individual bids to play in the NCAA Virginia Tech Regional. Moot and Mitch Gray were named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars by the GCAA.
In 2010-11, the Campbell women finished as runner-up in the Atlantic Sun Championship, marking the 15th time in 17 years as a league member that the Lady Camels placed first or second in the tourney.
His 2010 women’s team claimed team championships at the UNCG Starmount Fall Classic and Fighting Camel Classic, while finishing among the top six in each of its 11 tournaments.
Each of Campbell’s six players recorded a top-6 finish in
’09-10, including a pair of wins by senior Mary Mattson (UNCG
and Campbell), plus runner-up showings from Sarah Bejgrowicz
(Waterlefe), Belen Diaz Cisneros (Campbell) and Teresa Urquizu
Mattson and Diaz Cisneros were two of only 11 individuals to finish among the top 10 four times in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship. Mattson was 5th in the 2010 tournament, while Diaz Cisneros tied with Bejgrowicz for 8th place. Mattson earned first-team all-conference honors, her fourth all-league recognition, and was named Campbell’s Outstanding Female Athlete.
Campbell’s 2009-10 men’s team won the Big Five Invitational and finished fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference, extending their string of top-five A-Sun finishes to a record nine years. Vaita Guillaume, who was a second-team all-conference honoree, participated in the 2010 US Amateur Championship after winning the Anderson Creek (N.C.) qualifier.
During 2009, Campbell’s men claimed an automatic berth in the NCAA Southeast Regional by winning the Atlantic Sun Championship. The Camels led wire-to-wire at their home course as four CU players placed among the top 14 individuals.
Guillaume placed second individually to earn all-tournament honors in addition to second-team all-conference and all-freshman recognition. He and fellow freshman Mitch Gray were ranked 14th in the nation in the Golfstat Freshman Impact rating.
The Campbell women added two more tournament titles and a 2009 A-Sun runner-up finish, plus four all-conference honors to the program’s long list of accomplishments. Only twice in 16 years has Campbell failed to finish either first or second in the A-Sun championship since joining the league in 1994-95. Mary Mattson was a first-team all-conference performer, who added all-tournament honors by finishing fourth at the A-Sun event.
Belen Diaz Cisneros and Sandra Angulo were named second-team all-conference in 2009, while Michelle Koh was named to the all-freshman team. Sophomore Sarah Bejgrowicz collected her first collegiate victory at the Jacksonville Women’s Classic.
In 2008, Campbell’s women finished among the top two teams in the A-Sun Championship for the 13th time in 14 years in the league. Campbell’s men extended their string of top-five finishes in the A-Sun tournament to seven years. Thirteen Campbell golfers were named to the league all-academic team.
Campbell won its second-straight (and a league record 8th overall) A-Sun women’s championship in 2007, defeating second-place East Tennessee State by 29 strokes.
Alejandra Shaw won the A-Sun individual title and was named league player of the year for the second-straight year. She was joined on the all-conference first team by junior Maite Ortiz de Pinedo, who finished 2nd at the league tourney. Belen Diaz Cisneros (5th at the A-Sun Championship) and Mary Mattson (9th) were both named to the A-Sun all-conference second team and all-freshman unit.
Shaw, Ortiz de Pinedo (Fighting Camel Classic), Mattson (Shoot-out at the Legends) and Diaz Cisneros (Spider Fall Invitational) each won individual titles during ‘06-07.
Campbell’s men tied a school record with four tournament titles during 2006-07 in events hosted by Hartford, Old Dominion, Campbell and William & Mary. Junior Fredric Sundberg was a first-team all-league choice, senior Kyle Spahr gained second-team honors, while Matt Evans was named to the A-Sun all-freshman team. Sundberg earned an individual berth to the NCAA East Regional Championship.
During the 2005-06 campaign, Crooks guided Campbell to its seventh Atlantic Sun Conference women’s title. His Lady Camels won two tournaments (including the Stetson Invitational). Alejandra Shaw was named A-Sun Player of the Year and 1st-team all-conference after winning the league tourney and finishing among the top 10 individuals at the A-Sun event for the 3rd-straight year. Crooks was tabbed A-Sun Coach of the Year. Senior Sofia Gorelik became just the 2nd player in A-Sun history to earn 1st-team all-conference honors 4-straight years. Maite Ortiz de Pinedo was a 2nd-team all-league performer.
His men’s squad won two tournaments in 2005-06, while sophomore Fredric Sundberg gained 2nd-team A-Sun all-conference honors.
In 2004-05, Crooks’ women earned an al-large berth to the NCAA East Regional and finished 11th, its best showing since 1997. The team won four tournaments, the program’s most in five years.
Five Lady Camels were honored by the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005, including three, first-team all-league selections. CU’s 2005 freshman class was ranked 13th nationally by Golfstat. On the men’s side, Fredric Sundberg was named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year.
In 2003-04, Campbell’s Alejandra Shaw was named Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year while also earning A-Sun All-Freshman team honors. Sofia Gorelik and Josefina Usandizaga were named to the A-Sun All-Conference first team and also captured A-Sun All-Tournament honors. Brandi Underwood was a second-team all-conference selection.
On the men’s side in 2003-04, Ulf Hedlund and Braxton Wynns were recognized on both the A-Sun all-conference first-team and the league all-tournament squad. Rickard Allard was a second-team all-conference choice, while Kyle Spahr earned league all-freshman team honors.
In 2002-03, Sharon O’Neill capped her Campbell career by earning A-Sun Player of the Year honors, plus her fourth first-team all-conference award. Sofia Gorelik was also named first-team all-league as well as to the A-Sun All-Freshman squad. Josefina Usandizaga was named to the A-Sun all-conference second team for the third year in a row. On the men’s side, Braxton Wynns (first-team) and Ulf Hedlund (second-team) garnered all-conference recognition.
During the 2001-02 campaign, Campbell’s Simon Dunn earned A-Sun Player of the Year and first-team all-conference honors on the men’s side, while Braxton Wynns was a second-team honoree. Sharon O’Neill was a 2001-02 first-team all-league choice for the women, while Josefina Usandizaga earned second-team honors and Michelle Holmes was selected to the A-Sun all-freshman team.
Crooks has seen his women’s team members earn Campbell’s Outstanding Female Athlete award seven times. Janet Wooten received the honor in 1994, while Mara Larrauri earned the recognition in 1997. Georges Plumet and Kylie Pratt swept the honors for both men and women in 1999. Braxton Wynns was named CU’s Outstanding Male Athlete for 2003-04, and Alejandra Shaw gained the women’s honor in both 2006 and 2007. Mary Mattson (2009-10), Kaylin Yost (2011-12) and Vaita Guillaume (2011-12) also gained the school’s top individual honor.
Kim Scott received the 1996 CU Senior GPA award after posting a 3.94 cumulative GPA as a government major, while Brad Fritsch was selected in 2000 with a 3.89 GPA in criminal justice. Fritsch was also a GTE Academic All-American and qualified for the 2006 U.S. Open. Jayme Kolinski won the 2002 Senior GPA Award with a 3.92 grade-point average as a biology major.
Including 2012 honorees Kaylin Yost and Vaita Guillaume, CU players guided by Crooks have been named conference player of the year 15 times. Georges Plumet, Mara Larrauri and Alejandra Shaw each received the recognition twice following their junior and senior seasons.
Under Crooks’ direction, Campbell golfers have made unprecedented strides in NCAA play. The Lady Camels have participated in NCAA post-season play in 15 of the past 20 years.
In 1993, Janet Wooten became the first Campbell women’s golfer to qualify for the NCAA East Regional. The Lady Camels earned their first team bid in 1994 after winning five tournament titles, including the Big South Conference Championship. In 1997, Campbell finished fifth at the Regionals and earned its first-ever national championship bid. CU advanced farther in post-season play than any other team in Campbell’s Division I history and wrapped up the 1997-98 season as the 14th-ranked squad in the nation in the championship tournament.
The women’s team was also invited to play in the 1998,1999, 2000 and 2005 NCAA East Regionals. Sharon O’Neill finished fifth at the 2000 event and qualified for the NCAA Championship. Campbell earned the A-Sun’s automatic berth by winning the league crown in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. CU won the Big South’s automatic berth in 2012.
For the men’s team, Plumet was selected to participate in the ‘98 and ‘99 NCAA Men’s Golf East Regional. He became the first men’s golfer in the school’s history selected to participate in post-season play since Campbell joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1977-78. Simon Dunn earned an individual berth to the 2002 NCAA East Regional, while Fredric Sundberg repeated the feat in 2007.
Prior to accepting head coaching duties at Campbell in May 1990,
Crooks served as a volunteer assistant coach to Wendell Carr for
two seasons and helped the Camels to the 1989 Big South men’s
A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., and a Buies Creek resident, Crooks played collegiately at the University of Houston under legendary coach Dave Williams. He is a former United States Golf Association Junior Amateur Champion who competes regularly in major state and national amateur championships. He won the 2001 North and South Senior Amateur Championship by five strokes after carding a 73-72-71-216 at Pinehurst #8, #5 and #2 in consecutive rounds.
Crooks is married to the former Susan Davis, who graduated from Campbell’s Law School in 1989. They have two children, Beth Milton (Campbell ‘92) and John Thomas Crooks, Jr., and four grandchildren, Jeremy (a freshman on the Campbell golf team), Lauren, Abby and Gracie.
Campbell Golf Under Coach John Crooks
2 Academic All-Americans
4 GCAA All-American Scholars
20 NCAA Regional Appearances
3 NCAA Championship Appearances
15 Conference Players of the Year
16 Conference Team Championships
15 Conference Coach of the Year Awards
112 Team Tournament Titles
182 Conference All-Academic Team Members
126 All-Conference Team Members
NCAA Division I Women’s Golf All-Time Tournament
(as of Jan. 1, 2013)
Head Coach / Years / School / Tournament
Dan Brooks / 1984-present / Duke / 112
Mark Gale / 1978-96 / San Jose State / 91
Dale McNamara / 1974-2000 / Tulsa / 81
John Crooks / 1991-present / Campbell / 67
Linda Vollstedt / 1980-2001 / Arizona State / 65