McKendree University director of athletics Chuck Brueggemann announced that Josh Williams has been hired as the new head coach for the men’s golf program.
Williams comes to McKendree following a successful four-year run as the men’s golf coach at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio. In each of his four seasons as head coach, Williams led the Express to a top 10 finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament. Owens Community College placed fifth twice during that span, first in 2014 and again this past spring. In 2014, he guided the Express to their first-ever No. 1 national ranking in the NJCAA Division II poll.
“We are very excited to bring Josh Williams into the McKendree family,” said Brueggemann. “From the large pool of applicants we had for this position, Josh stood head and shoulders above the rest. He has demonstrated his abilities to recruit top student-athletes from across the country – as well as internationally – and his teams have proven their success on a yearly basis. Along with that, Josh brings an energy and passion for the game of golf that is unquestioned. He has hit the ground running already at McKendree and we are confident that the level of talent Josh will bring to our program will take us to another level.”
During his four years as the head coach at Owens, Williams guided the team to 45 tournament victories. Under his leadership, the Express also thrived in post-season competition. The program won three Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championships, two OCCAC Ryder Cup titles, four consecutive NJCAA sub-Region XII Tournament crowns and a trio of Region XII championships.
Williams helped develop some of the top junior college players over his four seasons at Owens. He coached four consecutive Region XII Player of the Year winners along with a pair of OCCAC Player of the Year recipients. In addition, Williams boasted a PING first- and second-team All-America selection along with three NJCAA second-team All-America honorees and a pair of NJCAA honorable mention All-America picks. During his four years as the head coach for the Express, Williams coached 20 All-Conference recipients, 11 PING All-East Region selections and eight first-team NJCAA All-Region XII players.
For his efforts, Williams was a three-time Conference Coach of the Year honoree and the 2016 East Region Coach of the Year recipient.
“I’m really excited to become a part of McKendree University,” said Williams. “I truly appreciate the opportunity that Chuck and (McKendree President) Dr. (James) Dennis have given me to lead the men’s golf program. My goal is to bring a winning culture to our team, to build a program that has top-quality student-athletes who want to compete in the classroom and on the golf course. I want them to have high expectations of themselves while they are here, and to have even higher aspirations when they finish their education at McKendree. That’s the biggest reward as a coach — helping them grow along the way. I cannot wait to get started.”
Williams began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Owens, holding the position for five years before being named as the Express head coach in 2012. He also spent a decade as the director of operations and grounds crew foreman at Lakeland Golf Course in Fostoria, Ohio. During his time as the assistant coach at Owens, Williams helped lead the Express to a 10th place finish at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in 2008.
As a player, Williams made his mark as a student-athlete at Owens. In his two seasons with the men’s golf program, Williams was a player on the first Express team to qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament in 2006. He was a first-team All-Conference selection and a Sub-Region medalist. A team captain during his playing days at Owens, Williams set and still holds the program record for lowest nine-hole score (30).
The McKendree University men’s golf team posted five top-five tournament finishes during the 2015-16 season. Sophomore Keenai Sampson qualified for the NCAA Midwest/Central Region Tournament as an individual and placed seventh overall in a field of more than 100 golfers.