Tigers Hire UCF Coach to Direct Golf Team

Auburn, Ala.--Nick Clinard, head coach at the University of Central Florida, has accepted the vacant post as head men's golf coach at Auburn.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs announced on Sunday that Clinard would fill the spot vacant since veteran coach Mike Griffin announced his retirement this spring.

Clinard, a former collegiate golfer at Wake Forest, led UCF to NCAA Regional Tournament berths in five of the last six seasons and his Knights finished 10th at the 2009 NCAA Championships.

A native of Gastonia, N.C., after graduating from college in 1995 he played professionally for five seasons on the Hooters Tour, Nike Tour and Canadian tour before taking over as head coach at UCF.

Clinard's 2008-2009 squad, his ninth at UCF, won the NCAA Southeast Regional and three other tournament titles including the Conference USA championship. The Knights also won The Hummingbird Intercollegiate and the Rio Pinar Invitational.

"It is a privilege to be the next head men's golf coach at Auburn University," said Clinard. "Building on Coach Griffin's legacy is an honor and something I am very excited about. I welcome all the former players and supporters to become heavily involved in Auburn golf as we are going to compete and win championships with quality student-athletes."

Commenting on the new hire, Jacobs says, "Nick Clinard brings a tremendous amount of head coaching experience as well as success both athletically and academically that will enhance the Auburn men's golf program. Nick is regarded as one of the nation*s top recruiters and shows a relentless work ethic. I am very excited about the direction that Nick will bring to our golf team."

Clinard won the Conference USA Coach of the Year and the NCAA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year awards this season. In the four years UCF competed in Conference USA the Knights won the league title twice. Clinard coached UCF to the Atlantic Sun Conference title in 2004 and was named the league's top coach that season. He coached the Atlantic Sun Conference individual champions in 2003 and 2004.

Prior to taking over at UCF, Clinard worked as an assistant pro in McKinney, Tex., for golf swing expert Hank Haney during the offseason from his competition on the pro tours. He also helped conduct events on the Future Collegians World Tour.

Clinard attended Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, N.C. A Rolex Junior All-American, he won seven American Junior Golf Association events, the North Carolina Junior Championship and many other regional events. His seven AJGA victories places him in a tie for fifth in wins on that tour, one behind Tiger Woods and five behind Phil Mickelson, the all-time leader in victories.

While at UCF, he coached eight all-conference players and four Academic All-Americans. During his tenure the Knights upgraded their facilities and moved into a new practice center this year.

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