Randall Retires As Head Coach, Will Remain With Program; Grove Takes Over.
May 14, 2007
LAWRENCE, KAN. –
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas men’s golf head coach Ross Randall announced Saturday that he is stepping down as head coach after 28 years with the program. Randall will become KU’s Director of Golf Operations, focusing on fundraising for a new indoor hitting facility.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
“It’s not really a retirement,” said Randall. “It’s a different position. It will be more like a director of golf operations. Kit (Grove) will be the head coach and I will be closer to more like an assistant coach. I will do a lot like what I have done in helping with the scheduling, travel arrangements, manufacturers relations.”
In front of a room packed with former KU golfers in town for a reunion, Randall announced that current assistant coach and former Jayhawk golfer Kit Grove will take over as head coach.
“Lew (Perkins) asked what I would like to do and I said I would like to do what I have been doing but not travel as much,” said Randall. “I’m old enough to where that is beating me up a little bit. We’re going to work in tandem a lot. Kit will use some of my experience and I will use his energy. I think we make a pretty good team.”
An institution at KU for nearly three decades, Randall guided seven teams – including this year’s team – to the NCAA Championships. His 1989 squad was the first KU team to reach the NCAA Finals in 32 years, and his 1996 team advanced to the final two rounds of the NCAA Championships, the second-best finish in Kansas history.
Randall coached five All-Americans during his tenure with the Jayhawks, including three two-time All-American selections: Chris Thompson, Ryan Vermeer and Chris Marshall.
He also helped develop 27 all-conference selections, including senior Gary Woodland, who was named to this year’s All-Big 12 Team. In addition, Randall directed KU to 11 top-four league finishes and six top-two finishes during his tenure.
“I want to finish out with Gary Woodland,” said Randall. “It’s exciting being around him. With his potential, I felt like I could help him and I think I have. He is certainly the most talented guy I have been around in my career of coaching. He’s got people in all areas of the game of golf excited about his potential.”
His crowning achievement came in 1999, when he took the fifth-seeded Jayhawks into the Big 12 Conference Tournament and captured the program’s first league title in 49 years. For his efforts that season, Randall was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.
An accomplished golfer himself, Randall was twice named the Iowa PGA Player of the Year and won a PGA Senior Winter Series Event at the PGA Reserve in Florida in 1997. Randall also currently serves as a PGA professional at Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence and hosts the Jayhawk Golf Camp each summer.
Grove is in his first season as the assistant coach for the Jayhawks. His professional playing career has taken him all over the world, including a stint in South Africa. The Superior, Neb. native has served in instructor roles in Oregon and Arizona prior to taking the assistant coach job at Kansas. Grove played at Kansas from 1995-97.
“Saturday worked out great, just the tournament itself with the all the alums coming back. It was good to get those guys back from coach’s era. We had such a great time,” said Grove.