Entering his ninth season at KU, Bermel has guided the Jayhawks to nine tournament victories and 41 top-five finishes over the last five campaigns. In that span, Kansas qualified for four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was on track for a fifth in 2019-20 when the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bermel has overhauled the performance of the Jayhawks during his tenure as head coach. When he arrived, Kansas was ranked No. 131 among NCAA Division I teams in the GolfWeek College Team Ratings. The Jayhawks have been inside the top 30 during Bermel’s tenure and currently sit at No. 31 in the Golfstat Team Rankings.
Bermel and the Jayhawks had a strong start to the 2019-20 season. Kansas finished second at the Badger Invitational to open the season, which was the team’s first of five top-five finishes on the year. Bermel’s squad also finished tied for fourth at the Windon Memorial Classic and fourth at the Bandon Dunes Championship in March of 2020 in the team’s final tournament. The Jayhawks also finished second at the Big 12 Match Play Championship and the TPC Dorado Beach Collegiate.
The Jayhawks also had some standout individual performances under Bermel’s guidance in 2019-20. Ben Sigel took home a win at the TPC Dorado Beach Collegiate, while Harry Hillier and Luke Kluver each recorded top five finishes during the season.
During the 2018-19 season, KU finished placing inside the top-five in nine of the team’s 12 events. This included claiming first place at The Jackrabbit when the team finished 19-under for the tournament (11 strokes better than the second-place UCF). The Jayhawks also took home second place in the Big 12 Match Play Championship after defeating the No. 1 seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys in the semifinal match. The team earned a spot at the NCAA Regional for the fourth consecutive season under Bermel’s guidance.
Under Bermel’s direction, the 2017-18 Jayhawks carded 679 birdies (1st in KU history), 21 eagles (2nd in KU history) and 20 par or better rounds (2nd in KU history). Sophomore Andy Spencer set the bar high with a team-best 71.98 stroke average, which places him at No. 4 in the Kansas record books. Junior Charlie Hillier finished second on the team in scoring with a 72.50 average. Bermel had four players post top-10 efforts on the season, which included senior Daniel Sutton’s 3rd place finish at the Irish Intercollegiate and senior Daniel Hudson’s T3rd place at The Jackrabbit.
Bermel has guided the Jayhawks to four-straight NCAA Regional appearances, which marks the 21st appearance in program history.
Kansas went on to win the 2018 regional by one-stroke, shooting 20-under-par. This performance sent the Jayhawks to their first NCAA Championship appearance since 2000.
Named the Kansas head men’s golf coach by KU director of athletics Dr. Sheahon Zenger in July of 2012, Bermel got to work immediately. During his first season, 2012-13, KU won the Hawkeye Invitational to claim its first tournament win in more than three years. Additionally, Kansas finished four tournaments sixth or better in 2012-13 and three tournaments fourth or better in his second season. By his third season, Bermel had led the Jayhawks to six top-five finishes, including his second tournament victory at Kansas at the Desert Shootout. In the 2016-17 season, he had led KU to its first NCAA Regionals appearance since 2007.
Bermel (pronounced Bur-mal) came to Kansas from Colorado State where he was the head coach since the 1999-2000 season. Under his direction, he led the Rams to the NCAA golf regionals for six-straight seasons dating back to 2007, as his 2011 CSU squad advanced to the NCAA Finals.
Under Bermel, CSU won 18 tournament titles and recorded more than 35 top-5 finishes. Included were the 2008 and 2010 Mountain West Conference team championships. A three-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year (2004, 2008, 2010), Bermel coached 10 all-conference performers at Colorado State, including two All-Americans, seven All-American scholars and seven academic all-conference honorees.
No stranger to the Midwest, Bermel coached two seasons at Iowa State, from 1997-99, where he guided the Cyclones to the 1999 NCAA Tournament and nine top-5 finishes. Before ISU, he spent five seasons as head golf coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. While at Drake, his team won the 1997 Missouri Valley Conference championship and twice qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1996 and 1997, with the 1997 team advancing to the NCAA Finals. Bermel was a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
In his years as a collegiate head coach, Bermel has helped develop the games of a number of players who have moved on to the next level. Included is the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open champion Zach Johnson, who played for Bermel at Drake. Others include former Iowa State standout Jason Knutzon, who currently plays on the Asian and European tours and Martin Laird, a Colorado State standout who, along with Johnson, competes on the PGA Tour.
Bermel is a 1986 graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa, and received his master’s degree from Purdue University in 1988. From 1989-91, Bermel worked in recreational sports at the University of Michigan and moved to a similar role at Drake, adding the men’s golf coaching duties in Feb. of 1992.
Bermel and his wife, Jacque, have three children: Emily, Jack and Charlie. Jamie’s brother, John, is the men’s and women’s golf coach at the University of Northern Iowa and serves as the head pro at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
What others are saying ...
University of Northern Iowa Head Golf Coach John Bermel
“I think his resume speaks highly of his credentials. Every quality high school player has dreams of playing on the PGA Tour. When you look at what Jamie has done with the players who have played for him, it is unbelievable. When a No. 3 man at Drake University can win a major championship that says a lot itself. Jamie has two players on the PGA Tour that are winning out there and competing at the highest level on the best tour in the world.
“Every place that Jamie has coached the teams have been competitive, not only in the conference, but in the country. He gets the maximum out of every player who plays for him and gives each and every player the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Jamie knows enough about the swing to help any player when they are struggling on the course. He will increase the chance for the University of Kansas to be able to compete at the highest level.”
PGA Tour Pro and former Colorado State golfer Martin Laird
“He’s a great guy. The fact that I still count him as one of my good friends and still talk to him a lot as a past player – and I know Zach Johnson is the same – says a lot about a coach. I’ve been gone (for several years) now and still call him one of my good friends. He always looked out for his players. They were his number one concern. It’s a huge thing to know as a college athlete, that your coach has your back.
“The one thing I’d say that stands out about him is that he’s a winner. He’s not someone who accepts mediocrity. He’s going to try to get the best out of his team that he can, and he’s going to work as hard as he can to do that.
“He was great when I first came over; I didn’t know anyone. I was a 17-year-old kid from Scotland and he was really, really good – made sure I was comfortable and taken care of and happy where I was. Over the four years I was there I got real close with him and he helped me develop into the player that I am today. There are a lot of things he used to get on us about and teach us about that I still use and remember today. He obviously knows what he’s talking about. I had a great four years at CSU; he made it enjoyable and made me feel welcome. I’m sure it will be the same at KU.”
|THE BERMEL FILE|
|Alma Mater: Central College, 1986|
|Masters: Purdue, 1988|
|Hometown: Keota, Iowa|
|Children: Emily, Jack, Charlie|
|2012-Present, Kansas (HC)|
|1999-2012, Colorado State (HC)|
|1997-99, Iowa State (HC)|
|1992-97, Drake (HC)|
|NCAA TOURNAMENTS - HC|
|Kansas (3) – 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019|
|Colorado State (12) – 2000, 2001, 2002,
2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011, 2012
|Iowa State (1) – 1999|
|Drake (2) – 1996, 1997|