UND men's golf coach resigns

UND men's golf coach resigns Click to Enlarge

UND is losing another head coach. Matt Stricker – who’s in his second season as men’s golf coach – is leaving to be a golf instructor at Sanford Power Academy in Sioux Falls.

Stricker’s last day at UND will be May 24. He’s a former general manager at Whispering Oaks Golf Club in Manvel and a former assistant golf pro at King's Walk in Grand Forks.

In the past three weeks, UND men’s basketball coach Brian Jones and volleyball coach Mark Pryor also announced their resignations.

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UND Release:

University of North Dakota Head Men’s Golf Coach Matt Stricker announced Wednesday he will join the Sanford Power Academy in Sioux Falls, S.D., as a golf instructor. His last day at UND will be May 24 and the process to begin the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

“I have really enjoyed my time at the University of North Dakota. I have had the opportunity to lead a great group of guys, and the University should be very proud of their accomplishments both on and off the course,” Stricker said. “It is extremely difficult to walk away from this great university, but I am very excited for the new opportunity for myself and my family in Sioux Falls. I wish the best for the team and for the golf program going forward. There is a great tradition of producing great people within the men’s golf program, and I do not see that stopping anytime soon. Go Hawks!”

Stricker took over the reins of the golf program midway through the 2017-18 season and helped navigate it through some instability. Originally announced that the program would be eliminated following the 2015-16 season, the program has been buoyed with the help of private funding over the past few years. As part of an agreement with a private group of supporters, UND is committed to retaining and funding men’s golf for the next two years (2019-20 and 2020-21) while private fundraising continues for full funding of the program, according to Jed Shivers, UND’s vice president for finance & operations.

“We could not be more excited for Matt and for this opportunity that he has been afforded at Sanford,” UND Director of Athletics Bill Chaves said. “Matt provided tremendous leadership for us over the past couple of years during a time when it was really needed. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in their new ventures in Sioux Falls.”

Stricker’s 2018-19 team entered its first year in the Summit League by improving on all three rounds at the conference tournament just a few short weeks ago, shooting a final-round 304 as a team for a ninth-place finish. Junior Patrick Traynor paced the Fighting Hawks individually at the tournament, carding three straight rounds in the 70s. For the season, senior Jeremy Kirk led the team with a 77.70 stroke average.

His squad got it done in the classroom and in the community as well, as it was announced as the UND Male Scholar Team of the Year at the year-end Night of Champions awards ceremony. The eight-member squad was UND’s top male program in terms of grade point average, registering a 3.356 combined GPA in Fall 2018 and held a collective cumulative 3.289 GPA. His team was also recently one of three UND programs to earn NCAA Public Recognition for recording a perfect 1000 multi-year APR score. Kirk was a two-time finalist for the UND Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year while the team was also a finalist for the UND Male Community Service award.

Stricker is a former general manager at the Whispering Oaks Golf Club in Manvel, N.D., a position he took over in March of 2017. Prior to that he was an assistant golf professional at King's Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks for one year. A recent graduate of the PGA of America professional golf management program, Stricker spent 15 years in Montana as an assistant golf professional at the Yegen Golf Club (2015-16) and the Exchange City Golf Course (2002-15).

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