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Golf coach leads team to legacy

Kevin Lucena

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Chico State head golf coach TL Brown. Photo courtesy of Chico Wildcats

Players, former players, assistant coaches and people who work at the golf courses where the team plays has included the same word about T.L. Brown, the head men’s golf coach: professional.

“From the day he got here, he handled himself in such a professional manner with how he treats and what he expects from his players,” said Anita Barker, Chico State’s athletic director. “It’s been no surprise to see how well the golf team has progressed both on the course and in the classroom.”

Since coming to Chico in the fall of 2007, Brown has kept Chico State in the conversation as one of the best golf programs around. In July, Brown was awarded the West Region Coach of the Year. Brown also won the 2011 and 2012 GCAA/Eaton Golf Pride West Region Coach of the Year award.

Since 2007, the men’s golf team has produced two first-team, two second-team and one third-team All-America winner. There have been five honorable mention All-Americans, 15 PING All-West Region recipients and 17 All-California Collegiate Athletic Association selections, including two conference Players of the Year, five Newcomer of the Year winners and a pair of CCAA Freshman of the Year awards.

“My first year was his last year, so he was my coach for only one season, but I wish I could have stayed longer,” said Ryan Trask, a former Chico State men’s golf player and assistant coach. “He was the best coach I’ve ever had.”

Trask played for the Chico State golf team in 2006-2007 after playing at a junior college in the Napa, California area. After graduating, he was one of Brown’s assistants for two years. He now runs The Practice Tee at Sunset Hills, a par 3 course on the north end of Chico.

“He showed me the right way to run a team, practice and player management like a professional,” Trask said. “It’s exciting to see the team keep growing more dominant under Coach Brown.”

Brown also keeps his team focused in the classroom, as the team was recently rewarded at the fall welcome back dinner the athletic department holds at the beginning of each school year. Among the many awards the Chico State athletic department received, the men’s golf team was honored for having the highest average GPA of all of the teams.

  • Two NCAA Championship Tournament finals appearances
  • Eight consecutive NCAA postseason berths
  • One California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference title
  • 16 stroke play tournament wins
  • 55 top-five finishes, including 23 straight from 2009-2011
  • 2014 highest average GPA of all Chico State Athletic teams
  • 2014 Golf Coaches Association of America West Region Coach of the Year

Kevin Lucena can be reached at [email protected] or @klucena824 on Twitter.

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Golf coach leads team to legacy