University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Cascades golf coach Chris Bertram has had a good, even great, men’s team on his hands for a number of years.
So with this year’s number one PACWEST ranking for not only those men but also the brand new women’s team, it won’t come as a big surprise that he’s been named the top collegiate golf coach in the country.
Bertram and his PACWEST winning men and women are in Quebec this week for the national championships (Oct. 15 to 18) where he was handed the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) 2013 golf coach of the year.
“Chris is a phenomenal guy who’s done a great job developing his program,” said Albert Roche, CCAA golf convenor in a statement.
Roche went so far as to predict success for the UFV team this week.
“Ranking number one in B.C.’s PACWEST conference speaks very highly of the team. They’ve impressed me, and I think both the Fraser Valley men and women are going to medal at the 2013 Ping CCAA Golf National Championships.”
The first round of the three-round tourney was Wednesday at the Royal Quebec Golf Club. The Cascades men team finished tied for first led by Darren Whitehouse's three-under-par 69, which puts him alone in third, and Aaron Pauls' two-under 70, which leaves him tied for fourth. Both Matt Gudmundson and Connor O'Dell shot even par 72s leaving them tied for ninth.
The women sat alone atop the leaderboard at even par, four strokes up on second place St. Clair College.
Rounds two and three go Thursday and Friday.
Bertram told the Times the coach of the year honour was a pleasant surprise.
“I’m really proud and humbled by this award,” he said Tuesday evening via text from Quebec. “I suppose it’s a reflection of the success our men’s and women’s teams have had this year, and so for that I have to share this with the great group of golfers we have in the UFV program as well as with our terrific assistant coach Brad Clapp. They are a special group, and I feel privileged to coach them.”
Bertram was given the award, which included a customized CCAA ring, at an awards banquet held Oct. 15 in Quebec City.
Also honoured Tuesday were women Cascade golfers Jen Woods and Dani Shap who were named 2013 CCAA Golf All-Canadians.
Shap took first place in the women’s team competition at all three PACWEST conference tournaments.
Woods has been ranked number one among PACWEST teams at two conference tournaments this season, and balances her golf game with studies and a full-time job.
In the Ping skills competition in Quebec this week, Cascade Darren Whitehouse hammered out the longest drive.
Both Cascade golf teams had an incredible season, with the squads clinching the PACWEST titles at Chilliwack Golf and Country Club on Oct. 5 with 30-stroke leads over the second-place team.
Other nominees for CCAA golf coach of the year honours were Scott Bergdahl from Red Deer College, Jeff Donovan of Holland College, Katie Ferguson of Georgian College and Benoit Lemieux of Cégep André-Laurendeau.
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