MANHATTAN, Kan. – Grant Robbins, a 15-year head coaching veteran whose resume includes three coach of the year honors in two conferences, guiding six teams to NCAA play and whose Memphis team captured the 2012 Conference USA Championship, has been tabbed the 13th men’s golf coach at Kansas State, Director of Athletics John Currie announced today.
Robbins, a proven program builder at UNC Wilmington and Memphis, where he has spent the last 11 seasons, replaces Tim Norris, who announced his retirement prior to the 2013-14 season and concluded his career after 17 years at the helm of the Wildcat program. Robbins has led Memphis, his alma mater, to five NCAA Regional appearances, including four consecutive berths.
“We are excited to welcome Grant, his wife Brooke – a K-State graduate and Wichita native – and their children Bryce and Brayden to Manhattan and the K-State family,” Currie said. “Coach Robbins is one of the top teachers and coaches in collegiate golf, and his reputation and ability to recruit and develop student-athletes set him apart throughout our national search. He has been nationally recognized as a program builder at UNC Wilmington and Memphis and guided teams to numerous NCAA Regional appearances. We look forward to him joining the Wildcat family and leading our program.”
The Conference USA (C-USA) Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2012, Robbins has presided over 55 top-five team finishes in his 11 seasons at Memphis, including 11 tournament titles. Memphis captured the C-USA Championship in 2012 on its way to a NCAA Championship appearance. In addition, Robbins has guided individuals to 17 tournament titles, led by Jonathan Fly’s medalist performance at the 2011 C-USA Championship.
“I am excited and honored to have been chosen to lead the men’s golf program at Kansas State,” Robbins said. “Having coached at my alma mater for 11 years, it was going to take something very special for me to leave, and K-State is a very special place. The challenge of competing in the Big 12, the incredible facilities at Colbert Hills and the dynamic leadership of John Currie all make this such an incredible opportunity. My family and I can’t wait to get to Manhattan.”
Under Robbins’ tutelage, Fly was a three-time First Team All-Conference USA performer, the 2010 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and a PING All-Region performer in 2012, while another protégé, Keven Fortin-Simard, earned C-USA Golfer of the Year honors in 2006. The Tigers accumulated 14 all-conference performers under Robbins in addition to five players that were named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Of the top-16 single-season individual stroke averages in Memphis history, 14 have come under Robbins’ watch while all 10 of the school’s lowest 54-hole team scores have come during his tenure.
Off the course, Robbins has put a strong emphasis on academics as his 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams each garnered the C-USA Sport Academic Award given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest grade-point average for that academic year. In addition, Tiger golfers were named to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-America Scholar teams eight times, while he has seen three Memphis golfers named the C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year, including two-time recipient Brad Benjamin (2008-09).
Prior to Memphis, Robbins served as the head coach at UNC Wilmington for four seasons (1999-2003). During his stint guiding the Seahawks, Robbins’ teams carded 28 top-three finishes, 11 tournament victories and a 2003 NCAA Regional berth, the first in program history.
Robbins, the 2001 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year, coached one CAA Golfer of the Year, two CAA Rookies of the Year and 13 All-CAA performers. In addition, seven different golfers were individual medalists in 10 tournaments.
Before taking the UNC Wilmington position, Robbins served as an assistant coach at Penn State from 1997-99 as he helped the Nittany Lions advance to two-straight NCAA East Regionals (1998, 1999). Robbins, the program’s recruiting coordinator, was the Penn State Golf Camps instructor and Rutherford Intercollegiate tournament director.
Robbins was a four-year letterwinner at Memphis from 1991-94 and served as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. A 2010 inductee into the Tiger Hall of Fame, he was an All-Great Midwest Conference team selection three times (1992, 1993, 1994) and also a Jake Fondren Golf Scholarship recipient.
Following his career at Memphis, Robbins gained valuable experience on three professional golf tours, the North Florida PGA Winter Tour (1994-95), Tommy Armour Professional Golf Tour (1994-95) and Tour America Mid-South Professional Golf Tour (1995). He entered the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) in August 2007 and is now a PGA Class A Professional.
The Memphis, Tenn., native earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Memphis in 1994 and returned to his hometown university after his playing career to earn his master’s degree in sports management in 1997.
Robbins and his wife, Brooke, have two children, Bryce and Brayden.