Coach Owen is in his 38th year at Oglethorpe University. This season marks the 26th year of the men's golf program under Owen's direction, and the 17th year of the women's program. Owen, a 1981 graduate of Berry College, arrived on campus in the summer of 1981 as a graduate assistant basketball coach and intramural director. At Berry, Owen was a three-year starting guard and was named basketball team MVP his senior season. He was named Most Outstanding Senior Athlete at Berry later that spring. At Oglethorpe, he served as an assistant basketball coach from 1981-97 before assuming the head coaching responsibilities from 1998-2003. During his tenure, Oglethorpe joined NCAA Division III and then the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), and expanded the sports programs offered at Oglethorpe from six to 16. After winning 10 SCAC golf titles, Oglethorpe opened a new chapter in 2012-13 with its first now two Southern Athletic Association (SAA) titles.
In December of 2013 at the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) convention in Las Vegas, Owen was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame, joining an elite group of over 125 coaches and ambassadors of collegiate golf. In April of 2001, Owen was inducted into the Oglethorpe Athletics Hall of Fame after 20 years of loyal service to the university. He now serves on both Hall of Fame committees, and as a member of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Honors Court.
In 2015, Owen proudly accepted the Dr. Richard Gordin Contribution to Golf Award at the Gordin Collegiate Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Gordin was one of the founding fathers of Division III golf and the Gordin Classic is the premiere national Division III tournament of the fall calendar.
Owen was a past chairman of the committee for the prestigious Byron Nelson Award. Former Oglethorpe standouts Taylor Urbanski and Anthony Maccaglia have both been nominated for this honor, which is given to the college golfer at any level who best exemplifies citizenship, character, community servie and on-course performance. Maccaglia was one of five finalists for the award in 2015.
In 1993, Owen took two individual male golfers to the SCAC Conference Golf Championship in Jackson, Miss. Those two golfers began the program that has developed in the last 25 years into one of the most successful and respected in the nation. Since 2000, a span of 18 consecutive years, the Stormy Petrel men have been ranked inside the Top 10 in the nation. They have also finished in the Top 10 at the NCAA Championships 13 years during that span. Owen has coached 72 all-conference performers including four in 2019.
Owen and Oglethorpe have won 13 conference championships in the past 22, including four in a row from 2001-04. He was named conference coach of the year in 16 of those seasons. Owen has been honored as the South Region Coach of the Year three times in his career, and was honored with the Dave Williams NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year award in 2012 and 2014. He was named as a finalist for the Williams Award three times, including the most recent time in 2016.
Senior Jacob Arnett became the 30th All-America selction in the program's illustrious history, as he was named an All-America first team after the 2019 season. Owen has also coached two Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year winners, as Anthony Maccaglia (2015) and Trent Erb (2004) both took home the award for the best individual golfer in Division III. In addition, he's coached three Phil Mickelson Award winners as the national freshman of the year. Kyle Shealy (2016), Maccaglia (2012) and Joe Green (2003) all took home that prestigious honor.
Under Owen's watch, the Stormy Petrels have had seven two-time scholar all-America honorees and 16 total. The list of two-time honorees includes Robert Fink, Corey Garner, Trent Erb, Taylor Urbanski, Matt Rebitch, Anthony Maccaglia, and now Arnett.
This past season, Oglethorpe continued its 20-year streak of having either the whole team or an individual represent the program at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship. Arnett finished fourt at the event, marking his highest-ever finish at an NCAA national tournament. It was the program's highest finish since Maccaglia came in second in the 2015 tournament.
In 2009, Owen guided the Stormy Petrels to the school's first-ever NCAA championship in any sport when the team dramatically rallied to claim the title at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Iceland native Olafur Loftsson became the school's first-ever individual national champion at the event, earning the GCAA's Arnold Palmer Award in the process.
In May of 2012, the Stormy Petrels won their second NCAA national championship in decisive fashion with a 20-stroke victory at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. Freshman Anthony Maccaglia became the school's second-ever recipient of the Palmer Award, claiming the individual national championship in his freshman season
The Petrels followed that up with a national runner-up finish in 2014, marking the fourth top-four NCAA finish in the program's history. Maccaglia earned his third of four career First Team All-America honors after finishing in the top 10 at that tournament, springboarding him to the program's first-ever Palmer Cup selection the following April. He remains the only Division III athlete ever selected for the Palmer Cup.
In 2019, Arnett became the program's 14th conference player of the year, joining Tolliver Williams (1996, 1998), Robert Fink (2001), Chris Summers (2002), Trent Erb (2003, 2004), Taylor Urbanski (2008), Scott Pugh (2009), Eric Quinn (2012), Braden Baer (2013) and Anthony Maccaglia (2014, 2015). It was his second straight SAA Men's Golfer of the Year honor.
This past April, Taylor Urbanski ('08) became the ninth men's golfer inducted into the Oglethorpe Athletics Hall of Fame. He followed Tolliver Williams ('99), Robert Fink ('03), Chris Summers ('03), Robert Miller ('03), Trent Erb ('04), Corey Garner ('05), Joe Green ('07) and Danny Swanick ('08).
Owen serves as the director of both the men's and women's golf programs for the duration of the latter's 17-year history.
In 1998, after several years of posting only individual scores, the Oglethorpe women's program posted a fifth-place finish as a team at the SCAC Championship in Danville, Kentucky.
From 1998-2001, Kristi Wright twice earned Second Team All-SCAC honors. She finished eighth at the SCAC Championship in 1999 and ninth in 2001 to give the program its first individual golf honors.
From 2005-08, Oglethorpe Hall of Famer Julia Gates ('08) began the ascent of the women's program in earnest. During her four years on campus, she led the team to a program-best second-place finish at the 2006 SCAC Championship and a third-place finish in 2007. During he four outstanding years at Oglethorpe, Gates earned one First Team and three Second Team All-SCAC honors, as well as qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championship as an individual twice. Her first appearance at the NCAA Championship was the first ever by a Stormy Petrel women's golfer. She finished tied for 18th at the 2007 tournament at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., a tournament that was, coincidentally, hosted by Oglethorpe. She earned First Team All-America honors that year, the first OU woman golfer to earn All-America honors of any type. She did it again in 2008, finishing 13th at the NCAA Championship in Waverly, Iowa, again taking home All-America honors.
The Katie Dale era ran from 2007-10, and included a 2008 trip to the NCAA Championship as an individual. In between, she earned four straight Academic All-America awards. She was named First Team All-SCAC in two of her four years of competition, and took Second Team honors the other two. She finished tied for 64th at the NCAA Championship in Iowa, the only appearance of her career.
In 2012, the SCAC chapter closed and the new Southern Athletic Association was formed. In the school's first year as part of the SAA, sophomore Jordan Krahn set a then 54-hole school record at the 2013 SAA Championship in Birmingham, Ala., earning Second Team All-SAA honors in the process.
In 2014, Elizabeth Kim finished 15th at the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championship at Mission Inn, and earned Second Team All-America honors, making her the second golfer in program history to become an All-American.
In 2015, former Oglethorpe golf standout Eric Quinn joined the coaching staff for the Oglethorpe women's program. Eric's recruiting skills and player development have blended well with the women's program, and the women's team has finished in the top five in the SAA in every one of his four seasons. In 2018, they finished second at the SAA Championships, marking the highest-ever SAA finish in program history, and tying for the highest-ever conference finish. They matched that feat in 2019, as well, finishing second at the conference tournament once again.
Outstanding play by 2017 All-SAA performers Hailey Willman and Mara Tiger have built a great foundation for the program. In 2018, sophomore Ana Garcia and freshman Angel Sanchez earned First Team All-SAA honors. Sanchez earned All-Region honors for her efforts, as well.
In 2019, the SAA second-place finish was led by All-SAA first-team performer Hailey Willman and All-SAA second-team honoree Angel Sanchez. Willman and Sanchez both went on to earn All-Region honors. It marked the second straight All-Region honor for Sanchez, and the first such honor of Willman's career.
Willman joins Chelsea Gatterdam and Katie Dale as the only four-time Scholar All-America honorees in Oglethorpe women's golf history. Hailey joins a school-record five total scholar all-America honorees for the 2019 team: Willman, Sanchez, Katie Hanley, Emma Meadows, Graci Hallenbeck.
Coach Owen joins the GCAA Hall of Fame fray at the GCAA National Convention in Las Vegas.