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ETSU's Warren picked SoCon coach the year

Joe Avento • Updated Apr 26, 2017 at 5:18 PM

Winning coach of the year honors is nothing new for Fred Warren, and the East Tennessee State University golf coach did it again this week.

Warren was chosen as the Southern Conference’s coach of the year for the third year in a row after his team successfully defended its conference championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

It was Warren’s 12th coach of the year award at ETSU. He’s won 10 in the SoCon and two in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The Bucs beat UNC Greensboro by eight strokes on Tuesday, giving Warren his 15th SoCon championship. ETSU has a record 20 titles in the Southern Conference.

The victory was the 54th for ETSU under the tutelage of Warren, who was inducted into the College Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003.

ETSU will be making its 22nd NCAA regional appearance under Warren next month.

Also for ETSU, senior Mateusz Gradecki was chosen to the all-conference team. Heading into the SoCon tournament, Gradecki had a stroke average of 71.69, which according ETSU’s record book, would be among the top six single-year averages in program history.

Two ETSU players, Trevor Hulbert and Ben Reichert were on the conference’s all-freshman team. Hulbert finished third at the SoCon tournament.

Cayman Ratliff, a junior from Kingsport, received the Pinnacle Award for having the highest grade point average on the winning team. He has a 3.939 GPA while majoring in finance

One name conspicuously missing from the all-conference team is Geuntae Kim, the ETSU sophomore who won the individual championship at the conference tournament.

Kim brought a stroke average of 74.54 into the conference tournament and didn’t finish better than 37th in any the Bucs’ spring tournaments. But he turned it on when the team needed it the most, going two over par for three rounds in tough condition at Pinehurt No. 9 to earn his first collegiate victory.

Having the SoCon individual champion not on the all-conference team isn’t as uncommon as some observers thought. This was the fourth time since 2000 that it happened.

Kim joined Wofford’s William McGirt (2001), Davidson’s Richard Fountain (2011) and Colege of Charleston’s Josh Lorenzetti (2013) as SoCon medalists not on the all-conference team.

The Bucs will learn their NCAA assignment when the regional selection show is televised by Golf Channel on May 4 at noon. There are six sites for regionals, which will be played May 15-17.

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