Men’s golf coach named

July 7, 2017 | Athletics, News
By Brian DeBenedictis

Jeff Roope has been named the men’s golf coach at The University of Toledo. Roope is the former Wittenberg University men’s and women’s golf coach.

“Jeff is an outstanding coach and an exceptional person,” UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “His experience in building a national championship men’s golf program speaks for itself, but it only tells part of the story. He is a man of great character who we feel will be able to recruit student-athletes who will excel in the classroom and bring our men’s golf program back into national prominence. Jeff is also a relentless recruiter, and we’re very excited for the future of the program.”

During his 10 years at Wittenberg, Roope propelled the Tigers to new heights unreached prior to his arrival. The men’s program captured its first NCAA Division III Championship in 2017, as well as finished third nationally in 2015 and 2016, and fifth in 2014. The women’s program placed second at the NCAA Championships in 2015 and third in each of the last two years. 

“I’m so thrilled to be a part of the UT men’s golf program,” said Roope, who also served as head coach of Team USA at the 2016 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan. “The potential here is unlimited. I was so impressed with the support of the administration and the community during the interview process. It is definitely bittersweet to leave Wittenberg, but I know both programs will be in good hands. My hope is to bring that kind of success to UT. I’m very excited to see how much this program can achieve on the course, in the classroom, and in the community. I can’t wait to get started.”

Between the men’s and women’s programs, Roope helped Wittenberg secure 70 team championships, 67 all-conference accolades, 48 individual medalist honors, 31 Academic All-Scholar Awards, 22 All-Americans, 11 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championships, 10 league medalist recipients, seven NCAC Player of the Year honorees, and two Academic All-Americans over the last decade.  

Almost immediately after arriving at Wittenberg in 2007, Roope turned both programs into perennial contenders for conference championships and NCAA Division III Tournament bids. The men’s team made big strides in his first two years, moving quickly up the ranks in the NCAC, and both teams rewrote the school record books for team and individual scoring.

The breakthrough for the men’s team took place in 2010, starting an eight-year run atop the NCAC. Wittenberg advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, finishing sixth, 21st, seventh, 13th, fifth, third, third and first, respectively. Roope was named NCAC Men’s Golf Coach of the Year seven times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), and he added Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year accolades on four occasions (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). 

Individually, Tiger men’s players won the NCAC’s Bob Nye Award as the conference’s individual medalist six straight years, with Craig Osterbrock becoming the program’s first All-American in nearly 20 years with back-to-back awards in 2010 and 2011. Other individuals who earned All-America recognition included David Wetterich in 2012; Alex Andrews in 2013, 2014 and 2015; John Chaney in 2014 and 2015; Ben Hogenkamp in 2014; Garrett Brickley in 2016 and 2017; Sam Geise and Isaac Hartley in 2016; and Sam Stilwell in 2015 and 2017.

Roope also garnered two Great Lakes Region Women’s Coach of the Year awards (2013, 2015) as the Tiger women’s program rapidly ascended over the same time period, ranking in the top 25 nationally at the conclusion of six straight seasons. After taking second place in three of the first four NCAC Tournaments, Roope guided the team to three consecutive league titles. The four-time reigning NCAC Coach of the Year also took the Tigers to the brink of a national championship, finishing second in 2015 and third each of the last two years. 

Individually, Jane Hopkinson-Wood and Macy Hubbard garnered a spot on the All-America Team each of the last three years.

Prior to working at Wittenberg, Roope spent four years as a women’s golf assistant coach at Otterbein College. The Cardinals won three Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) championships during his time at Otterbein, capped in 2006 when all five golfers finished in the individual top 10 to earn All-OAC honors. Otterbein women’s golf won 19 team titles and recorded 18 individual titles in tournament play over four years, and Cardinal players earned 17 all-conference honors in that span.

Before joining the Cardinals, Roope served as girls’ golf coach at Upper Arlington High School in Columbus for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. His teams won back-to-back Mid-Ohio Girl’s Golf League championships, and he was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year in 2002.

In addition to coaching, Roope previously worked as an assistant tournament director with the Florida State Golf Association and as an assistant caddiemaster at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Professional Golf Association’s (PGA) annual Memorial Tournament. He has successfully completed the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf School and the PGA of America’s Playing Ability Test, required for certification as a teaching professional.

Roope is a former chair of the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-Region and All-America Selection Committee, as well as a member of the GCAA Palmer Cup and Jack Nicklaus Award Selection Committee. In 2011, he was named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Board of Directors, where he served two terms as the Division III representative. Roope was also a member of the NCAA Women’s Great Lakes Regional Advisory Committee, the GCAA All-Region and All-America Selection Committee, and he successfully completed his fourth USGA/PGA rules of golf school in 2015. 

He also competes as an amateur golfer in local and regional events. He has posted several top finishes in recent years, including a top 10 finish in the 2008 Franklin County Amateur Championship.

A native of Grove City, Ohio, Roope earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Bowling Green State University in 1993 and a master’s degree in sport administration from Ashland University in 2006. He and his wife, Nicole, have a daughter, Madeline.

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