Jan. 29, 2004
Clemson golf coach Larry Penley was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame in Orlando, FL on January 28, 2004. The induction ceremonies at the GCAA Hall of Fame. Penley is the first coach in any Clemson sport to be inducted into a hall of fame while he was still coaching at Clemson.
Penley joins former Clemson football coaches John Heisman, Frank Howard and Jess Neely to be named to a national Hall of Fame as a coach. Penley was one of three golf coaches inducted this week. The others were Herb Page of Kent State and Fred Warren of East Tennessee State.
The GCAA Hall of Fame began in 1980. Selection criteria not only includes a coach’s record on the golf course, but his contributions to the game, student-athletes and school.
“This is a great honor,” said Penley. “It is a reflection of our players and the program in general. I can’t say enough about the players and the families we have had in our program over he years. I just happen to be the guy who has reaped the benefits.
“I don’t feel like a Hall of Fame coach,” said Penley, who is just 44-years-old. ” I still have a lot to accomplish.”
Penley led the Tigers to the school’s first National Champion in 2003. He was named the Eaton Golf Pride Dave Williams National Coach of the Year. He led the Tigers to victories in the ACC tournament, the NCAA East Regional and the NCAA Championships, the first coach to win his conference, regional and national tournaments in the same year.
The 1984 Clemson graduate and former All-ACC golfer for the Tigers has guided Clemson to seven ACC titles and six NCAA regional championships. His teams have finished in the final top five seven times and he has had 17 top 20 finishes in his 20 seasons at the helm. He has been named ACC Coach of the Year and NCAA District Coach of the Year five times each.
The 2004 Clemson team is ranked second in the nation in the latest Sagarin Computer poll and third in the latest Coach’s poll. Clemson will begin its spring season Feb. 8 at the Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate in Jacksonville, FL.
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