Small Becomes Hall of Fame's Youngest Member
Oct. 25, 2013
GLENVIEW, Ill. - University of Illinois head men's golf coach Mike Small was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame on Friday, along with Jay Haas and Bob Harris. Small, 47, became the youngest inductee in the history of the hall of fame at a ceremony at The Glen Club Friday night.
A former full-time professional golfer and member of Illinois' 1988 Big Ten championship team, Small has established the Illini golf program as one of the nation's best during his 13-year tenure. He led Illinois to a runner-up finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships and the Orange and Blue have reached the NCAA Championships in each of the past six seasons, something only five other schools in the nation have accomplished.
The Illini also have won five straight Big Ten titles and have had three straight medalists at the Big Ten Championships. As a result of this success, Small has won five straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honors and six in his career, also earning the accolade in 2002. And he has been named Midwest Regional Coach of the Year five times, including three of the past four seasons. Small has guided 12 All-Americans and 26 All-Big Ten golfers in his 13 seasons, and three of his pupils - Joe Affrunti, Luke Guthrie and Scott Langley - are current members of the PGA Tour, giving Illinois five in all, including Steve Stricker and D.A. Points.
As a player, Small played professionally for a decade and is a five-time member of the United States PGA Cup team, most recently helping the U.S. retain the PGA Cup by earning a draw with Great Britain & Ireland. He is a three-time PGA Professional national champion and a two-time low PGA club professional at the PGA Championship (2011, 2007). He has won 10 Illinois PGA championships, most recently taking the title in August 2013, and made 15 of 31 PGA Tour cuts from 2003-13. He is a four-time Illinois Open champion, has played in nine PGA Championships and made three cuts, and has played in three U.S. Opens. He also has been named PGA of America National Professional Player of the Year three times.
Small recently guided the Illini through a very successful fall season, winning two tournaments and finishing in the top six in all four events that they played. His young Illinois squad posted the best fall stroke average in school history at 282.75 and three players - Brian Campbell (70.33), Charlie Danielson (70.55) and Thomas Detry (70.92) currently hold sub-71 stroke averages. The Illini return to action on Jan. 25 in the Tinervin Cup against Illinois State.