University of Illinois associate head golf coach Zach Guthrie will leave the Fighting Illini to join his brother, Luke, on the PGA Tour in 2013.
Nov. 28, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois men's golf head coach Mike Small announced Wednesday the departure of associate head coach Zach Guthrie at the end of the Fall 2012 semester. Guthrie leaves the Illini to serve as caddy and coach for his brother, Luke, a former Illinois All-American and two-time Big Ten champion who recently earned his PGA Tour card for 2013.
"Zach has done a great job during his time here at Illinois and he will be missed," Small said. "The goal for our program is to be involved at the highest level in golf and Zach will be able to do that as he caddies for Luke. We're excited for Zach as he continues to build his career in the game of golf and wish both he and Luke well in this endeavor."
Zach Guthrie had begun his sixth season on the Illini coaching staff in the fall of 2012 after helping Illinois become one of only six schools in the nation to qualify for the NCAA Championships in each of the last five years. The Illini have won four consecutive Big Ten championships and 23 total tournaments in that span. Guthrie also has helped coach two individual NCAA champions (Thomas Pieters, 2012; Scott Langley, 2010), four All-Americans (Pieters, 2012; Luke Guthrie and Chris DeForest, 2011; Langley, 2010) and a two-time Big Ten individual champion in his brother, Luke, in 2011 and 2012.
"Obviously, as Luke's brother, I am unbelievably proud that he has earned his PGA Tour card," Zach Guthrie said."But also, as Luke's college coach, I'm proud on a different level that one of our players has advanced to the highest level so soon after completing his collegiate career.This definitely speaks to the strength of the Illinois golf program.That is what makes my decision to leave a little bittersweet because I feel so good about everything we do here and I believe that the future is bright. But the time is right and I could not be more excited to be joining Luke next year. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank head coach Mike Small, the entire DIA administration and staff, and all of the players I have been around.It has been a privilege to work at the University of Illinois."
As Illinois' assistant coach, Guthrie also has served as director of the Demirjian Indoor Golf Facility, coordinator of the Steve Stricker Illini Classic and liaison to the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational.
Guthrie graduated summa cum laude from Western Illinois University with a bachelor of business degree in economics. He was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District team, was selected a Golf Coaches Association of America All-America Scholar and earned three All-Mid-Continent Conference Academic honors. In addition, Guthrie earned the team's Senior Leadership Award in 2007.
On the course, Guthrie was a key contributor to one of the most successful stretches in WIU golf history. During his collegiate playing career, he helped WIU qualify for NCAA postseason play three times as well as claim three Mid-Continent Conference Championships. He was co-medalist at the 2005 Pizza Hut/Bell South Invitational and fired a career-best round of 68 at the Beu/Mussatto Classic that season.