Bryan Clarke named women's golf head coach at West Florida
UWF graduate returns to lead women’s team
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to announce the hiring of Bryan Clarke as its new women’s golf head coach. Clarke, a three-time All-American and member of UWF’s 2001 Division II men’s golf national championship team, will return to his alma mater to lead the Argonauts women’s team.
“Bryan’s extensive experience as an instructor will assist in developing our young women’s golf team,” said UWF athletic director Dave Scott. “We expect to be competitive regionally and nationally, and we believe Bryan will guide our team to success.”
Clarke will become the third head coach in UWF women’s golf history. Robin Dezarn led the program from its first season in 2002-03 through 2009, and Jennifer Pandolfi guided the team from 2010-2012. The Argonauts have totaled six Gulf South Conference championships in 10 seasons, the most in GSC history.
Clarke graduated from UWF in 2002 after a successful four-year career with the Argonauts, and he has stayed active in the sport as a player and coach. He is a PGA Class A member, and his most recent position was golf professional at Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear, Ala. Clarke has also worked at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf Club and Omni Tucson National Golf Resort in Tucscon, Ariz., as well as locally at Pensacola Country Club and Tiger Point Golf Club.
“It’s extremely excited to be back and a part of UWF athletics,” said Clarke. “After playing here and winning a national championship, I’ve seen what’s possible. We want to make West Florida one of the top names in Division II women’s golf, and our goal will be to compete for a national championship. We’d like to create an atmosphere in which the ladies will enjoy themselves and succeed on the course and in the classroom. I’m ready to be a part of the UWF athletics family.”
As a player, Clarke helped lead West Florida men’s golf to national acclaim. He earned three top five finishes at the NCAA Division II Championships during his career, including a runner-up title in 2000, and he helped lead UWF to its first national championship in 2001. He earned 19 total top 10s in his collegiate career, including one tournament title at the 2002 NCAA South Regional.
On the national level, Clarke reeled in three first team All-America awards and represented the United States at the 2002 U.S.A. vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship. In 1999, he was a U.S. Open local qualifier and backed it up in 2001 by becoming a U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying medalist. Clarke also earned two All-South Region awards and three All-Gulf South Conference first team nods. Clarke landed a spot on the GSC’s All-Decade team for the 2001-2010 term, and in February 2012 he was inducted into the UWF Athletics Hall of Fame.
Clarke played for current men’s head coach Steve Fell during his years at UWF, and he will now be working alongside his former coach.
“I’m very excited to have Bryan as our new women’s golf coach,” said Fell. “He brings a lot of experience, being a part of the men’s team’s first national championship team, a three-time first team All-American as a player, and his professional golf experience. We’re looking forward to him bringing the women’s program to new heights.”
Clarke graduated from UWF in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. Bryan is married to Gretchen Clarke, and they live in Gulf Breeze, Fla. with their daughter Chloe.
Clarke will be formally introduced as the new West Florida women’s golf head coach at a press conference in August. Details of that event will be announced at a later date. For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.