|New WVU golf coach Sean Covich with his wife Kate and son John Keenan.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sean Covich, a rising coach in collegiate golf, has been named West Virginia University’s 12th men’s golf coach, Director of Athletics Oliver Luck announced today. Men’s golf will begin competition as an intercollegiate varsity sport at WVU on July 1, 2015.
“I am pleased to announce that Sean Covich will lead our men’s golf program as we reintroduce it as a varsity sport at West Virginia University,” says Luck. “Sean has experienced tremendous success in his eight years as a golf coach. He is a relentless recruiter who has been known to find diamonds in the rough out on the recruiting trails.”
A native of Meridian, Miss., Covich comes to WVU from Mississippi State, where he has served as the assistant men’s golf coach the last three seasons. He previously served as the head men’s golf coach at Meridian Community College for five seasons.
"This is an exciting time for West Virginia University as the men's golf program is restored,” says Covich. “WVU has a proud tradition in athletics and I am honored to be a Mountaineer.
“I want to thank Oliver Luck and his staff for giving me this opportunity. In addition, I would like to thank coach Clay Homan (Mississippi State) and all the players I have coached during my career for giving me this chance. I am honored to serve WVU as the next head men's golf coach, and I look forward to reestablishing a program of which the entire state can be proud of."
At Mississippi State, Covich became the school’s first full-time men’s golf assistant coach in 2011. He helped the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2014 while improving the school’s national ranking from No. 125 in 2011 to a school-record No. 27 in 2013. The Bulldogs won a school-record four tournament titles in 2012-13, then added two more tournament wins in 2013-14 for the most wins (six) in a two-year span in school history.
The Bulldogs set school records for best team 36 hole score (-25), best team 54 hole score (-38) and season records for most team birdies (497), most team eagles (14) and most team scores of even-par or better (14). In addition, he helped the Bulldogs to the second-lowest team round in school history (274) and the second-lowest team score in relation to par (-14).
Covich coached Chad Ramey to All-SEC honors, the first player in school history to be named all-conference three consecutive seasons.
At Meridian Community College, Covich successfully transitioned MCC from a NJCAA Division II program to a NJCAA Division I national power. He led MCC to a NJCAA National Championship Runner-Up finish in just their second season at the Division I level and positioned the Eagles as the No. 1 ranked JUCO team during the 2010-11 season.
At MCC, Covich guided his squad to 18 tournament championships. He produced 15 senior college players, six all-tournament team members at the national championship and guided seven All-Americans. During a back-to-back-to-back NJCAA postseason run, Covich’s 2010 squad finished runner-up at the NJCAA National Championships. He also coached the school’s first individual national champion in 2010.
The Eagles set multiple school records during the Covich era, including most tournament wins in a season (9), lowest team score (274), and lowest team score in relation to par (-14).
Covich earned Coach of the Year honors four times during his span at MCC. In 2007, Covich was awarded with Coach of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches, the National Junior College Association of America (NJCAA) Region 23, and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC). In 2011, after winning the Golf Coaches Association of America’s District IV Coach of the Year Award, he was named a semifinalist for the Golf Coaches Association of America National Coach of the Year.
Known as an outstanding recruiter, Covich recruited and coached Brandt Garon, a two-time All-American at MCC. The Louisiana native won the Arnold Palmer Award and the NJCAA National Championship in 2010 while under Covich's guidance. Garon then added the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award in 2011. Another Covich-product was 2012 NJCAA National Champion Jake Stirling. The Aussie was also a two-time All-American and was recruited to MCC by Covich. T.J. Morgan became the third player recruited by Covich to MCC who finished first at the NJCAA National Championship (t1 in 2013).
At Mississippi State, Covich reeled in the No. 1 ranked junior college golfer in the nation twice, as Joe Sakulpolphaisan
(Darton State College) signed with the Bulldogs in 2012 and Tim Walker (Central Alabama Community College) signed with MSU in 2014.
Covich lettered at Meridian Community College from 1998-2000 and was a member of the 1999 NJCAA Region 23 Championship team. He received the Most Dedicated award during the 1998-1999 season. Covich lettered in varsity golf for Lamar High starting in sixth grade. Covich led the Raiders to an unprecedented four consecutive MPSA Overall State Championships in 1995-1998. He received the Sportsmanship Award in his junior and senior seasons.
Covich completed his education at Mississippi State, earning his bachelor’s degree in sports communications in 2004 and a master’s degree in sports administration in 2006.
In 2005, Covich was the Tour Director of the Mississippi Junior Golf Association, during that tenure the MJGA experienced record membership and participation. Along with his guidance of the MJGA, Covich conducted 13 junior golf events, including the Mississippi Junior Championship. In addition to those duties, he assisted in operating several Mississippi Golf Association state championships such as the State Amateur, Senior Amateur and State Four-Ball.
He began his golf career under his father, PGA Club Professional Jerry Covich, at Briarwood Country Club in Meridian, Miss. Covich also worked for longtime PGA Club Professional and Robbie Webb Junior Golf Award winner, Jimmy Gamblin, at Northwood Country Club. Working for his father and Gamblin, Covich led junior clinics and camps at Briarwood and Northwood.
Covich and his wife, Kate, have one child, John Keenan.
Men’s golf was a varsity sport at WVU from 1933-82. The reintroduction of men’s golf as a varsity sport will satisfy the Big 12 Conference requirement of a minimum of six men’s and six women’s sports. At the start of the 2015-16 academic year, WVU will have six men’s sports and 10 women’s sports that the Big 12 sponsors and 18 intercollegiate sports overall.
“As I said last year, golf had a strong tradition on this campus, and I believe the strong tradition and history of Big 12 golf will only enhance our chances of building a championship program,” adds Luck.
WVU Men’s Golf Record Year-by-Year
Year W-L-T Coach
1933 4-1-1 Jack Hoblitzell
1934 4-3-0 Bob Lowe
1935 3-3-1 Sam Aspinall
1936 1-3-0 Kirk Jackson
1937 1-4-1 Kirk Jackson
1938 3-6-0 Tom Graham
1939 4-2-0 Dr. R. Aspinall
1940 3-2-0 Dr. R. Aspinall
1941 4-1-0 Dr. R. Aspinall
1942-45 No Golf – World War II
1946 6-2-1 Dr. R. Aspinall
1947 12-0-0 Dr. R. Aspinall
1948 8-4-0 Dr. R. Aspinall
1949 12-2-0 Ira Rodgers
1950 5-3-1 Ira Rodgers
1951 5-4-0 Ira Rodgers
1952 7-5-1 Ira Rodgers
1953 8-4-1 Ira Rodgers
1954 5-3-2 Ira Rodgers
1955 7-3-0 Ira Rodgers
1956 5-4-0 Ira Rodgers
1957 4-8-0 Ira Rodgers
1958 5-4-1 Ira Rodgers
1959 4-8-0 Ira Rodgers
1960 3-5-4 Ira Rodgers
1961 7-5-1 Ira Rodgers
1962 9-2-1 Charley Hockenberry
1963 6-4-0 Charley Hockenberry
1964 6-6-0 Charley Hockenberry
1965 7-7-0 Charley Hockenberry
1966 11-4-0 Charley Hockenberry
1967 6-7-1 Charley Hockenberry
1968 11-2-1 Charley Hockenberry
1969 14-3-0 Charley Hockenberry
1970 8-2-2 Charley Hockenberry
1971 10-6-0 Charley Hockenberry
1972 12-8-0 Charley Hockenberry
1973 12-7-0 Charley Hockenberry
1974 11-3-0 Charley Hockenberry
1975 5-10-0 Charley Hockenberry
1976 6-11-0 Charley Hockenberry
1977 11-6-0 Charley Hockenberry
1978 10-0-1 Charley Hockenberry
1979 4-1-0 Bob Gwynne
1980 4-2-0 John Semon
1981 3-0-0 Pat Weaver
1982 0-0-0* Pat Weaver
* Only competed in tournament and invitational action.