Tournament is one of the oldest events in college golf.
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Jacob Wilner enters his seventh season as head coach of the Nevada men’s golf team in 2016-17, where he will return all players from last season.
The Wolf Pack is coming off of a seventh place finish in April’s Mountain West Championship. Highlighted from the championship was junior Corey Eddings earning the runner-up finish after he posted the clubhouse lead following rounds one and two. Eddings returns in 2016-17 along with the rest of the core and an addition of three strong newcomers, who should provide Wilner with a valuable amount of depth.
The 2014-15 season, Wilner's fifth guiding the Pack, was capped off by a sound third place Mountain West finish for Nevada. Wilner had three of his four counting scorers finish in the top-10 in the event as senior Nick Fuller tied for third, Eddings tied for fourth and junior Grant Booth tied for seventh.
In 2012-13, Wilner guided the Wolf Pack into its first season in the Mountain West, finishing ninth at the conference championship. The Wolf Pack had two members of the team earn Academic All-MW honors. Also during that season Wilner himself qualified for the 2013 United States Public Links Championships.
The 2011-12 season at Nevada - Wilner's second at the helm - was capped by another NCAA Regional appearance by a Pack player as Kevin Lucas earned an at-large selection and finished 48th at the Norman Regional. Nevada finished sixth at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships with Lucas earning first-team All-WAC honors. In addition, four Pack players earned Academic All-WAC honors in Gustavo Chuang, Andrew Cornella, Zak Griffiths and Taylor Knoll.
Nevada nearly got Wilner his first team victory as the team tied Oregon State at the Pacific Invitational but fell to the Beavers on the first hole of the playoff. Lucas did secure the individual victory, the first by a player under Wilner.
Wilner's first season as the head coach of the Wolf Pack in 2010-11 was marked by a strong showing against a challenging schedule and culminated with a pair of golfers, Scott Smith and Kevin Lucas, earning All-Western Athletic Conference accolades. Smith earned an at-large spot into the NCAA Regionals as well, marking the third straight season Nevada was a part of postseason play. Smith twice earned WAC Golfer of the Week honors during the season.
Prior to his promotion to head coach, Wilner spent two seasons with the Wolf Pack as an assistant coach with the Nevada golf program. In 2009-10, the Wolf Pack finished in the top five at six different events, including a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference Championships. That also included a team championship at the Saint Mary's Invitational at Poppy Hills G.C. in Pebble Beach, Calif. During the course of the season, the Pack earned its highest ranking in the polls in nearly a decade.
Individually, Jared Becher qualified for the NCAA Regional event and placed fifth at the Southwest Regional, narrowly missing a spot in the NCAA Championships. Becher and Ryan Hallisey each won WAC Golfer of the Week honors from during the season. Taylor Coffman was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII at-large teams and he, along with Smith, were named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
In his first season with the Wolf Pack in 2008-09, Wilner helped the men's golf team to five top five finishes, including a win at the 2009 Stevinson Ranch Invitational, while Jared Becher, Ryan Hallisey and Scott Smith all earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors. On the women's side, the Wolf Pack had three top five showings, including a second-place team finish and individual win by first-team All-WAC honoree Melanie De Leon at the Northwest Inland Cup.
When he arrived at Nevada, Wilner brought over seven years of experience as a golf instructor to the Wolf Pack, spending a year as a lead instructor at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, S.C. He also has worked at golf courses throughout southern California and Myrtle Beach S.C., including three years as an assistant golf professional at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles from 2003-06 and a stint as an assistant instructor at the Golf Digest Schools in 2003 in Myrtle Beach.
A 2001 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in recreation and leisure service management, Wilner was a member of the Chanticleer golf team for four years. He earned All-Big South Conference honors from 1998-2000 and was on the dean's list for two years. Wilner averaged 72.3 strokes per round in 1999 and set Coastal Carolina's 54-hole scoring record (205), while he helped the Chanticleers rank fourth in the nation in scoring average in 1999.
A native of Coral Springs, Fla., Wilner graduated from JP Taravella High School in Coral Springs. He met his wife, Amanda, at their alma mater, Coastal Carolina. He has one daughter, Violet.