IOWA CITY, Iowa — The 35th-ranked University of Iowa men’s golf team earned a number of conference postseason honors on Wednesday.
Fifth year-senior Alex Schaake was voted Co-Big Ten Golfer of the Year, marking the second time he has received conference player of the year honors in his career. Schaake and teammate Mac McClear also earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades, while head coach Tyler Stith was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Schaake was the recipient of his first Big Ten Golfer of the Year award in 2019. His two top honors make up half of the program’s four in the category, and he is the first Hawkeye to receive the honor in multiple seasons. The Omaha, Nebraska, native has placed in the top five each of the last five tournaments, including a victory at the Hawkeye Invitational and a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships. He is the sixth Big Ten golfer since 1988 to win the award multiple times and he is the first to do so non-consecutively.
“It feels really good to be voted Big Ten Co-Player of the Year,” Schaake said. “I give a lot of props to my team and Coach Stith.”
This season marks Schaake’s third straight first-team all-conference honor. The Hawkeye veteran also was named second-team all-league in 2018. He shares this season’s award with Illinois’ Adrien Dumont De Chassart.
McClear, who won the program’s first individual Big Ten title since 2015 last weekend, was the only unanimous selection to the all-conference first team. He and Schaake were two of eight players named to the first team. McClear has won two tournaments this season, and previously earned Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors for his championship performance at the Spartan Collegiate at Sea Island on March 9. The first-team all-league recognition marks the sophomore’s first postseason honor at Iowa.
“Coming into the year I didn’t have a ton of expectations, so to be Big Ten Champion and first-team All-Big Ten is something that is special and means a lot to me,” said McClear.
Coach Stith becomes the second Hawkeye men’s golf coach to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year since 1988 (Lynn Belvins, 1992). Stith has led the Hawkeyes to second-place finishes at both the Big Ten Match Play and Big Ten Championships, three individual tournament titles, and two team tournament titles for the first time since 2014.
“I am honored to receive this award voted on by my peers,” said Stith. “The show of support from our fans has been overwhelming. This award isn’t about me, rather the result of many people who are committed to our program each and every day. Coach Charlie Hoyle, Academic Coordinator Kara Park, Coach Bill Maxwell, Athletic Trainer Brad Floy, the Finkbine staff, and Superintendent Tim Gravert. Our alumni, donors, and all of Hawkeye Nation are the best! To the players, your hard work and commitment won this award. Most of all, my wife, Elizabeth, thanks for your love and many sacrifices to help me succeed. It’s been a memorable season, but we have more work to do.”
Junior Gonzalo Leal-Montero was the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. The Seville, Spain, native previously earned second-team all-conference laurels last season.
The Hawkeyes continue their postseason journey at NCAA Regionals on May 17-19.