OXFORD, Miss. — Former Ole Miss student-athlete Chris Malloy has been chosen to lead the Rebel men’s golf program, athletics director Ross Bjork announced Monday.
Malloy, the 2013 Big East Coach of the Year, returns to Oxford after four years as the head coach at South Florida. As a player for the Rebels, he helped lead Ole Miss to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000.
“It’s a great day for Ole Miss golf,” Bjork said. “Chris Malloy is the perfect coach to lead our program and put us into a competitive position to win championships. As an Ole Miss student-athlete and alumnus, he possesses the highest of qualities we sought in our new coach. His energy and tenacity in recruiting, player development and fundraising will provide us with the proper ingredients for success in the SEC and on the national stage.”
“I am extremely excited to return to my alma mater as the head coach of this program,” Malloy said. “Anyone that has ever been to Oxford knows it’s a truly special place. There is no other college town like it in the country. However, as much as this may have pulled on my heartstrings, I am not returning to Ole Miss because it’s my alma mater; I am returning to win a national championship. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me and my family, and I am extremely excited to return home and win a national championship as a Rebel.”
Last season, USF advanced to its second consecutive NCAA regional under Malloy and just the third in school history after a fourth-place finish at the American Athletic Conference Championships. The Bulls finished the season ranked No. 33 in the nation by Golfweek magazine.
In 2013, Malloy guided a young group of Bulls to the school’s first Big East tournament championship. USF advanced to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional and came within one stroke of a berth to the NCAA championship rounds, falling to Oklahoma in a playoff.
In his first season in Tampa, the Bulls equaled their best finish at the Big East Championships with a tie for fourth place, earned four top-six tournament finishes and improved their stroke average from 308.3 in four fall tournaments to 298.5 in five spring events.
In Year 2, Malloy helped USF to the nation’s largest gain in the national rankings, leading the Bulls to be named Golfweek‘s Fastest Rising Program. South Florida posted seven top-10 finishes, including three in the top five.
Prior to arriving at USF, Malloy spent four seasons as an assistant at Florida State where he played a significant role in the rise of the FSU men’s program. The Seminoles won their first ACC golf championship in 2008 and, after leading at the end of the first round, finished third in the NCAA Championships in 2010, the best finish in program history. The Seminoles were ranked in the nation’s top 15 during the first two years of his coaching career, and Florida State’s team stroke average dropped to a 15-year low 72.77 in 2008.
At FSU, he was the designated on-course coach for the Seminoles numerous times during the 2007-10 seasons including during the third round of the 2007 NCAA Championship finals as Florida State won a three-team playoff and advanced to the top 15 in the standings, moving on to the final round.
In 2010, the Noles defeated seven teams ranked ahead of them in the national rankings to win the Bryan Park Collegiate team championship under Malloy’s watch. The following week, FSU won the Pinehurst Challenge for its second consecutive team win, a feat that had not been accomplished at FSU in almost 30 years.
Malloy was named the interim assistant coach of the women’s program in the spring of 2010 and presided over an outstanding season for that program that included a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Both the men’s and women’s programs were also recognized by the NCAA with a perfect APR (Academic Progress Rate) score for the period of 2006-09.
Malloy was selected as one of five finalists for the 2010 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas golf as the National Men’s Assistant Golf Coach of the Year. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.