Ketcham Steps Down As Men's Golf Coach
June 16, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Mike Ketcham, who led Oregon State to 12th place at this spring's NCAA Championships, has resigned as the Beavers' men's golf coach to take the same position at his alma mater, Arkansas. Ketcham, who had been at OSU five seasons, also led the Beavers to a second-place finish in the 2000 Pacific-10 Championships.
'It's a tough decision,' Ketcham said of the move, which was announced Saturday. 'My family and I have developed so many close relationships in this department, in the community, in the golfing community, and within the state. But I think any coach's dream is to go back and coach at his alma mater, where he played golf. It's an opportunity that probably only comes once in a lifetime, if it ever comes. I know that the staff at Arkansas is making this transition pretty easy on my family and me, and I'm looking forward to getting back there and starting a new challenge.'
OSU Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart said the search for a new coach would begin immediately, and thanked Ketcham for his role in building the Beavers' men's golf program.
'This is a great opportunity for Mike Ketcham, and it's because of the wonderful job he's done with our men's golf program,' Barnhart said. 'We are totally committed to having an outstanding golf program, and that doesn't change with Mike's departure. We wish him and his family the best, and we look forward to a very bright future for Oregon State men's golf.'
Ketcham came to OSU prior to the 1996-97 season from San Jose State, and the Beavers were regularly in the national rankings during his tenure in Corvallis. During his five seasons, the Beavers qualified for the NCAA Regionals four times, their berth in the NCAA Championships this season was only the third in the program's history.
'Mike has done amazing things for this program,' said All-America golfer Anthony Arvidson, the only senior on this past season's team. 'He's brought it from ground level and built it up. We had a great year this year, we finished 12th at nationals. He's instilled a lot of practices that will continue on and a lot of discipline.
'He's taught us a lot about the game, a lot about life, how to work hard, and about attitude. I'm done (with my collegiate career), but I'm going to miss him and everyone on the team is going to miss him. He's a huge asset to this program, and it's going to be tough letting him go.'
Arvidson said the foundation laid by Ketcham should keep paying off for OSU's program.
'Hopefully, the rest of the guys can take what he's taught us and move on, continue the success we've had this year,' Arvidson said. 'We only lose one player - me - and I think the team will be fine. I think the players will adjust and move on, and use it as momentum rather than a setback.'
Ketcham agreed that Oregon State should continue progressing in men's golf.
'We've got the ball rolling,' Ketcham said. 'Whoever comes in as the new golf coach is certainly going to have a young team but, with that, they're going to be very experienced. The young guys, toward the end of the year, really started coming into their own. I think the future is incredibly bright with the guys in place right now and the golfers we have coming in next season.'
Ketcham looked back at the progress the Beavers were able to make in his time at Oregon State.
'I'm very proud of what we accomplished in the five years I've been here,' Ketcham said. 'I think if you look at the records and stats, we've broken almost every school record they keep stats for and it's mostly happened in the last two years. I'm going to miss these guys. The last two years, everybody on this team has been guys I've recruited, and I wish them nothing but the best. From afar, down at Arkansas, I'll have a very close eye on what's transpiring back here at Oregon State.
'I'm appreciative of the administration here, Mitch Barnhart and (former Director of Athletics) Dutch Baughman for hiring me five years ago. They've certainly created an atmosphere and an environment that's allowed me to be successful here. Both my family and I deeply appreciate that.'
Ketcham played at Arkansas from 1986-87 after earning junior college All-America honors at Odessa (Texas) Junior College, he also participated in the Porter Cup and the U.S. Amateur. After completing his career with the Razorbacks, he played professionally on the U.S. Golf Tour, the Asian Tour and the Canadian Tour and also competed twice in the PGA Tour Qualifying School.
Ketcham began his coaching career at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, leading SCC to the junior college national title in 1993 and 1994. During those seasons, he was named NJCAA Coach of the Year twice and helped golfers to NJCAA All-America honors eight times.
Ketcham then moved on to San Jose State for two seasons, where he led the Spartans to two NCAA Regionals and an appearance in the NCAA Championships. He was named Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1996.