Derek Freeman Hired as Men's Golf Coach
July 16, 2007
Derek Freeman, UCLA's assistant men's golf coach for the past year, was hired as the Bruins' head coach, the athletic department announced today.
'Derek Freeman possesses the precise skills we need to maintain our position among college golf's elite teams,' said Senior Associate Athletic Director Glenn Toth. 'He has been a professional player, successful head and assistant coach, and has demonstrated his talent in recruiting, instructing, and fund-raising. We have great faith in his abilities, and look forward to continued success.'
Freeman, 36, spent the last year as UCLA's full-time assistant coach, and led the Bruins to a pair of Blue Team victories. He was also involved in the recruitment of Philip Francis, the nation's top-ranked junior golfer, and Connor Driscoll, the nation's 27th ranked junior player. In November both players signed National Letters of Intent to attend UCLA.
'The responsibility to direct such a significant program like UCLA is an opportunity of a lifetime,' said Freeman. 'I am tremendously honored to be coaching the Bruins. My expectations will be to improve upon the foundation that has been established by Coach Vincent. I look forward to the challenge of upholding the standard of excellence that is UCLA Athletics. I am excited to provide opportunities to our student-athletes to excel in competition and in life.'
Two years ago, Freeman served as Oklahoma's assistant coach. In 2005-06, Oklahoma won its first Big 12 Conference team title as all five players finished among the Top 15 individuals. That season the Sooners also earned a berth in the NCAA Men's Golf Championship after qualifying at the NCAA Central Regional.
Prior to his appointment at OU, Freeman served the previous three seasons (2002-05) at Oklahoma City University. As an assistant coach for the men's and women's programs (2002-03), he led OCU to a combined 15 tournament titles, including the men's 2003 NAIA championship.
Following the 2003 season, Freeman was promoted to head coach of the OCU women's program and guided the Stars to a second straight runner-up finish at the NAIA Championship. In his second season, OCU captured the NAIA women's title and Freeman was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year.
A four-year letterman at Oklahoma from 1991-94, Freeman was a starter on the 1992 Sooners squad that won the Big Eight Conference championship. A three-year captain, Freeman earned First-Team All-Big Eight honors and All-Big Eight Academic acclaim as a junior and senior. He played in four conference championship tournaments, four NCAA Regional Championships and four NCAA Championships while at OU.
Freeman graduated in 1994 from Oklahoma with a BS economics. He and his wife Stephanie have two sons.