Cal's Walter Chun Earns National Award for Golf Assistant Coaches
May 27, 2008
BERKELEY - Walter Chun, Cal's fourth-year assistant men's golf coach, has been named the winner of the 2008 Jan Strickland Award, an honor presented annually to the nation's top assistant coach in men's golf by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. The award is given to the NCAA Division I, II, III or NAIA coach who, among other things, has excelled in working with his student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
'I feel so honored to win the Jan Strickland Award,' said Chun. 'All of the other finalists have worked extremely hard and are equally deserving. My hat goes off to them and the achievements they've made with their teams this season. I would like to thank the Cal Athletic Department and Coach Desimone for the confidence they have in me everyday. I've been with Coach for 10 years, and I couldn't have picked a better coach/mentor/friend to be around. I want to thank the team for the tremendous work they put in everyday in the classroom and on the course. Their efforts make my job that much easier, and they all deserve a piece of this award. I want to give my sincere thanks to the Cal Golf Committee for their amazing efforts dating back to the early 1980s. Cal Golf has come a very long way, and I am honored to work with such a fine committee of men. Finally, of course, I have to thank my parents and brother for everything they have done for me.'
'I am very pleased for Walter,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. `He is very deserving. Walter means so much to this program. He has his fingerprints on every facet of what we do. He is a great balance for me in many of the things that we do. We exchange ideas, thoughts and suggestions and inevitably, he comes up with the right thought or the right idea or the right direction. We have been a great team for four years. When you look at our success the last couple of years and see what we're poised for, all of that represents the great teamwork between the two of us.'
Cal has advanced to the NCAA West Regionals in each of the last two years. This year's team was very young, featuring two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and just one senior. In addition, former All-Pac-10 selection Michael Jensen redshirted the season, meaning next year's lineup is slated to include four all-conference players.
Cal also posted a third-place finish at this year's Pac-10 Championships - the Golden Bears' best finish since 2000 in the event. Cal golfers have also collected multiple academic honors in Chun's four years as an assistant, including former golfer Michael Wilson twice being named an All-America Scholar. Chun was also an administrative assistant for Cal's 2003-04 team, which registered the first NCAA Championship in Bear men's golf history.
Chun was a two-time team captain for the Bears and competed in three NCAA West Regional Championships (2000-02), as well as the 2000 NCAA National Championship. In addition to his success on the golf course, Chun was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection and a two-time All-America Scholar for the Bears. He earned his bachelor's degree from the Walter A. Haas School of Business in 2001 and followed that with a master's degree from Cal's Graduate School of Education in 2003.
The Strickland Award recipient will have the opportunity to further his professional development by being a guest of TaylorMade-adidas golf at the PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit as well as an invitation to the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Kingdom in Carlsbad, Calif. TaylorMade-adidas has sponsored the Strickland Award since its inception in 2003.