UCLA Men’s Golf Head Coach Derek Freeman Announces Retirement
LOS ANGELES - UCLA Men's Golf Head Coach Derek Freeman announced today that he will retire following the 2021-22 season. Freeman has served as the Bruins' head coach since July 16, 2007 after spending one season (2006-07) as an assistant coach. He led UCLA to the NCAA Championship in his first year as head coach in 2008, winning UCLA's 103rd NCAA Championship.
"I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach an incredible group of student-athletes at UCLA for the past 16 years, including 15 as head coach," said Freeman. "There is nothing that compares to working with players who are committed to maximizing their talents as golfers and helping them realize their full potential on and off the course. It has been a joy and privilege to share that journey with my players. I have loved being a Bruin and will always be grateful to UCLA for everything it has given to me and my family these last 16 years."
In addition to winning a national championship at UCLA, Freeman's teams won 28 tournaments, including three NCAA Regional Titles in 2009, 2011, and 2013. Twenty golfers earned All-America honors, and Freeman also produced eight Academic All-Americans and 34 Pac-12 all-conference honorees. Freeman's teams also won GCAA All-Academic Team Awards in 2013 and from 2016 through 2020. Two of his golfers, Kevin Chappell and Patrick Cantlay, won the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the top player in college golf. Freeman was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2011, and in 2018 he was named to the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee for a four-year term.
"I appreciate Derek's dedication and service to his student-athletes and UCLA for the last 16 years. We wish him all the best in retirement. I am looking forward to a successful season of Derek guiding our young men on the links," said Martin Jarmond, UCLA's Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics.
Prior to his time in Westwood, Freeman was an assistant at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, in 2005-06, helping the Sooners to their first Big 12 Conference team title. Freeman coached at Oklahoma City University for three seasons (2002-05). He was an assistant for the men's and women's programs for the 2002-03 campaign, helping lead OCU to 14 titles, including the men's 2003 NAIA Championship. After that season, he was promoted to head coach of the OCU women's program and guided the Stars to a 2005 NAIA National Championship, winning by 49 strokes, as Freeman was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year. OCU earned a 2004 runner-up finish, with Freeman receiving Regional Coach of the Year accolades both seasons.