SJU head golf coach Bob Alpers was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies Dec. 6, at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. Alpers was the lone inductee from NCAA Division III.
The 2007 Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year, Alpers is in his 18th season as head coach of the Johnnie golf program. He has guided the Johnnies to nine MIAC titles and 12 consecutive NCAA appearances, including back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008. The Johnnies recently won the 2010 MIAC Championship, their sixth in the last seven seasons, to clinch their 12th consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Championship May 10-13 in Greensboro, N.C. Of the 11 previous appearances, Alpers' squad has finished in the Top 10 nine times.
A four-time GCAA Eaton Golf Pride Regional Coach of the Year, including 2008 and 2010, Alpers has won MIAC Coach of the Year honors eight times in his coaching career (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010). He has coached one Callaway Golf Arnold Palmer Award recipient (Clinton Dammann, 2007) and one Phil Mickelson Award winner (Mark Giorgi, 2010, for National Freshman of the Year). In total, Alpers' program has produced 21 All-Americans, 22 All-America Scholars, 27 All-Region selections, five Region Freshman of the Year honorees, six MIAC Championship medalists and 37 All-MIAC performances. A Saint John's student-athlete has won the MIAC Player of the Year award each year of its existence since 2001.
For the second consecutive season, SJU was the only NCAA Division III team to earn GCAA All-Academic team honors and finish in the Top 10 at the NCAA Championship. In addition, the Johnnies have had at least one All-America Scholar each of the past 11 seasons.
A 1982 graduate of SJU, Alpers has played a key role in the overall success of the university's athletic program. In addition to his duties as golf coach, Alpers serves as assistant athletic director and director of SJU's intramural and club sports program. Alpers served as an assistant coach for the Saint John's basketball team for 20 seasons from 1986 to 2006.
A standout collegiate athlete, Alpers was selected as the Johnnies' Most Valuable Player during the 1981-82 basketball season. The Johnnie basketball team won two MIAC titles and made four NCAA Division III tournament appearances during his tenure as assistant coach.
To be selected to the Hall of Fame, a coach must be nominated by his peers, and then selected by the GCAA Hall of Fame Committee. Selection criteria not only include a coach's record on the golf course, but his contributions to the game, student-athletes and school.