Marquette golf is set to tee off the the 2013-13 season - a year that includes a new-look BIG EAST, a home tournament in October's Erin Hills Intercollegiate, and a deeper, more experienced group of players. Coach Steve Bailey, Adam Chester, Corey Konieczki, and Pat Sanchez preview the upcoming year.
Steve Bailey enters his sixth season as the head men's golf coach at Marquette University in 2015-16.
A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia. and previously a member of the coaching staff at Northwestern, Bailey has elevated the Marquette program with championship results, quality recruiting, academic excellence, and a push to host events at Wisconsin's finest golf courses.
His fifth season has been his most accomplished, as Marquette won its first BIG EAST Championship since 2008 and Bailey earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors. In the championship, MU rallied from an eight-stroke deficit after 36 holes and played its best golf as a team on the final nine holes of the championships, as the five MU starters made par or better on 34 of 45 holes. Pat Sanchez was the event's co-champion and made a critical par save on the final hole to secure Bailey's first BIG EAST championship. The 2014-15 season was marked by great balance throughout the lineup - MU was the only BIG EAST school to have five players in the league's top-18 in scoring.
Bailey's fifth season has also been a breakout one for Sanchez, one of his top recruits. In addition to the conference co-championship, Sanchez also made the cut at the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship, a tournament that guarantees the winner a bid to The Masters Tournament.
In 2013-14, Bailey's team finished second at the BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship and placed a league-high three golfers on the All-BIG EAST team. Junior Brandon Cloete was joined on the all-league squad by sophomores Sanchez and CJ Swift. It was the second time Sanchez received the honor in as many seasons.
Six players - Brandon Cloete, Kelly Kretz, Nick Nelson, Sanchez and Swift - have earned All-BIG EAST honors under Bailey's guidance, and 20 have earned conference all-academic status. The team has been honored three straight seasons (2011-12 through 2013-14) with the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-Academic Team honor. Cloete was a GCAA All-American Scholar in 2014.
Taking advantage of the quality of Wisconsin golf, Bailey has also improved Marquette's profile by establishing premier home events, including the Erin Hills Intercollegiate, which regularly features the nation's top teams and some of the world's top amateur players. Erin Hills Golf Course is the site of the 2017 U.S. Open Championships and is ranked No. 8 by Golf Digest on its list of "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses." In addition, MU will host an NCAA Regional tournament for the first time in 2016 at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin, site of multiple US Women's Open Championships.
Bailey currently represents the Midwest on the NCAA All-America committee and has been a member on the Palmer Cup Team and NCAA All-Freshmen Team committee, as well as committees for the Hogan, Nicklaus, and Mickelson Award. Bailey also served two years on the Nike/Golf World Coaches Poll.
From 2005 until 2010, Bailey worked under the tutelage of Pat Goss, director of golf at Northwestern and swing coach of the former #1 ranked player in the world, Luke Donald. Goss is currently one of Golf Magazine's "Top-100 Teachers in America" and was previously selected as NCAA Division I Coach of the Year (1997).
Bailey's roles at NU included assistant coach (2005-08) and associate head coach (2008-10). In his time at Northwestern he quickly established himself as a top recruiter of domestic and international talent. Bailey's recruiting classes included six Junior All-Americans, state champions from Arizona, California and Ohio, and a top-10 recruiting class in 2008-09 as ranked by Golfweek.
The 2008-09 nationally-ranked recruiting class included South Korea native Eric Chun and Sam Chien of San Diego. Chun earned 2009 Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year honors after he became the first freshman since Steve Stricker (1986) to win the Big Ten individual championship, leading the Wildcats to their second NCAA Championships appearance during Bailey's tenure with the team. Chun also qualified for and played in the 2010 British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland, where Bailey served as his caddie. Chien is coming off a breakout year as a professional, finishing fourth on the 2014 PGA TOUR China Order of Merit after winning the Buick Open. Chien's four top-10 finishes earned him status on the Web.com Tour in 2015.
Additionally, Bailey has coached individual Big Ten champions Chris Wilson (2006) and David Lipsky (2010). Wilson helped Northwestern win the Big Ten team title in Bailey's first season coaching the Wildcats, along with 2006 conference player of the year David Merkow. Lipsky was the leading money winner on Asian Tour in 2014, earning him full status on the 2015 European PGA TOUR. Lipsky's win at the Omega European Masters vaulted him to 130 in the World Rankings.
In the classroom at NU, Bailey mentored eight Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars, 23 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 20 Academic All-BIG EAST selections.
While at Northwestern, Bailey also served as tournament director of the Big Ten Match Play Championship and the Windon Memorial Classic, and was a member of the Golf Coaches Association's Board of Directors, representing all NCAA Assistant Coaches.
Bailey graduated from Radford (Va.) University in 1998 with a degree in communications. He served one year as assistant sports information director at the school before moving on to a role with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). He coordinated tournament communications and public relations for the AJGA until 2001 when he was promoted to tournament director. As tournament director, Bailey was responsible for the administration of 13 AJGA Championships.
Bailey and his wife, Bethany, have been married 11 years.