The men's golf program at Baldwin Wallace University continues to be on the move and one of the best in the Ohio Athletic Conference and in all of NCAA Division III. The goal each season is to win the prestigious OAC title and qualify for the Div. III National Tournament.
The Yellow Jackets Moving Forward in 2016-2017
Entering the 2016-2017 season, BW second-year Head Coach Wayne Schneider returns nine of twelve student-athletes and feels his Yellow Jackets have the talent and ability to both return to the top of the Ohio Athletic Conference and return to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Schneider also feels there is both room for new, incoming talent to make their mark in the program and challenge his returning upperclassmen, and there is room for each of his upperclassmen to continue to improve and make the team stronger and more competitive.
“We have a strong nucleus of both veterans and this years freshmen who will return next year,” said Schneider, who helped the BW women’s golf team reach the NCAA Div. III national tournament in 2013-2014 when he served as its interim coach during its 2010-2011 fall season. “If each young man dedicates himself toward improvement both during the summer and next season, each one has an opportunity to be better and to help the team improve and be in position to compete for an OAC title.
“We also continue to recruit young men into our men’s golf program who are talented academically and athletrically and would be both a good fit at BW and offer a competitive spirit,” continued Schneider. “The future of the men’s golf program at Baldwin Wallace University is very bright, and we are very excited about it.”
The Yellow Jackets in 2015-2016
In 2015-2016, Schneider took over as head coach and brought in seven freshmen to compete with the returning upperclassmen. It was a season of outstanding competition and improvement. His Yellow Jacket men's golf team ended its season fifth at the 2016 OAC Championship Tournament. A 12-man roster that featured two seniors and seven freshmen had a solid season. Leading the way were junior All-OAC standouts Scott Schroeder '17 (Aurora) and Matt Kershner '17 (Independence).
The 2014 OAC Champs and NCAA Division III Qualifiers
During the 2013-2014 men's golf season, the Yellow Jackets won the 2014 Ohio Athletic Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. BW had eleven top-five finishes in invitational tournament play and won four tourney titles, including the prestigious OAC crown.
What Does the Golf Student-Athlete and Recruit Have to Expect?
Each Yellow Jacket golfer can expect to play in virtually every tournament that the team enters, either as one of the top five or as an individual. BW works hard to formulate a schedule where every golfer on the roster gets an opportunity to play and contribute. Each week, the team plays in a number of "challenge" rounds and the top five earn the right to compete with the others entered as individual competitors.
The Golf Season at BW
The season begins in the fall when BW annually plays in four-to-five tournaments and practices at the local Columbia Hills Country Club in nearby Columbia Station, Ohio. During the winter, the Yellow Jacket golfers begin their preseason conditioning and training in the BW Recreation Center and at the local Stonebrook Golf Academy in Strongsville, Ohio. Here, Yellow Jacket athletes can work on strength, conditioning, flexibility, endurance and golf fundamentals.
During spring break, the BW golf squad travels south or west to practice, play competitively and prepare for the spring season. In the spring of 2012, the Yellow Jackets traveled south for training at Barefoot Resort & Golf in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. BW also has competed in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, in California and in Florida.
What Else Does the BW Golf Student-Athlete Get Besides a Quality Education?
The Baldwin Wallace University golf program strives for excellence by stressing the development of each student-athlete to his fullest potential. The BW golf athlete is asked to be self-disciplined and unselfishly dedicated in order to place the goal of the team ahead of personal recognition.
While many valuable lessons can be learned in the classroom and on the golf course, the ultimate goal is to help each student-athlete grow, mature and graduate from BW.
The Ohio Athletic Conference
Baldwin Wallace University belongs to the 10-team Ohio Athletic Conference for men and women. Long considered one of the finest small college conferences in the nation, the OAC offers competition in 23 NCAA Division III sports, including golf for men and women. The winner of the annual OAC Tournament earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
The OAC is the third oldest existing collegiate conference. Founded in 1902, the OAC is predated only by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1888) and the Big Ten (1895).