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Jamie Howell, Golf Head Coach
BCC Golf Team Has Foundation of Extraordinary Success
June 12, 2012, Cocoa, FL - Over the 45 years of its existence the Brevard Community College golf team has established a legacy of remarkable success.
• Sixteen former Brevard Community College golfers have gone on to play professionally, including 14 who played on the PGA Tour, one on the Asian Tour and one on the Nationwide Tour.
• Titan golfers have won seven national team championships.
• Seven Titan golfers have won national individual championships.
• The Titans have competed in the NJCAA National Tournament 43 times over its 53-year history.
The success traces back to the program's first coach Floyd Horgen, who was at the helm from 1968-79 and 1983-92. It flowed through coaches Dr. Jim Suttie, 1979 –81; Randy Hedgecock, 1981–83; Beau Baugh, 1992–2002, and Jamie Howell who just completed his 10th season and has taken the Titans to the national tournament 10 straight times.
Horgen, who now lives in Bozeman, Mont., and is a member of the NJCAA Men's Golf Hall of Fame, got the golf job almost by accident. But his success certainly wasn't.
"Probably the biggest thing I remember about being in Brevard is that I came there as assistant basketball coach," he said. "I was a golfer but they didn't say anything about coaching the golf team. The first basketball tournament game we had in the first year I came there, I walked into the gym, I picked up a program on the way in and I was just leafing through it and saw my picture and it said 'assistant basketball coach, golf coach.' How about that?"
After spending a year here, Horgen nearly left to take a head basketball coaching job elsewhere but decided to stick around.
"It got me working at golf and within a year or two I found out this is a pretty nice way to make a living."
His results showed it and he recalls three teams that had extraordinary success.
"There are three teams that kind of stick out," he said. "The first national championship in 1971, the 1985 championship where we had a great bunch of young men, all of them except one grew up within 20 miles of our driving range (and current golf headquarters in Cocoa). The two best were Steve LaMontagne and Scott Gump.
"And then the '91 team was really special. It has a couple local players. It had several European players and a kid from South America too. They had one of the best days that any college team ever had. The third day of that tournament the three man shot 66, the two man shot 65 and the one man shot 64 which is kind of a ridiculous team score."
The roster of players who have worn the Brevard colors and went on to compete on the elite level PGA Tour were NJCAA Hall of Famer and 2008 Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger; John Adams; Beau Baugh, who is assistant pro at the Rockledge Country Club; Steve LaMontagne, general manager of Suntree Country Club and the 1985 NJCAA national champion; Brad Fabel; Scott Gump; Allen Menne; Dennis Postlewait; Akio Sadakata; Richard Sadler, the 1991 NJCAA national champion; Brent Schwarzrock; Eric Slovenkay; Mike Smith, the 1971 NJCAA champion; and Sam Trahan.
David Johnson played on the Asian Tour and Steven Taylor on the Nationwide Tour.
Four other Titan golfers won national titles: Butch Girard, 1976; Lyle Patton, 2002; Jacob Davis, 2004; and Billy Anderson, 2111.
The Titans won team titles in 1971, 1976-1978, 1985, 1987 and 1991.
Among the alumni, Azinger, who played under Suttie from 1979-1981 at BCC, is the most well-known. He won the 1993 PGA Championship in a playoff with Greg Norman – one of his 12 career PGA victories - led the United States to victory in the 2008 Ryder Cup competition against Europe and became a golf analyst and author.
His book "Zinger" chronicled his successful fight against lymphoma in his right shoulder in 1993 and 1994. He also wrote "Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy: Make It Work for You."
His accomplishments are featured in an exhibit in the lobby of the Melbourne campus gym along with trophies won over the course of the program's storied history.
That resonates with Howell and hopefully potential players.
"After 45 years of collegiate golf with seven national championships and seven individual champions as well as over 100 All-Americans, the standard has been set," Howell said. "And everyone who comes through the recruiting process understands what being a Titan golfer is all about."
So what is it all about?
"It's got a rich tradition," he said. "When I was in school there we had five starters who went on to get full rides in Division I schools. The next five, our second team, all got full scholarships, some at Division I, some at Division II schools.
"So our back-up team back in 1985 went off and all got full rides. When you talk about tradition, you talk about moving on from the junior college ranks to go get full scholarships in Division I, those Division I schools look at a school like Brevard that has won these national championships that produced these good golfers . . . it's the reputation, it's just the tradition of it."
There is more to it than tradition though.
"We've got great facilities to practice on – including Suntree Country Club – we've got great weather all year, we've always had great coaching. Jamie Howell is doing a great job. The gentleman I played for, Floyd Horgen, is an awesome man, an awesome coach.
"It's the time frame in your life when you're 18, 19 years old it molds you into being a solid individual. It's a great stepping stone for those that don't come right out of high school, which is far and few between, stepping in and playing at Division I. If you go to Brevard or a school like that, and gain some experience, some schooling, as well as playing experience, then you're basically ready to go anywhere you want."
Another facet of the success involves Brevard County itself.
"The college has supported the team over the years," Horgen said. "I think the really, really big thing is that the golf community has been tremendously supportive."
Former Titan student-athletes who went on to notable careers beyond BCC include:
Thad Altman: Baseball centerfielder who went on to become a Florida senator.
Paul Azinger: PGA Tour golfer, 1993 PGA Championship winner, 2008 Ryder Cup captain.
Peter Blount: Former member of World Cup Bobsled Team and U.S. national track and field team.
Bruce Bochy: Major League Baseball player and manager of San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.
Warren Bolster: Notable skateboard photographer, published by Skateboarder magazine and Surfer Magazine.
Pembrook Burrows: Former basketball player who went on to play for Jacksonville University and in the NBA.
Delight Chambers: Track athlete in 1980s set national record for the indoor 88-yard run.
Gwen Cross: Swimmer who in 1983 set four national records.
Darrell Hammond: Former baseball player and cast member for Saturday Night Live (1995–2008).
Pete Marino: Former Major League Soccer player.
Carlos Reyes: Major League Baseball pitcher (1994–2003).
Nancy Rios: A member of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in 2008.
Mandy Romero: Major League Baseball player (1997–2003) for San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies.
Ernie Rosseau: Professional baseball player (1973–1977). Head baseball coach BCC 1981–2012.
Derrick Sharp: American-Israeli professional basketball player.
Iris Smith: Former women's basketball player. Named to Kodak All-District Women's Basketball Team that included players from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.