Head Coach Grant Robbins
Grant Robbins, a veteran coach with over 15 years building and leading programs to postseason appearances, enters his fourth year at Kansas State in 2017-18. Robbins, whose resume includes three coach of the year honors in two conferences, guiding six teams to NCAA play and whose Memphis team captured the 2012 Conference USA Championship, was tabbed the 13th men's golf coach at Kansas State on May 18, 2014.
In just three seasons in Manhattan, K-State has produced quality performances on the course with a bright future ahead. Two of the top five team stroke averages have come in the past two years as the 2015-16 squad ranked third at 291.51, while the 2016-17 was fourth at 293.27.
The 2015-16 Wildcats also tied for seventh in school history with five top-five finishes, while K-State concluded that season tied for sixth at the Big 12 Championship for its best showing since placing fifth in 2013.
One of that squad’s top-five finishes was a fourth-place showing at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, where the Wildcats carded the 17th best 54-hole score in school history with an 851, which featured a 279 during the second round to tie for 20th all-time at K-State. In all, Kansas State produced three of the top 25 three-round scores in school history in 2015-16.
At the Golfweek Conference Challenge, then-freshman Jeremy Gandon won his first-collegiate event thanks to a three-round score of 205 – tied for the 10th-best mark in school history – which featured a third-round score of 6-under par 66 – tied for the 15th-best round in K-State history. Gandon, who also tallied a 72-hole score of 285 to rank second in program history, finished the 2015-16 season with the ninth-best stroke average all-time at K-State at 72.76.
Gandon ended his season on a high note by tying for fourth place in the 2016 Big 12 Championship, the highest finish by a Wildcat in the conference tournament since Robert Streb, now a PGA Tour fixture, placed third in 2009.
Gandon, who is a junior in 2017-18, is closing in on the school’s career stroke average mark as he current stands at 73.15, less than a tenth of a stroke behind current record holder Mitchell Gregson (73.06; 2006-10).
Matt Green enjoyed success under Robbins as he finished his career in 2016-17 tied for fifth in school history in career stroke average at 73.79. He also tied for sixth with 44 career tournaments played and earned an individual bid into the NCAA Regional as a sophomore in the spring of 2015. That season began on a high note as he won the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in the fall with a three-round score of 210.
Robbins is a proven program builder with stops at UNC Wilmington and Memphis, the latter being his alma mater where he spent the previous 11 seasons. Robbins led the Tigers to five NCAA Regional appearances, including four consecutive berths.
The Conference USA (C-USA) Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2012, Robbins presided over 55 top-five team finishes in his 11 seasons at Memphis, including 11 tournament titles. Memphis captured the C-USA Championship in 2012 on its way to a NCAA Championship appearance. In addition, Robbins guided individuals to 17 tournament titles, led by Jonathan Fly's medalist performance at the 2011 C-USA Championship.
Under Robbins' tutelage, Fly was a three-time First Team All-Conference USA performer, the 2010 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and a PING All-Region performer in 2012, while another protégé, Keven Fortin-Simard, earned C-USA Golfer of the Year honors in 2006. The Tigers accumulated 14 all-conference performers under Robbins in addition to five players that were named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Of the top-16 single-season individual stroke averages in Memphis history, 14 were under Robbins' watch, while all 10 of the school's lowest 54-hole team scores came during his tenure.
Off the course, Robbins has put a strong emphasis on academics as his 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams each garnered the C-USA Sport Academic Award given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest grade-point average for that academic year. In addition, Tiger golfers were named to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-America Scholar teams eight times, while he has seen three Memphis golfers named the C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year, including two-time recipient Brad Benjamin (2008-09).
In his three seasons at Kansas State his teams have combined for 10 Academic All-Big 12 honors, including eight first-team honors. The 2016-17 squad placed a program-record six golfers on the Academic All-Big 12 team – each earning first-team designations – including Ben Fernandez, who was the lone Big 12 men’s golfer nominated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Prior to Memphis, Robbins served as the head coach at UNC Wilmington for four seasons (1999-2003). During his stint guiding the Seahawks, Robbins' teams carded 28 top-three finishes, 11 tournament victories and a 2003 NCAA Regional berth, the first in program history.
Robbins, the 2001 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year, coached one CAA Golfer of the Year, two CAA Rookies of the Year and 13 All-CAA performers. In addition, seven different golfers were individual medalists in 10 tournaments.
Before taking the UNC Wilmington position, Robbins served as an assistant coach at Penn State from 1997-99 as he helped the Nittany Lions advance to two-straight NCAA East Regionals (1998, 1999). Robbins, the program's recruiting coordinator, was the Penn State Golf Camps instructor and Rutherford Intercollegiate tournament director.
Robbins was a four-year letterwinner at Memphis from 1991-94 and served as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. A 2010 inductee into the Tiger Hall of Fame, he was an All-Great Midwest Conference team selection three times (1992, 1993, 1994) and also a Jake Fondren Golf Scholarship recipient.
Following his career at Memphis, Robbins gained valuable experience on three professional golf tours, the North Florida PGA Winter Tour (1994-95), Tommy Armour Professional Golf Tour (1994-95) and Tour America Mid-South Professional Golf Tour (1995). He entered the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) in August 2007 and is now a PGA Class A Professional.
The Memphis, Tennessee, native earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from Memphis in 1994 and returned to his hometown university after his playing career to earn his master's degree in sports management in 1997.
Robbins and his wife, Brooke, have two boys, Bryce and Brayden, and one daughter, Elizabeth.