Fresno State claims third place, its best finish since joining the league, and Trevor Clayton grabs first individual title for the 'Dogs since 2007 at the 2016 Mountain West Men's Golf Championship
Four Bulldogs shoot under-par scores to give Fresno State the lead after round one of the 54-hole Mountain West championship
2016 MW Men's Golf Championship - Sunday, April 24
Nick Watney Invitational, Sept. 29-30, 2014. Photos by Geoff Thurner, Copyright 2014
Last updated: June 2, 2016
Fresno State head men's golf coach Chad Spencer, Fresno State alumnus and former Bulldog student-athlete, will enter his fourth season at the helm of the men's golf program in the fall of 2016.
He was hired on July 27, 2013 to succeed his former coach Mike Watney, who retired after 35 years of service to the men's golf program.
Spencer's team flourished in his third season, led by newcomer Trevor Clayton, who won the 2016 Mountain West Men's Golf Individual Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals. It was the first time a Bulldog claimed an individual conference championship since 2007 and first time a Bulldog advanced to the NCAA postseason since 2013. Furthermore, Clayton was named to the 2016 All-Mountain West team.
Fresno State posted its lowest team scoring average during Spencer's tenure last season, a 291.94 average score (6.61 vs. par). His squad finished third at the Mountain West Championship, staking its best finish in its fourth year as a MW member institution. The Bulldogs opened the conference tournament with their lowest round vs. par since Spencer took over, a 13-under-par 275 -- the 'Dogs finished the event at 5-under-par (275-296-288).
Overall, Spencer's 2015-16 team finished in the top three, three times, and in the top six of 12 tournaments during the season. At the home-hosted Nick Watney Invitational, the `Dogs took second and notched Fresno State's second-lowest 54-hole score since the 1993-94 season at 833 (-19). The team's lowest round during the Nick Watney Invitational came during the third and final round, an 11-under-par 273 -- which is one of 12 team rounds scored 273 or better since the 1993-94 season.
Spencer's roster saw all four returners either best or match their single round career lows during 2015-16, while the three newcomers all fired low rounds of 66, 67 and 70.
Those three newcomers, Clayton, Greg Gildea and Alex Lee, concluded the season with the top three scoring averages on the team. Clayton with a team-lead 72.42 (1.08 vs. par), Gildea at 73.86 (2.14 vs. par) and Lee at 73.89 (2.56 vs. par). The threesome also accounted for 31 of the 50 rounds scored par or better during the season.
In his second season at Fresno State, the Bulldogs posted a 294.36 team scoring average during the 2014-15 season, which included 16 rounds posted in the 60's by Spencer's student-athletes. Senior Keenan Nelson carded a career-low 66 on March 2 and sophomore Micheal Pugh fired a career-low 64 on Feb. 23 in a strong spring semester behind Spencer. Pugh's 64 tied for the second-lowest single-round in school history -- Pugh shares second-lowest score in school history with four others, which includes Spencer when he accomplished the feat during the 2002-03 season.
Four of his student-athletes were named to the 2014-15 Mountain West All-Academic team and four were named Mountain West Scholar Athletes -- a MW scholar athlete carries a cumulative grade point average better than 3.5 and must have completed in at least two academic terms.
Additionally, Neil Bautista and Keenan Nelson were named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars, as named by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) to cap the 2014-15 season.
In his first season, six of Spencer's nine student-athletes on the 2013-14 roster were named to the Mountain West All-Academic team and one was named a Mountain West Scholar Athlete.
Before rejoining his alma mater, Spencer was the head coach of the Nevada women's golf program, where he led the Wolf Pack to a fourth-place finish at the 2013 Mountain West Championship.
During his tenure as Nevada's head coach, Spencer coached 12 academic all-conference selections, two all-conference honorees and two NCGA All-American Scholars.
Prior to his promotion to head coach of the Nevada women's golf program, Spencer spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach for the both the men and women's golf programs at Nevada. In those two seasons, the men's Wolf Pack squad turned in 11 top-five finishes, including a pair of wins, sent an individual to the NCAA West Regionals each year and earned six individual all-conference selections. The women's Wolf Pack team finished in the top-five seven times and saw two players earn all-conference honors in those two years.
Before his time in Reno, Spencer taught for three years as an instructor and club fitter at River Park Golf Center in Fresno, Calif., and competed professionally in 2006 and 2007 on the Canadian Tour. In 2006, he finished 39th on Order of Merit on the Canadian Tour and was ranked in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Spencer graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor's degree in communications in 2005 and was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs. He earned first-team all-conference honors in 2004 and a second-team selection in 2003. Spencer also garnered All-Southwest Region accolades after turning in nine top-20 finishes in 12 events his senior year. In addition to holding the position of team captain in 2003-04, he was active in the Big Heroes Little Heroes program and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After finishing his collegiate playing career, he served as an assistant coach at Fresno State during the 2004-05 season.
Spencer graduated from Rocklin (Calif.) High School in 2000 and is a member of the United States Golf Association. He is married to the former, Tiffany Veerkamp, who also played golf for Fresno State, and together they have three children, Ellie, Emma and Wagner.
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|