Jan. 28, 2005
Jim Kubinski, an assistant golf coach at Duke University since 2003 and one of the nation’s top young golf teachers, has been named the new head men’s golf coach at the University of Notre Dame, athletics director Kevin White announced Friday.
Kubinski becomes just the sixth head coach in the 76-year history of the Irish men’s golf program, inheriting a storied tradition that includes one national championship, 10 top-five NCAA Championship finishes and 31 trips to the NCAA Championship. He replaces John Jasinski, who resigned earlier this month after three seasons as Irish head coach.
“We feel Jim is one of the rising stars in the golf coaching community and someone who can continue to develop our program into a perennial national contender,” White said.
“Jim has worked with two Hall of Fame coaches at Duke and he has a tremendous base of knowledge and experience from which to help our players grow, both on and off the course. We’re happy to welcome Jim and his fiancee, Sarah, to the Notre Dame community.”
“As a lifelong Notre Dame fan, I couldn’t ask for a greater opportunity than to be the head coach of the Fighting Irish,” Kubinski said.
“The cupboard is well-stocked with talented young players, and my goal is to help the program take that next step. It’s my intention to make Notre Dame into a top-10 program on a year-in, year-out basis, both on the golf course and in the classroom. That’s what Notre Dame expects and what Notre Dame deserves, and I know we can achieve that goal.”
Kubinski takes over a Notre Dame squad that looked sharp during the fall 2004 season, posting a 298.67 stroke average (currently third-best in school history). Fresh off their first NCAA postseason berth in 38 years, the Irish also will be seeking to make back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances for the first time since a run of seven consecutive NCAA berths from 1960-66.
Kubinski comes to Notre Dame after spending the past year and a half as the assistant men’s and women’s golf coach at Duke. During his tenure, the Blue Devil men’s team won three tournaments, qualified for the 2004 NCAA East Regional (missing the NCAA Championship field by a single stroke), and rose to No. 13 in the Golfweek rankings at the close of the fall 2004 season. He also worked closely with 2004 third-team All-American and all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection Nathan Smith, as well as ’04 honorable mention All-American and all-ACC pick Ryan Blaum, resulting in his nomination for the Golf Coaches’ Association of America (GCAA) Assistant Coach of the Year award.
In his capacity as an assistant with the Duke women’s squad, he played an integral role in the Blue Devils’ 10 tournament victories (in 11 events), their ascension to No. 1 in the Golfweek rankings, the 2004 ACC and NCAA East Regional titles, and a third-place finish at the ’04 NCAA Championship.
Before joining the Blue Devil coaching staff, Kubinski served as co-head golf professional at the Duke University Golf Club for three years. In that role, the Springfield, Mass., native managed operations for the golf club, chaired the 2001 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship Hotel and Merchandise Committees and served as assistant tournament director for both the 2001 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship and the Duke Children’s Charity Classic.
Prior to his employment at Duke, Kubinski spent nearly three years as the first assistant professional at The Tournament Players Club (TPC) at River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., where he aided with the operation of the PGA Tour’s Canon Greater Hartford Open. He also spent time at the Graymere Country Club in Columbia, Tenn., Green Valley Country Club in Greenville, S.C., and Veterans Golf Course in Springfield, Mass.
A member of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) of America since 1999, Kubinski was nominated in 2002 for Teacher of the Year honors for the Carolinas PGA. He participated in the PGA of America Golf Professional Training Program from 1996-99.
Kubinski was a three-year golf letterman and two-year team captain at Springfield (Mass.) College before graduating in 1993. A two-time all-Northeast 10 Conference selection in 1991 and 1992, he also received the Springfield College Maroon Club Award for academic and athletic achievement in 1992. His playing experience continued on the North Atlantic Tour where he tied for sixth place at the Boston Open in 1995, and he currently competes in the Carolinas Section PGA.
Kubinski is engaged to Sarah Struthers of Durham, N.C., with the couple slated to marry in October 2005.
As the reigning BIG EAST Conference champion, Notre Dame will open its spring 2005 season Feb. 28-March 1 at the Tulane Invitational in New Orleans. The Irish are scheduled to play host to three tournaments in the spring, including the BIG EAST Championship (April 23-24) and the NCAA Central Regional (May 19-21), with both events taking place at the on-campus Warren Golf Course. In addition, Notre Dame will serve as the host school for the Irish Invitational, which will be held March 7-8 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., on the El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Resort.