Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
One of the mainstays of the Duke University athletics department is head men’s golf coach Rod Myers, also one of the nation’s most respected names in golf. Now in his 34th season with the Duke golf program, Myers has led the Blue Devils to the level where they are consistent contenders in both the ACC and on the national scene.
Last season, Myers guided the Blue Devils to their second straight NCAA Championship appearance. He also saw Ryan Blaum become the first Duke golfer to earn All-America honors three times in a career, while Jake Grodzinsky collected All-America accolades. Blaum was also named the ACC Player of the Year for the second straight season.
In 2005, Myers led Duke to a school record four tournament wins, including its first ACC Championship since the 1966 season. The Blue Devils went on to post their best NCAA Championship finish in 43 years, closing the championship in an eighth place tie at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. ACC individual champion Ryan Blaum as well as Nathan Smith and Michael Schachner were each awarded All-America status, becoming the first trio in Blue Devil history to be honored in the same season. Myers also collected a pair of individual accolades, winning ACC Coach of the Year and Golfweek National Coach of the Year honors for the first time in his illustrious career.
In 2003, Myers led Duke to its 10th post-season berth since 1990 as the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla., following a fifth-place finish at the East Regional.
Myers came to the Blue Devils in the fall of 1973 after serving as head golf coach at Ohio State for seven years. During his tenure with the Buckeyes he coached five All-America honorees, including three-time selection Steve Groves.
He is a Master PGA Professional and has served on the staff of the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy. Myers is a member of the PGA Rules Committee and was formerly a member of the USGA Rules Committee. An active member of the PGA of America, he officiated at every Masters Championship from 1995-2003. A PGA professional while at Ohio State, Myers is a former president and treasurer of the Golf Coaches Association of America and a former chairman of the NCAA Golf Committee.
In 1993, Myers led Duke to its best NCAA finish since 1962 - a 10th-place showing, and the Blue Devils finished in fourth place at the ACC Championship in 1993 and 1994.
In 1996-97, the Blue Devils made a return trip to the NCAA Championships, the fifth such trip during Myers’ tenure. Although it did not make the 15-team cut, Duke reached an important goal of getting back into the tournament for the national championship. The Blue Devils came on strong in the 1998-99 season, tying for second at the ACC Championship and producing an ACC individual champion in Matt Krauss. Duke then placed sixth at the NCAA East Regional to earn a spot at the national championships, where they finished tied for 18th.
The 2000 club earned nine top-10 finishes in 14 total tournaments and advanced to the NCAA East Regional in Moosic, Pa. In 2001, Myers directed the Blue Devils to a berth in the NCAA East Regional in Williamsburg, Va., while his 2002 squad reached the NCAA East Regional in Roswell, Ga.
While at the helm of the Blue Devil program, Myers has coached 16 All-Americas, nine Academic All-Americas, 24 All-ACC selections and three ACC individual champions. He has also guided the Blue Devils to 29 tournament wins and seven trips to the NCAA Championship.
The Springfield, Ohio native received his undergraduate training at Ohio Wesleyan, graduating in 1961 after four years as a golf letterman and one season as team captain. Later, he was inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Springfield (Ohio) High School Hall of Fame.
Myers’ first coaching position was at the University of Maryland. He served as a physical education instructor, assistant golf professional and associate golf coach for three years. He then headed to Ohio State in 1966 and led the Buckeyes to prominence in the Big Ten and in the NCAA, including a best finish of sixth at the 1970 NCAA Championships.
Myers’ instructional expertise was evident in a series of internationally-televised golf tips and lessons called "Play Your Best Golf." In May of 1986, Myers was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Rod and his wife, Nancy, have three daughters - Kelly Elliott, Kathy McKinney and Kristen. They also have five grandchildren - Hannah Elliott, Taylor McKinney, Grace Elliott, Madelina Myers-Osband and Joe McKinney.