JAMIE BERMEL | HEAD COACH
Eight event victories, 30 top-5 finishes and back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances, over the last five seasons Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel has righted the ship of the Jayhawk men’s golf program. Entering his sixth season at KU, Bermel has guided the Jayhawks to six tournament victories and 17 top-5 finishes over the last two campaigns which both resulted in an NCAA berth. In addition, during his tenure, the Jayhawks have improved over 100 places in the national rankings.
Bermel’s successes in 2016-17 didn’t lie solely in another postseason berth. Under Bermel’s direction, his team saw five finishes in the top-3, including victories at the Golfweek Conference Challenge and the Bayou City Collegiate Championship. Those two wins, paired with the four from the previous season gave KU a streak of six victories in a span of 15 events, the winningest period of time in program history.
Senior Chase Hanna took home two individual medals during 2016-17, including the program’s first Big 12 Championship medal. In addition, Hanna culminated his KU career by becoming the first golfer in Jayhawk history to be named to the GCAA All-America and All-America Scholar teams in the same season.
By guiding the Jayhawks to two-straight NCAA appearances, it marked the first-consecutive berths since the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons and the 19th time in program history. The 2016-17 team also showed a season-long consistency with a three-round team average of 859.14, the best in program history.
Named the Kansas head men’s golf coach by KU director of athletics Dr. Sheahon Zenger in July of 2012, Bermel got to work immediately. During his first season, 2012-13, KU won the Hawkeye Invitational to claim its first tournament win in more than three years. Additionally, Kansas finished four tournaments sixth or better in 2012-13 and three tournaments fourth or better his second season. By his third season, Bermel had led the Jayhawks to six top-five finishes, including his second tournament victory at Kansas at the Desert Shootout. In the 2016-17 season, he had led KU to its first NCAA Regionals appearance since 2007.
Bermel (pronounced Bur-mal) came to Kansas from Colorado State where he was the head coach since the 1999-2000 season. Under his direction, he led the Rams to the NCAA golf regionals for six-straight seasons dating back to 2007, as his 2011 CSU squad advanced to the NCAA Finals.
Under Bermel, CSU won 18 tournament titles and recorded more than 35 top-5 finishes. Included were the 2008 and 2010 Mountain West Conference team championships. A three-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year (2004, 2008, 2010), Bermel coached 10 all-conference performers at Colorado State, including two All-Americans, seven All-American scholars and seven academic all-conference honorees.
No stranger to the Midwest, Bermel coached two seasons at Iowa State, from 1997-99, where he guided the Cyclones to the 1999 NCAA Tournament and nine top-5 finishes. Before ISU, he spent five seasons as head golf coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. While at Drake, his team won the 1997 Missouri Valley Conference championship and twice qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1996 and 1997, with the 1997 team advancing to the NCAA Finals. Bermel was a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
In his years as a collegiate head coach, Bermel has helped develop the games of a number of players who have moved on to the next level. Included is the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open champion Zach Johnson, who played for Bermel at Drake. Others include former Iowa State standout Jason Knutzon, who currently plays on the Asian and European tours and Martin Laird, a Colorado State standout who, along with Johnson, competes on the PGA Tour.
Bermel is a 1986 graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa, and received his master’s degree from Purdue University in 1988. From 1989-91, Bermel worked in recreational sports at the University of Michigan and moved to a similar role at Drake, adding the men’s golf coaching duties in Feb. of 1992.
Bermel and his wife, Jacque, have three children: Emily, who is an outfielder on the Kansas softball team, Jack and Charlie. Jamie’s brother, John, is the men’s and women’s golf coach at the University of Northern Iowa, and serves as the head pro at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
What others are saying ...
University of Northern Iowa Head Golf Coach John Bermel
“I think his resume speaks highly of his credentials. Every quality high school player has dreams of playing on the PGA Tour. When you look at what Jamie has done with the players that have played for him, it is unbelievable. When a No. 3 man at Drake University can win a major championship that says a lot itself. Jamie has two players on the PGA Tour that are winning out there and competing at the highest level on the best tour in the world.
“Every place that Jamie has coached the teams have been competitive, not only in the conference, but in the country. He gets the maximum out of every player who plays for him and gives each and every player the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Jamie knows enough about the swing to help any player when they are struggling on the course. He will increase the chance for the University of Kansas to be able to compete at the highest level.”
PGA Tour Pro and former Colorado State golfer Martin Laird
“He’s a great guy. The fact that I still count him as one of my good friends and still talk to him a lot as a past player - and I know Zach Johnson is the same - says a lot about a coach. I’ve been gone (for several years) now and still call him one of my good friends. He always looked out for his players. They were his number one concern. It’s a huge thing to know as a college athlete, that your coach has your back.
“The one thing I’d say that stands out about him is that he’s a winner. He’s not someone that accepts mediocrity. He’s going to try to get the best out of his team that he can, and he’s going to work as hard as he can to do that.
“He was great when I first came over; I didn’t know anyone. I was a 17-year-old kid from Scotland and he was really, really good - made sure I was comfortable and taken care of and happy where I was. Over the four years I was there I got real close with him and he helped me develop into the player that I am today. There are a lot of things he used to get on us about and teach us about that I still use and remember today. He obviously knows what he’s talking about. I had a great four years at CSU; he made it enjoyable and made me feel welcome. I’m sure it will be the same at KU.”