Photo by Laura Leffler

Hankins Brings NCAA, Big Ten Success to Husker Men's Golf Program

By NU Athletic Communications

A proven coach with a record of success in the Big Ten Conference, Mark Hankins was announced as the new head men’s golf coach at the University of Nebraska by Athletic Director Bill Moos on Wednesday, June 13.

“Mark Hankins will bring a track record of proven success in the Big Ten Conference and on the national level to our men’s golf program,” Moos said. “He has built strong teams at both Michigan State and Iowa, and we look forward to him providing leadership for Nebraska men’s golf.” 

Hankins, who comes to Nebraska after serving as an assistant athletic director at the University of Iowa including the past two years as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee, led the Hawkeye golf team to six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and 11 team tournament championships from 2009 to 2014 as the head coach.

Hankins coached three All-Americans, 11 first-team All-Big Ten honorees and 16 All-Midwest Region selections during his seven seasons on the course with the Hawkeyes. 

Prior to Hankins’ arrival in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes finished in last place at the 2007 Big Ten Conference Tournament and 155th in the final national rankings. Two years later, Iowa finished 17th at the 2009 NCAA Championship Finals.

In 2011, Hankins led Iowa to a tie for 10th at the NCAA Championship Finals, before adding a 22nd-place finish at the NCAA Championship Finals in 2012. In those two seasons, three Hawkeyes combined for three All-America awards on the course.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join the Nebraska Athletic Department and have the opportunity to lead a group of talented young men in striving to put Husker men’s golf in a position to compete for Big Ten Championships and selection to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships,” Hankins said. “I want to thank Athletic Director Bill Moos and the entire administrative staff who invest daily to insure that every sport program at Nebraska is equipped to succeed at the highest levels academically and athletically.”

Prior to his 11 years in the Iowa Athletic Department, Hankins spent eight seasons (2000-07) as the head men’s golf coach at Michigan State University. He led the Spartans to five NCAA Tournament appearances from 2002 through 2007, including Big Ten Championship team titles in 2005 and 2007. Hankins was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in both seasons the Spartans claimed the team crowns. He coached a pair of All-Americans at Michigan State, while 10 Spartans earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and six Spartans earned All-Midwest Region accolades.

Overall, in 15 seasons as a Big Ten men’s golf head coach, Hankins coached five All-Americans, 21 golfers who earned All-Big Ten honors, including two Big Ten Players of the Year and a Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

His student-athletes also earned a total of 47 Academic All-Big Ten accolades and nine All-America Scholar awards from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).

While his Big Ten teams combined for 22 tournament titles during his tenure, he began his head coaching career by leading the University of Texas-Arlington golf program to eight tournament titles in just two seasons in 1998 and 1999. He led the Mavericks to the NCAA Tournament both seasons, including a share of the Southland Conference title in 1999.

In 20 seasons of collegiate coaching, Hankins helped 15 teams to NCAA Division I Tournament appearances, including 13 bids as a head coach.

He began his collegiate coaching career with three seasons at Iowa State from 1994 through 1997. He served as assistant coach for both men’s and women’s teams before serving as the associate head coach for the Cyclones men’s golf program. He helped the ISU men’s program to the NCAA Tournament in 1996 and 1997, while the Cyclones claimed a trio of team tournament titles in those two seasons.

As an athletic administrator, Hankins has also distinguished himself. In addition to his representation on the NCAA Men’s Golf Committee the past two years, Hankins has served for three years on the Big Ten Sports Management Committee and as the Big Ten golf coaches liaison. He has also spent two seasons on the Big Ten Scheduling Committee.

In 2014, Hankins was elected President of the Golf Coaches Association of America, after serving as vice-president on the GCAA board from 2008 to 2014. He initially served on the board as the Central Region Director from 2004 to 2008, and on the Jack Nicklaus Award Committee from 2008 to 2010.

Before embarking on his career in athletic coaching and administration, Hankins was an assistant golf professional at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club and the Ames Golf and Country Club after competing professionally in California and Florida on the Golden State Tour, PGA Tour Qualifying, and events on the Nike Tour and Tommy Armour Tour. 

As a collegiate student-athlete, Hankins was a two-year captain of the Iowa State golf team, earning All-Big Eight Conference honors and GCAA Scholastic All-America honors his senior season. He earned his bachelor’s degree as a psychology major from Iowa State in 1993, before earning his master’s degree in business administration from ISU in 1997. 

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