Cape Girardeau, Mo. – Grier Jones was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year for the 10th time in his 17 years at Wichita State and Hunter Sparks was named the MVC Golfer of the Year, the league announced today. Four other Shockers earned all-conference nods.
Jones led WSU to a sixth-consecutive MVC Championship, winning the tournament by a record 32 strokes. He has captured the Coach of the Year honor in each of the last six seasons and eight of the last nine. The former NCAA individual champion and PGA Rookie of the Year has guided the Shockers to 12 conference titles over the last 15 years.
Sparks took the top scoring average in the Valley into the tournament and followed through with a second place performance at Dalhousie Country Club. The senior was last year’s medalist and earned a spot on the all-conference team for the fourth-straight season.
Joining Sparks on the all-conference team were Rafael Becker, Louis Cohen Boyer, Tyler Gann, and Calvin Pearson. All were ranked in the top six in the league in scoring average and all finished in the top 17 of the MVC Championship.
Becker, last year’s MVC Golfer of the Year, was this year’s medalist at the Valley Championship and earned this third career all-conference honor.
Boyer, last year’s MVC Newcomer of the Year, landed on the all-conference for a second time with his 10th career top-10 finish coming in the MVC Championship.
Gann, a senior, landed on the all-conference team for the third year in a row and Pearson, a junior, was honored for the second time.
Tyler Gann, Wichita State
Brandon Cauldwell, Southern Illinois
Wils Hawn, Illinois State
Joey Johnson, Missouri State
Quinn Vilneff, Evansville
Calvin Pearson, Wichita State
Devin Leland, Drake
Louis Cohen Boyer, Wichita State
Hunter Sparks, Wichita State
Rafael Becker, Wichita State
Elite 18 -- Quinn Vilneff, Evansville (Top GPA in top-18 golfers)
Newcomer of the Year: Joey Johnson, Missouri State
Golfer of the Year: Hunter Sparks, Wichita State
Coach of the Year: Grier Jones, Wichita State