Longest-tenured head coach in Ohio State history officially retired yesterday. Brown will serve as the honorary chair of the upcoming Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational July 30-Aug. 2.
The 2008-09 season was the 36th and final season in which head coach Jim Brown guided the Ohio State men’s golf team. Over his impressive tenure, Brown established the Ohio State golf program into one of the finest and most respected in the nation. He concluded his coaching career as the longest serving head coach in Ohio State history and the longest serving men’s golf coach in Big Ten history.
Since coming to Ohio State in 1973, Brown has led Ohio State to league-record 17 Big Ten championships. The Buckeyes won the conference crown every season from 1976-90, except for 1981 and ’88 when they were runners-up. The Buckeyes qualified for the NCAA tournament 19 times under Brown, including the 2009 season. Brown led Ohio State to the 1979 national championship as well as 11 Top 10 finishes.
Brown has also tutored an NCAA individual champion (Clark Burroughs in 1985), 18 Big Ten medalists, 92 All-Big Ten selections, 11 first team All-Americans and 40 other All-America honorees. Chris Perry was named College Player of the Year in 1984 and Chris Smith earned both Big Ten Freshman of the Year (1988) and Player of the Year (1990) awards under Brown.
Ohio State’s national championship in 1979 was the first in nearly two decades for a northern school. Brown and the Buckeyes proved the 1979 season was no fluke as the program finished fourth in the NCAA’s in 1980, 1983, 1987 and again in 1997.
Most recently, Brown was named 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. Prior to his 2004 Big Ten honor, Brown captured back-to-back coach of the year honors in 1995 and 1996. He also coached the NCAA All-Star Team that competed in Japan in 1979 and the 1999 Palmer Cup team that defeated a team of top collegiate players from Great Britain and Ireland.
Brown has been a leader in college golf for many years, serving as president of the National Golf Coaches Association from 1990 to 1992. He served on the NCAA’s Executive Golf Committee from 1990-96. In addition, Coach Brown has been a member of both the All-American Selection Committee and the NCAA District IV Selection Board.
Brown’s players have also had great success in the classroom during his tenure at Ohio State. Only four athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have not received degrees during Brown’s 35 years as head coach. The Buckeyes have received 11 All-America Scholar awards, 55 Academic All-Big Ten honors and 84 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes nods since the inception of both awards in 1987.
A native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, Brown is a 1966 Ohio State graduate. He played both basketball and golf for the Buckeyes, earning three letters in each sport and was elected captain of the golf team his senior season. Brown began his coaching career in 1967 at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and moved on to Kent State in 1969. During his time in Kent, Brown served as the head golf coach and assistant basketball coach. In 1973 Browns left Kent for Columbus to become the ninth golf coach in Ohio State history.
Jim and his wife, Tina, have been married for 13 years and together have five children and 13 grandchildren. Tina has three children, a son, David Lankard, who is an OSU graduate, and two daughters, Cheryl Turnbull and Anne Marie Moore, both of whom are Miami (Ohio) graduates. Brown has two children, Julie, who is an OSU graduate, and Jeff, a former member of the Ohio State golf team and an OSU graduate.