BATON ROUGE - LSU men's golf head coach Chuck Winstead announced Friday that former Tiger standout Garrett Runion has returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach after he guided the program at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the NCAA Division II national championship in only his first season as head coach of the Sharks in 2011-12.
Runion joins Winstead's staff following the departure of seven-year assistant coach Shane Warren, who is now pursuing a career opportunity in the private sector in Baton Rouge.
Runion has returned to his alma mater following a 2011-12 season in which he led the Nova Southeastern program to its first NCAA Division II crown in men's golf with a dominating 5-0 win over Chico State in the national championship match held May 19 at Cardinal Club Golf Course in Simpsonville, Ky.
Their run to the national championship highlighted a historic season for the Nova Southeastern Sharks, as they also won the Sunshine State Conference championship this spring. Runion has been recognized as the recipient of the 2012 Dave Williams Award as the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and as the Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year in 2011-12.
Runion served two seasons at Nova Southeastern as the team also captured the SCC title during a strong 2010-11 campaign in which he served as the program's assistant head coach.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Runion was a two-year letterwinner during his collegiate career with the Tigers, as he called Baton Rouge home in four seasons from 2003-08. A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and three-time pick to the SEC Community Service Team, Runion graduated from LSU in the spring of 2008 with his Bachelor of Arts & Science degree in general studies.
"I'm very pleased to have Garrett Runion join our staff," Winstead said. "He has the passion for LSU as a former player in our program. Most importantly, he shares my commitment to excellence on and off the course as we continue to build one of the elite programs in college golf."
Runion displayed his recruiting prowess in his two seasons at Nova Southeastern as he was responsible in attracting many of the premier players in the NCAA Division II ranks to the Fort Lauderdale campus.
That includes the No. 1 player in Division II in 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award winner Benjamin Taylor as the Golf Coaches' Association of America NCAA Division I Collegiate Player of the Year. The program also featured the top freshman in the NCAA Division II ranks as Oscar Lengden won the 2012 Phil Mickelson Award recognizing the nation's Most Outstanding Freshman.
"It's an honor and a privilege for me to come back to my alma mater and rejoin this great program Chuck continues to build at LSU," Runion said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to help LSU develop the kind of championship program we expect on and off the course. It's especially great for me to have this chance to work with Chuck as one of his former players. I appreciate the opportunity he has given me."