June 16, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech athletics director Tommy McClelland announced the hiring of Jeff Jenkins as the Bulldogs’ new head golf coach Monday.
Jenkins replaces Jeff Parks who resigned to pursue other opportunities.
“We are excited to have Jeff Jenkins and the experience that he brings to the table as our next head coach,” McClelland said. “He comes highly recommended and he has been a part of one of the better golf programs in our region at Texas Tech. We believe that he is the right person to lead our program to the next level.”
He comes to Louisiana Tech following four seasons at Texas Tech as assistant men's golf coach. Prior to his time in Lubbock he spent two years as an assistant at the University of Central Arkansas.
“I am absolutely privileged and honored to be given this opportunity by Tommy McClelland,” Jenkins said of his hiring. “I had never set foot on the course at Squire Creek before I visited here and it is a huge recruiting advantage that our program has. With that course and this great University, I know that we can definitely win here and do great things.”
Jenkins inherits a program that is on the rise as sophomore Victor Lange became the first player in the program’s history to receive a bid to the NCAA Regionals, where he registered a top-25 finish. Now a rising junior, Lange will return to LA Tech in the fall to make another run at a postseason bid.
“Victor is a player we can build a championship team around,” Jenkins said. “Him making the regionals last year will hopefully push the rest of our guys to get better and to do the same. Making the regionals is a good accomplishment but I know from experience that it is a much better experience to making the postseason as a team rather than as an individual.”
“One thing I learned from my time at Texas Tech is our schedule has to get tougher if we want to get to the postseason as a team,” Jenkins added. “The mental challenge of playing the top teams on a weekly basis is something we need to get used to. I want our expectation as a program to be getting to the postseason as a team on an annual basis.”
While at Central Arkansas, he assisted the Director of Golf with running the men's and women's golf programs, with his primary role being coaching and developing the women's team. He helped tutor top players Rebecca Sorenson and Nicole Forshner. In 2010, Rebecca Sorenson was the Southland Conference Player of the Year. As a team, Central Arkansas finished in second in the Southland Conference Tournament with Sorensen taking medalist honors.
In 2009, Nichole Forshner took home the Southland Conference Player of the Year honor and that year's squad won three tournament championships. In addition, Central Arkansas moved from outside the top 100 to the top 50 in the Golfstat rankings.
As a professional, Jenkins played competitively for four years. A few highlights were qualifying for three Nationwide Tour events, finishing third at the 2004 Tightlies Tour event in Longview, Texas, and winning a limited field event in 2004 in San Antonio, Texas.
Jenkins played collegiately at Arkansas Tech University where he was an All-American (2001) and a two time All-Gulf South Conference Player (2000, 2001). He earned a Bachelor's Degree in history and political science in 2002. He later earned a Master's Degree in community and economic development from the University of Central Arkansas in 2012.
In 2011 he married his wife, Rebecca. They had their first child, Lainey Elle Jenkins, in April 2013.
Fans can follow Jenkins on Twitter at @JDJenkins78.
His hire is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Golf, please follow @LATechGolf on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.