Former Abilene Christian Golf Coach Jarrett Passes Away

ABILENE - Vince Jarrett, who coached ACU to the 1993 NCAA Division II men's golf national championship and later returned to the university as the associate director of athletics, passed away Sunday afternoon at a Fort Worth hospital.  He was 70.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

"Vince was a tremendous asset to ACU and we will all miss him dearly," ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley said. "He had a great career as our golf coach and he was a great help to me when he returned to ACU three years ago as the associate director of athletics. I will miss his counsel and friendship, as will our administrative staff and coaches. Our thoughts and prayers are with (wife) Pat, (daughter) Lisa and (son) Justin and the rest of their family."

Jarrett - a 2011 inductee into the Golf Coaches' Association Hall of Fame - just completed his third year on the ACU administrative staff, assisting Mosley with fundraising and special projects, joining with director of athletics emeritus Wally Bullington in helping maintain the program's long-term viability.

Jarrett - a 1976 graduate of the University of Houston - coached the ACU golf team from 1985-2003 before returning to his alma mater to serve as the Cougars' head coach from 2003-10.  After the 2009-10 season, Jarrett returned to Abilene and ACU.  He was inducted into the ACU Sports Hall of Fame in October 2009.

Jarrett's collegiate coaching career began at ACU in 1985 when was hired as the Wildcats' coach. He wasted little time in establishing the Wildcats' program as one of the nation's best. He accepted the the position in March 1985 and led the Wildcats to a Lone Star Conference championship in 1986.

The next year, he was named the LSC and NCAA District VI Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to another conference championship and a seventh place finish at the1987 NCAA Division II National Championships.

Abilene Christian would go on to win five more LSC championships in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1995 with Jarrett at the helm. Jarrett also was named LSC Coach of the Year three more times in 1989, 1991 and 1993. He also was the NCAA District VI Coach of the Year in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1997.

In addition to the seven LSC championships, the Wildcats finished as the runner-up at the conference tournament in 1990, 1992, 1996, 2001 and 2003. During an 11-year span from 1986-1996, Jarrett's ACU teams finished first or second at the LSC Tournament in all but one season.

NCAA Division II national champions In 1993, both GolfWeek and Bridgestone named Jarrett the National NCAA Division II Coach of the Year after he led Abilene Christian to the NCAA Division II Championship with a five-stroke victory over Columbus State in Turlock, Calif.

ACU also finished among the top 10 teams at eight other NCAA championships. The Wildcats finished third in 1991, fifth in 1995 and 1997, sixth in 1989 and 1992, seventh in 1990 and eighth in 1996.

Under his tutelage, 27 Wildcat players earned 40 all-America awards, and 14 of his student-athletes were named to academic all-America teams.

During each of his last three seasons at ACU, at least one of Jarrett's players qualified to compete at the NCAA championships. Pierre Goethels qualified in 2003 after winning the South Central Regional Championship, while Brian O'Leary qualified in 2002 and was a member of the LSC's 2003 all-academic Team. James Fleming qualified for the 2001 NCAA tournament and finished 26th nationally.

One of his players, Jeev Singh, was the NCAA Division II individual champion in 1993, and is now a touring pro on the Asian, European and Nationwide Tours. He recorded wins at the 2006 Volvo China Open and the 2006 Volvo Masters, making him the second player from India to win a European Tour tournament and moved him among the Top 20 Order of Merit golfers on the European Tour.

Other former Wildcats who have been touring pros include Marcus Cain (Nationwide, Australian and Canadian tours) and Jeff White and Steve Johnson, who are on mini-tours across the United States.

Another of his players, Mike Campbell, was named to succeed Jarrett as Abilene Christian's head coach after he earned all-America honors in 1991 and 1993.

Many of his former players have become club pros, including former all-America players Donny Darville at Inwood Forest Country Club in Houston and Scott Cory at Canyon Springs Country Club in San Antonio.

In addition to his extensive coaching duties, Jarrett served on the NCAA Golf Committee from 1992-2001 and was the committee chairman from 1998-2001. He also worked as the Golf Coaches' Association Division II representative to the NCAA from 1996 to 1999.

Jarrett went to Abilene Christian after he served as a club pro at three country clubs in Houston: Westwood, River Bend and Inwood. 

He turned pro after playing at Houston under the guidance of Williams, two seasons at South Texas Junior College and Houston's Reagan High School.

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