TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Golf Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development Robert Duck has been named a finalist for the Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade, announced on Wednesday by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Duck is one of six finalists for the award given to the nation’s most outstanding assistant coach in collegiate golf. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
“Robert had made a positive impact on each player that he has coached,” FSU head coach Trey Jones said. “His professionalism is a major reason we have been to the NCAA finals in each of his six seasons.”
The 2017-18 year for Duck has included three tournament wins by the Florida State men’s golf team. FSU won The Doc Gimmler in the fall as well as the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate and the Seminole Intercollegiate in the spring.
Duck has been instrumental in the rapid development of freshman John Pak, who owns eight Top 10 finishes this year in 10 tournaments played. Pak won the Seminole Intercollegiate on Feb. 25 and owns FSU’s lowest scoring average at 70.59.
The seventh-year coach at Florida State hails from Northampton, England, and played a big part in recruiting fellow Englishmen Harry Ellis and Jamie Li. Ellis is coming off an All-American season and is having another strong year, owning two tournament titles at the Marquette Intercollegiate and the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate.
With Ellis clinching an Amateur Championship last summer, he gained exemptions to the 2017 Open Championship, 2018 Masters and 2018 U.S. Open.
Li is third on the Seminoles with a 71.83 scoring average, joining Ellis by earning a championship at the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate. Li’s success this season, which includes three Top 10 finishes, is a huge reason why Florida State is consistently ranked in the Top 25 of each golf poll.
In FSU’s 10 tournaments played, it has earned seven Top-5 finishes. One of its most impressive displays was finishing second at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational on March 20 in a 16-team field that included 13 teams in the Golfstat Top 40.
Duck also works with the FSU Women’s Golf team, which owns five Top-5 finishes this year. Last year, FSU was one of just 12 universities to have its men’s and women’s golf programs reach the NCAA Championship national finals.
The other finalists for the award include Jake Amos of South Carolina, Auburn’s Corey Maggard, Garrett Runion of LSU, Wake Forest’s Dan Walters and Florida Southern’s Lee White.
TaylorMade has sponsored the Strickland Award since its inception in 2003.