Updated August 12, 2021
Top national finishes, All-Americans, professional success and academic achievement have become synonymous with the Florida State men’s golf program under Trey Jones. Preparing for his 19th season as the head men’s coach and Director of Golf for the Seminoles’ men’s and women’s golf programs, Jones has lifted the sport of golf at Florida State to new heights.
Those new heights were realized once again in a remarkable 2021 season. Florida State Men’s Golf spent much of the season ranked as the nation’s No. 1 team, earning the top overall seed at the NCAA Championship, finishing tied for fifth overall and securing its first-ever regional win. In the 2021 NCAA Tallahassee Regional hosted at the renowned Seminole Legacy Club for the first time, FSU put on a show by finishing at 34-under, its lowest score vs. par in an NCAA postseason event. The Seminoles accumulated four victories in 2021, helping Jones reach the 30-career win plateau in his FSU coaching career.
Jones is one of just 15 NCAA Division I men’s golf coaches to reach the career 30-win mark.
Three All-Americans highlighted FSU’s banner year in 2021. John Pak wrapped up his star-studded Seminole career by sweeping all three of collegiate golf’s national player of the year awards, winning the Jack Nicklaus, Fred Haskins and Ben Hogan awards. Pak finished a remarkable 17-1 vs. Top 25 individuals in his senior season, shooting 69.71 and finishing in the top 9 in all 10 of his tournaments played. He also finished first in the inaugural PGA TOUR University Class rankings.
Graduate transfer Vincent Norrman earned second-team All-America honors from Golfweek and the Golf Coaches Association of America, while freshman Brett Roberts earned honorable mention All-America honors from both.
Jones is responsible for attracting nationally ranked recruiting classes, upgrading the Seminoles’ schedule to where it is ranked among the nation’s toughest on an annual basis and creating one of the most functional player development facilities in all of college golf on one of the Seminoles’ five home golf courses. Jones continues annually to build on the Seminoles’ success in developing the nation’s top talent into national contenders and collegiate golf’s elite players.
Jones also playing a key role in securing the redevelopment of the Seminole Golf Course through the services of Nicklaus Design. With golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his son Jack II at the helm of the project, the Seminole Legacy Club held its opening ceremony on March 7, 2020. The spectacular 7240-yard course which is operated by ClubCorp, is one of the most significant athletic venues ever built at Florida State University. The course drew rave reviews from several programs when it hosted the 2021 NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
Due to COVID-19, Florida State Men’s Golf’s 2019-20 season was cut short. The Seminoles played in six stroke-play tournaments, winning the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate for the third consecutive year. Pak was dominant once again, winning two tournaments and garnering three Top-1o finishes. Senior Jamie Li was also tremendous in the shortened season, nabbing two Top-10 finishes and shooting 70.39.
The development Pak was an enormous highlight to Jones’ 2018-19 season, which also saw the Seminoles grab two tournament wins at the Sea Best Invitational and the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate. Pak re-wrote the record books in his sophomore year at FSU, shooting a program low 69.56 for the year. He was honored as a first-team All-American by both the Golf Coaches Association of America and Golfweek, becoming just the third Seminole to pick up first-team honors from both organizations in the same year. The other two also occurred under Jones’ watch (Daniel Berger in 2013 and Jonas Blixt in 2008). FSU also made its 14th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance (now 15 straight following 2021).
Jones’ teams have now finished in the Top 5 of tournaments 85 times in the last 127 tournaments played entering the 2021-22 season.
Florida State Men’s Golf achieved three team victories in the 2017-18 year and enjoyed a breakthrough freshman campaign by Pak. FSU won the year-opening Doc Gimmler, the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate and the Seminole Intercollegiate. Four different individual winners emerged in Pak (Seminole Intercollegiate), Harry Ellis (Marquette Intercollegiate, Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate), Li (co-won the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate with Ellis) and Bennett Baker (USA Individual Tournament).
Jones oversaw another solid season in 2016-17, as FSU finished 14th in the NCAA Finals and reached four days of competition at Rich Harvest Farms. Redshirt senior Cristobal Del Solar and redshirt junior Ellis recorded All-America honors while also being named to the All-ACC Team. Ellis’ turnaround has been one of the highlights of Jones’ career, as the England native recorded career bests in scoring average (71.62), average vs. par (+0.54) and rounds played (39). Ellis would go on to win the British Amateur and participate in the 2017 Open Championship (+12). He also had exemptions to the 2018 Masters and 2018 U.S. Open as an amateur.
FSU’s two All-ACC selections in 2018, which included Pak and Ellis, made it 12 straight years the Seminoles garnered multiple all-conference selections. Their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Finals in 2017 was the longest active streak in the ACC and tied for the fifth-longest nationally before falling just shy in 2018.
The top-notch head coach helped FSU Men’s Golf achieve more milestones in 2016. For the fifth consecutive year, the Seminoles made the NCAA Tournament. Senior Hank Lebioda became the third Seminole to win ACC Player of the Year honors, while redshirt junior Cristobal Del Solar’s career year put him on the All-ACC Team and PING Southeast All-Region Team alongside Lebioda. Senior leader Lebioda was also a PING All-American.
Jones guided Florida State to one of its most successful seasons in program history in 2015, earning ACC Coach of the Year honors for the second time. FSU ranked No. 1 in the Golf Coaches Association of America Poll for most of the season and entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for the first time ever. The Noles set a school record with six tournament victories and established three All-Americans in Jack Maguire (First Team), Lebioda (Second Team) and Rowin Caron (Third Team) – the most in a single year.
Named the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year as he led the Seminoles to the first conference championship in the sport of golf in school history, Jones is no stranger to competing with the nation’s best in one of the top conferences for college golf.
Building championship teams and elevating those teams onto the national stage is also nothing new to Jones, who has earned five conference coach of the year awards and led 18 of his 23 teams at the Division I level to the NCAA Championship tournament. His teams consistently hold prominent places in the national rankings, are adept at winning conference championships and are annually among the top producers of All-American and all-conference performers.
Jones has become one of the winningest coaches in school history in his first 18 years in Florida State. He is the only coach in school history to lead the Seminoles to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances (no other coach has led Florida State to more than five appearances) and he is ranked first in school history with 30 tournament championships (second is nine by Don Veller). The Seminoles have appeared in a school record 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments entering the 2021-22 season.
Jones also co-hosts a radio show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio called Beyond The Tips, airing on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
2021 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Florida State reached the match-play portion of the NCAA Championship for the second time after finishing sixth among the Final 15 teams, securing one of the coveted eight spots for match play. FSU would bow out to eventual champion Pepperdine in the quarterfinals, but was able to earn its second Top-5 finish ever in NCAA play. The season was marked by four tournament wins, three players earning All-America honors in John Pak, Vincent Norrman and Brett Roberts, and earning the program’s first NCAA Regional victory in what was played on a grand scale for the first time at the Seminole Legacy Club.
2015 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
A prominent season was capped by an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championship Finals, as the Seminoles fell just short of reaching the top eight by the final round. Individually, Jack Maguire finished 22nd overall while Del Solar ended at 35th. Maguire would earn first-team All-America honors from Golfweek and second-team honors from the GCAA, while Lebioda earned second-team All-America honors from both organizations. Rowin Caron highlighted his junior season as a third-team Golfweek All-American while getting honorable mention accolades from the GCAA. FSU enjoyed a dominant stretch of winning four consecutive tournaments, and also won four tournaments by coming from behind on the final day.
2014 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Florida State once again returned to the NCAA Championship Finals, but it was with a much different looking team from the previous year. The Seminoles fielded the youngest team in the tournament with two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior and was one of only three schools (in a field of 30), with only one upperclassman in the line-up. Freshman Jack Maguire became the first freshman to be ever named an All-American at Florida State as he was named to the second team by Golfweek and to the third team but the GCAA. Maguire and sophomore Hank Lebioda were named to the All-ACC team and Maguire was tabbed the ACC Freshman of the Year. The Seminoles smashed apart the record book at the USF Invitational as the team posted the lowest round (24-under 264) and lowest three-round tournament score (41-under 823) in school history. Maguire created his mark with the lowest round in school history (10-under 62) and second lowest tournament score (16-under 200).
2013 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Florida State finished in 11th place at the 2013 NCAA Championship Finals at the Capital City Club Crabapple in Atlanta, Ga. The Seminoles are just one of two teams to finish in the top 11 of the NCAAs in three or the last four years. Sophomore Daniel Berger led the team at the Championships finishing tied for second with a 6-under 204. Both Berger and Chase Seiffert earned All-American status for the year as Lebioda was named 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year.
2012 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Florida State earned an eighth place national finish at the 2012 NCAA Championship Finals to mark the second time in three seasons the Seminoles finished in the top eight of the standings at the national tournament. The Seminoles entered the championship ranked No. 19 in the nation by GolfStat and finished as one of only two teams ranked outside of the top eight to finish in the top eight of the final standings.
2010 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Florida State finished in a tie for third place at the 2010 NCAA Championship Finals to earn the best national finish in school history. The Seminoles fell to Augusta State (the 2010 National Champion) in the semifinals of the championship tournament after defeating Texas Tech in the first round of match play. The Seminoles led the stroke play portion of the tournament and finished in second place to earn the No. 2 seed in the match play portion of the event. The third place finish at the NCAA Championship marked the best finish in school history – one better than the Seminoles fourth place national finish in 1957 and tied for fourth place finish in 1958.
2008 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
Florida State, which was led by All-Americans Jonas Blixt and Matt Savage, won its first ever Atlantic Coast Conference championship as it defeated Duke by three strokes at the 2008 ACC Championship at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point. The Seminoles defeated Duke as they rallied from a one stroke deficit after two rounds to claim the school’s first ever ACC championship in the sport of golf. Each of the five team members contributed to the victory as the Seminoles closed the 54-hole tournament with four players under par. Blixt and Savage led the way with eight-under par 208 scores as they both finished in a tie for third in the individual standings.
Known as one of the nation’s most dynamic recruiters, Jones is nationally recognized as one of the top talent scouts in all of collegiate golf. His ability to recruit talented players, which in turn helps him build solid teams, is one of the aspects of coaching that has made Jones a top Division I coach. Florida State’s recruiting class ranked fourth best in the nation in 2007, fifth best in 2008, sixth best in 2005 and among the nation’s top 15 in 2006, 2010 and 2012.
Hank Lebioda, who played at FSU from 2012-16, will go down as one of the top golfers in school history. The four-year letterwinner left FSU as the program’s career leader in par or better rounds (76), percentage of counting scores (93.4 percent) and birdies (467). The Winter Springs, Fla., native was the 2016 ACC Player of the Year, a four-time All-ACC Team member, a two-time All-America and a two-time ACC Player of the Month. Having an FSU legacy in his family, Lebioda embodied the true of meaning of being a Seminole. On July 23, 2017, he won his first pro tournament at the Mackenzie Investments Open in Montreal, Canada, and began playing on the PGA Tour in January 2019.
Jones coached Brooks Koepka – the previous school record holder for lowest stroke average in a single season (71.09) and for a career (71.85) – the ACC Golfer of the Year in 2010 and 2012 and a three-time All-ACC selection. Koepka was named the ACC Golfer of the Year twice, the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2009 and earned All-American twice in his career in leading the Seminoles to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and two top-10 NCAA Championship Finals finishes. As a senior, Koepka tied the school record with a nine under par score of 63 in the third round of the FAU Spring Break Invitational and set the school record with his 199 total for three rounds of the event. Koepka won three events as a senior – at the Brickyard Collegiate Championship, the Seminole Intercollegiate, the FAU Spring Break Invitational. Koepka secured his status on the PGA Tour by tying for fourth place in the 2014 U.S. Open, and finished the 2015 season with Top 10 major finishes at The Open Championship (T-10th) and the PGA Championship (T-5th). He won his first tournament at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and caught many’s attention with an impressive 3-1 record at the 2016 Ryder Cup for the United States. He then captured his first Major Championship at the 2017 U.S. Open in Erin Hills, and became the first golfer in 29 years to win back-to-back U.S. Opens when he conquered Shinnecock Hills in 2018. Koepka capped the 2018 season with a PGA Championship (his third major already) and earned the 2018 PGA Tour Player of the Year Award. He followed with another PGA Championship in 2019, making him a four-time major winner and the first golfer to be a defending championship of two different majors at the same time.
Under Jones’ tutelage, Daniel Berger secured All-America status in 2013 by earning first-team honors from the GCAA and Golfweek. Berger’s 69.79 average score in the 2012-13 year made him the first Seminole to shoot sub-70 in a season, an average score that led the country. He finished as an All-ACC selection in the same spectacular year, and joins former teammate Koepka as two of the best young players on the PGA Tour. Berger was honored as the 2014-15 PGA Tour Player of the Year, and won his first tournament at the 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic, then repeated his victory in 2017 at the same tournament.
Jones coached one of Florida State’s all-time best players – Jonas Blixt – to All-America honors and the first individual ACC Championship in school history. Blixt earned Ping/Division I All-American First Team honors in 2008 and Ping/Division I All-American second team honors in 2007. He is one of only three players in school history to earn All-American First and Second Team honors during his career. Blixt won the ACC individual championship in 2007 to become the first Seminole to win ACC medalist honors. He helped lead Florida State to the 2008 ACC Championship – the first ACC golf championship in school history – and earned All-ACC honors twice during his career. Blixt is currently playing on the PGA Tour with three wins, the 2012 Frys.com Open, 2013 Greenbrier Classic and the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He finished tied for second in the 2014 Masters Tournament and fourth in the 2013 PGA Championship.
Jones also coached Drew Kittleson, who will long be remembered as one of the top golfers in school history. Kittleson played in the Masters Championship at Augusta in 2009, the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in 2009, four NCAA Championships and four ACC Championships during his standout career as a Seminole. He earned All-American Honorable Mention honors from Ping/Golf Coaches’ Association of America in 2010 and Southeast Regional All-American honors in 2011. Kittleson helped lead Florida State to the 2008 ACC Championship – the first ACC golf championship in school history and to a third place finish at the NCAA Division I Championship finals in 2010 – the highest national finish in school history. After a second place finish at the 2009 U.S. Amateur, he earned exemptions to play in both the 2009 Masters and U.S. Open Championships. Kittleson is currently playing on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Committed to the academic and athletic success of his student-athletes, Jones has coached 49 members of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, 10 members of the ACC Academic Golf Team and five members of the Golf Coaches’ Association of America All-American Scholar team. His team was also nationally recognized in 2010 as one of the few schools in the NCAA to achieve a perfect APR score of 1000 since the inception of the Academic Progress Rate program in 2003. During his tenure at Georgia State, he coached 10 members of the Atlantic Sun All-Academic team and 20 members of the TAAC All-Academic team.
Jones has been an active member of the Golf Coaches Association of America since 1993. He is currently a member of the steering committee for the Collegiate Golf Hall of Fame. Jones served the board as the Division I Director for the East Region and served as the chair of the District 3 South Regional NCAA Selection Committee. He was also a representative in the District 3 South NCAA Selection Committee from 1999-2002.
Trey Jones was named the head coach at Georgia State in 1995 and immediately began to assemble one of the dominant men’s golf programs in the southeastern United States. He led the Panthers onto the national scene for the first time in school history including their first appearance in the NCAA Championship tournament (2003), first conference championship (1998, Trans America Athletic Conference) and highest national ranking (20th during the 2000 season). Jones was responsible for the program in its entirety including recruiting, coaching, fundraising, public relations, strength and conditioning, scheduling and all budgetary matters. Under Jones’ leadership, Georgia State amassed 91 wins over SEC teams and 33 wins over ACC opponents from 1997-2003. During that period, the Panthers earned 23 victories over top 25 opponents.
Jones is married to the former Cathy McVeigh, who is the coordinator of financial aid for student-athletes at Florida State. They are the proud parents of a daughter, Jordan (20) and a son, Drew (15). Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education with a minor in business administration from North Alabama in 1991. Jones is a 30-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks. He was the head men’s coach and Director of Golf Operations at Georgia State for eight years (1996-2003) before becoming only the fifth coach in the history of the Seminole program in 2004. Prior to his career at Georgia State, Jones was an assistant coach at Wallace State Junior College (1992-95) and his alma mater North Alabama (1991). Jones developed his teaching, coaching and recruiting philosophies as he helped hone those programs into national contenders.