The last time Michigan hired a new men’s golf coach, Andrew Sapp was just 10 years old.
But on June 18, the Michigan Athletic Department announced the hiring of Sapp as the next head coach of the men’s golf team. Sapp fills the void left by Jim Carras, who retired at the end of last season after 20 years at the helm of the program.
The 30-year-old Sapp spent the past four years as associate head coach for both the men’s and women’s programs at Purdue, where he helped both Boilermaker programs to achieve national prominence. Purdue’s men’s and women’s programs finished seventh and 16th in the country, respectively, this past season.
“Andrew has played an integral part in the rebuilding process here at Purdue,” Purdue men’s and women’s head coach Devon Brouse said.
At Purdue, Sapp worked as one of three coaches responsible for both teams. His duties included, but were not limited to, recruitment, instruction and the organization of team practices, scheduling and travel.
“In a lot of ways, Andrew’s experience has been like a head coach. He has more experience than most head coaches,” Brouse said.
Prior to his stint at Purdue, Sapp served as an assistant coach for five years at his alma mater, North Carolina, where he was a three-time letter winner in golf under Brouse’s tutelage.
Though Sapp has never held a head-coaching position, there does not appear to be any doubt concerning his potential to handle the job.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Andrew is capable of running Michigan’s program or any other program for that matter. He’ll have no more responsibility at Michigan than he did at Purdue,” Brouse said.
Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin echoed those sentiments.
“He’s got good recruiting skills, he’s a tireless worker, he’s young,” Martin said. “He will have a long and successful career at Michigan.”
Sapp has amassed an impressive resume over the past eight years, helping his teams to a total of 26 team titles, 23 individual medallist honors, six All-Americans, six Academic All-Americans, 19 conference first-teamers and while at North Carolina, five consecutive NCAA Championship appearances from 1994 to 1998.
Sapp’s educational background only further qualifies him for the position. He earned a master’s degree in sports administration, having conducted his research in academic enhancement for student athletes.
Brouse maintains he’ll harbor no resentment toward Sapp for departing for Purdue’s Big Ten foe. He also discounts the potential for the formation of a rivalry forming between the two schools, citing the nature of the sport of golf as a contest between the golfer and the course. Rather, he’ll do whatever he can to assist Sapp in establishing the men’s golf program at Michigan.