Jamie Bermel, who has guided the Colorado State men’s golf program to 12 NCAA Regional appearances in the last 13 years, has been named Kansas University's head men’s golf coach, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger announced Tuesday.
Bermel (pronounced Bur-mal) comes to Kansas from CSU where he was the head coach since the 1999-2000 season. He guided the Rams to NCAA golf regionals each of the last six seasons dating back to 2007 while the 2011 CSU squad advanced to the NCAA finals.
“We have found an incredible coach to lead our men’s golf program,” Zenger said in a press release. “Jamie led his team to 12 NCAA appearances in the last 13 years. That’s a great track record and one that we will be happy to bring to the University of Kansas. I am excited about the future of Kansas men’s golf and encourage all Jayhawks to welcome Jamie and his family.”
Zenger was hardly the only one pumped up about the news.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be the next men’s golf coach at the University of Kansas,” Bermel said. “KU is such a great school that plays in a great conference. I think this is an awesome opportunity for me professionally and I can’t wait to move my family to Lawrence and get started.”
Under Bermel, Colorado State won 18 tournament titles and recorded more than 35 top-five finishes. Included were the 2008 and 2010 Mountain West Conference team championships. A six-time conference coach of the year, including three-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year (2004, 2008, 2010), Bermel coached 10 all-conference performers at Colorado State, including two All-Americans, seven All-American scholars and seven academic all-conference honorees.
No stranger to the Midwest, Bermel coached two seasons at Iowa State from 1997-99, where he guided the Cyclones to the 1999 NCAA Tournament and nine top-five finishes. Before ISU, he spent five seasons as head golf coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. While at Drake, his team won the 1997 Missouri Valley Conference championship and twice qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1996 and 1997 with the 1997 team advancing to the NCAA finals. Bermel was a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
In his years as a collegiate head coach, Bermel has helped develop the games of a number of players who have moved on to the next level. Included is 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who played for Bermel at Drake. Others include former Iowa State standout Jason Knutzon who currently plays on the Asian and European tours and Martin Laird, a Colorado State standout now competing on the PGA Tour and finished tied for 11th at last week’s AT&T National in Washington, D.C.
“He’s a great guy,” Laird said of Bermel. “The fact that I still count him as one of my good friends and still talk to him a lot as a past player – and I know Zach Johnson is the same –says a lot about a coach. I’ve been gone eight years now and still call him one of my good friends. He always looked out for his players. They were his number one concern. It’s a huge thing to know as a college athlete that your coach has your back.”
“The one thing I’d say that stands out about him is that he’s a winner,” Laird continued. “He’s not someone that accepts mediocrity. He’s going to try to get the best out of his team that he can, and he’s going to work as hard as he can to do that.”
Bermel is a 1986 graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa, and received his master’s degree from Purdue University in 1988. From 1989-91, Bermel worked in recreational sports at the University of Michigan and moved to a similar role at Drake, adding the men’s golf coaching duties in Feb. 1992.
Bermel and his wife, Jacque, have three children: Emily, Jack and Charlie.