Men’s Golf: Pat Goss promoted, David Inglis new head coach

Kevin Casey, Reporter

Following a difficult spring season in which lineup swaps and inconsistent play marred the Wildcats’ efforts, Northwestern has changed up its golf staff.

David Inglis will step in as head coach of the men’s golf team, replacing Pat Goss who held the position for 18 years. Goss, who became the director of golf in 2007, will move into a higher position in the golf program.

Goss, an NU graduate, has signed a five-year extension with the school, remaining in Evanston another half-decade as the program’s director of golf and player development. Goss’ retention of his director of golf duties allows him to continue to oversee both the men’s and women’s squads. His real promotion comes in his new director of player development title, a distinction that acknowledges his close involvement with skill instruction.

Goss’ tenure as NU’s head coach marked another upward turn in the program’s fortunes. In his first season, where he started mid-campaign as the interim head coach, Goss led the team to its highest finish at NCAA Championships since 1943, an accomplishment, along with a number of high finishes, that paved the way to his distinction as Golfweek’s National Coach of the Year.

Goss backed up his initial success with four Big Ten Championships in his tenure, along with a third-place finish at NCAAs in 1999. The Cats rarely missed the postseason in Goss’ 18 years. He was also the main facilitator in Luke Donald’s rise to the top of the college game and eventually the World No. 1 ranking in professional golf.

Although Goss remains highly involved with the men’s squad in his new position, the head coach role is no longer his. And he needs someone to carry on his legacy.

That duty now belongs to Inglis.

The former Tulsa All-American is NU’s new head coach and carries with him an interesting resume. Inglis was hired as the team’s assistant coach prior to the 2010-11 season and remained in that post until his promotion to head coach. Although he has tallied years of experience under Goss, Inglis’ first foray into in college coaching was his job at NU. That makes for just five years of prior work in this field, in one place no less, which is hardly a long history for a man who is now expected to lead the men’s team.

Then again, it’s been an insanely successful five years. Inglis has twice been a finalist for the Golf Coaches Association of America Jan Strickland Award, which honors the country’s top assistant. And despite his previous assistant status, Inglis worked as a partner with — rather than a subordinate to — Goss in the recruiting process.

The acquisition of Matt Fitzpatrick, the former World No. 1 Amateur and U.S. Amateur Champion who was on NU’s squad for one quarter, was largely Inglis’ doing.

In a way, it’s a new time for the Cats, but for the most part not too much has changed. Although the duties on paper have altered significantly, Inglis was more than an assistant coach during his tenure. And Goss has exercised large oversight of the entire golfing operation for years.

This is a shake-up, but nothing amounting to a massive overhaul. And that’s not surprising from a program that wants to get better but also desires to keep its carefully crafted, nationally relevant status.

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Twitter: @KevinCasey19

Previous stories on this topic:

    The Sideline: Pat Goss, the quarter-century Cat
    Men’s Golf: Northwestern finishes season with a whimper at NCAA Regionals
    Men’s Golf: Northwestern finishes 4th at Big Ten Championships, Perry grabs 3rd