Men's Golf Spotlight: Nick Pumford
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Nick Pumford completed his fifth season as an assistant coach of the U-M men's golf program.
In five seasons at his alma mater, Pumford has helped head coach Chris Whitten guide the Wolverines to four NCAA postseason appearances -- two team and two individual. Following individual invitations for Matt Thompson (2012) and Chris O'Neill (2014), U-M made back-to-back team regional appearances in 2015 (7th) and 2016 (10th).
Despite U-M just missing out on advancing as a team during 2015 Washington Regional, true freshman Kyle Mueller closed his rookie campaign as the medalist runner-up and advanced to the NCAA Finals as an individual, tying for 94th.
In addition to the postseason successes attained in Pumford's short time with the program, the Maize and Blue collected 19 top-five team finishes with 15 top-three showings, highlighted by three team titles: 2014 Wolverine Intercollegiate (Sept. 6-7), 2014 Big Ten Match Play Championship (Feb. 14-15) and 2013 Detroit Golf Club Invitational (April 12).
Pumford was instrumental in the development of All-Big Ten golfers Thompson (2012), O'Neill (2014) and Mueller (2015, '16). Nine Wolverines earned 17 total Academic All-Big Ten honors during his tenure, while Miguel Echavarria (2012) and O'Neill (2015) earn the prestigious Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-America Scholar accolade.
In addition to academic honors earned in the classroom, Thompson (2012), Brett McIntosh (2014), O'Neill (2014, '15, '16) and Mueller (2015, '16) each earned PING Division I All-Midwest team honors during Pumford's tenure.
Pumford's coaching career began at Georgia State following a brief professional playing career, and he was hired as an assistant coach under head coach Joe Inman during the 2010-11 season. In Pumford's lone year at GSU, the Panthers captured three top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place finish at the CAA Championships.
As a collegiate player at Michigan (2006-09), Pumford earned a general studies degree while starting 29 of 33 career events. He recorded five top-10 individual finishes, headlined by his individual win at the 2007 Wolf Run Intercollegiate. Pumford helped U-M return to the NCAA postseason after an eight-year absence with back-to-back regional selections in 2008 and 2009.
In fact, U-M recorded one of the finest seasons in program history during the 2009 postseason. Following the Wolverines’ regional selection and subsequent fifth-place team finish, the Wolverines advanced to the NCAA Finals for the first time in 12 years. In the NCAA new national championship format, U-M closed with a sixth-place team finish in stroke play to advance to the team match play finals. After a first-round win over No. 3 seed USC, the Wolverines were eliminated by eventual national champion Texas A&M in the national semifinal. As a senior co-captain, Pumford started all 14 tournaments and was U-M's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Pumford's amateur playing career was highlighted by qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the Michigan Amateur Championship on two different occasions and earning two top-20 finishes at the Michigan Open (2006, '10).
A 2005 graduate of St. Charles High School, Pumford was a candidate for Michigan's Mr. Golf Award and earned Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Golf (MIGCA) Super Team honors. He was a three-time Division III All-State (2003, '04, '05) and won 11 tournaments in his four years.
The Nick Pumford File
Born: February 5, 1987
Hometown: St. Charles, Mich.
High School: St. Charles High School, 2005
College: University of Michigan, 2009 (Bachelor, General Studies)
Family: Married, wife: Kristen (Debandt)
|2010-11||Georgia State||Assistant Coach||7th||-||-|
|2011-12||Michigan||Assistant Coach||10th||NTS (Indy 1)||-|
|2013-14||Michigan||Assistant Coach||12th||NTS (Indy 2)||-|
|2014-15||Michigan||Assistant Coach||11th||7th||NTS (Indy 3)|
1: Matt Thompson, individual at the 2012 NCAA Central Regional (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
2: Chris O'Neill, individual at the 2014 NCAA Central Regional (Sugar Grove, Ill.)
3: Kyle Mueller, individual at the 2015 NCAA Finals (Bradenton, Fla.)