Head Golf Coach, since 1991.
It's been over 10 springs since Bob Bass took over Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun golf program and started a streak of successful seasons in which the Cajun squad has continued as one of the premier programs in the South, and the man who has been such an integral part of the Louisiana-Lafayette program and Acadiana golf community isn't resting on his laurels.
And the laurels are many -- Louisiana-Lafayette has made nine NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 12 years with seven of those coming under Bass. The Cajuns also hold five conference titles in the last 11 years with three of those coming since Bass took over the program, along with 12 tournament titles against continued nationally-prominent scheduling in many of the South's top tournaments.
The successes over the past several years and that string of NCAA Tournament appearances sometimes make it hard to remember that it was only in the spring of 1999 that Bass took over the leadership of the program on an emergency basis. Of course, that appointment wasn't the first time that the personable and outgoing former USL standout has been around the Cajun program -- in fact, he'd been involved with Louisiana-Lafayette in four different decades prior to officially stepping into the head coaching position.
The rich Louisiana-Lafayette golf tradition didn't just start recently. It dates back to the 1960s when USL made its first national splash, and Bob Bass was one of the catalysts for those first major moves in those early years.
Bass took over the Cajun program just prior to the 1991 spring season, and Louisiana-Lafayette didn't miss a beat in rolling to a third straight American South Conference crown that year against a stronger league field while coming very close to a third straight NCAA national tournament appearance. For his efforts, he was named Coach of the Year in the final year of the American South.
In 1992, Louisiana-Lafayette made its first appearance in the Sun Belt Tournament and finished second while earning yet another NCAA tourney trip, and his squad used that second-place league effort as motivation for reclaiming its league title the next year by a 25-stroke margin -- the second biggest margin in the history of the league and the largest since 1980. Louisiana-Lafayette had the top three individual finishes in the Sun Belt, and Bass earned his second Coach of the Year honor.
Since then, the Cajuns have claimed four more NCAA trips along with winning back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994 in their own prestigious Louisiana Classics meet.
He should, since not only was he a standout player at USL, but his father Bill Bass served in two different terms as coach of the Cajun golf squad while also serving the university as alumni director during his career.
Bass was a 1965 graduate of USL and was a four-year golf letterman along with serving as captain during his senior year. He was also a two-year member of the Cajun football squad. During that time, he helped set the foundation for the Cajun squad that went on to win the NAIA national championship in 1967 and captured several Gulf States Conference titles during the mid- and late 1960s.
Bass is a past president of the Louisiana Golf Association and presently serves on the board of directors of that group. He also serves on the board of directors of Oakbourne Country Club, is a past president of Acadian Hills Country Club and was a member of the advisory board of governors for LeTriomphe Golf Club.
A lifelong amateur competitor, Bass won several club titles as a player and helped found two tournaments that have become mainstays of the area's golf calendar. He helped found what is now the Bill Bass Alumni Open, which honors his late father and is held annually during Louisiana-Lafayette's Homecoming activities, and aided with the organization of the prestigious Louisiana Classics, the Cajuns' spring tournament which has become one of the top collegiate events in the nation.
Bass and his wife Linda have five children -- Scott, Robin, Robert, Carrie and Amy.
Cajuns' Bass Named Louisina's Coach of the Year
LAKE CHARLES - Bob Bass has been helping Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun golf team succeed for 40 years now.
Bass, who was a four-year letterman and a senior captain for the Cajuns in the 1960's, has been named the All-Louisiana Coach of the Year in men's golf for the 2005 season selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
He coached the Cajuns to a second place finish in the Sun Belt Tournament and to four top five finishes during the year, his 14th campaign since taking over the UL program in 1991.
Bass has coached two All-Americans and his teams have reached NCAA Tournament play eight times.
Tulane University, which produced the dominate golf teams in the state this past spring, also dominated the LSWA All-Louisiana men's and women's golf teams for 2005.
The Green Wave had the male golfer of the year in Michael Thompson with the school also producing the female golfer of the year in Alison Walshe.
Tulane Lady Wave coach Sue Bower was named the women's coach of the year while Bass was named the men's coach of the year.
Other special awards went to Louisiana-Monroe's Pat Collogan as the male freshman of the year and to LSU's Rebecca Kuhn as the female freshman of the year.
Joining Thompson on the men's team were Green Wave teammate Chris Wheeler, Tim Kunick of Louisiana-Monroe, Preston Smith of Louisiana Tech and Chris Wells of LSU.
Members of the women's team included Walshe, Tulane teammate Liliana Alverez, Melissa Eaton and Brooke Shelton of LSU and Lisa Westman of McNeese State.
The Tulane women's team played in the NCAA national championship tournament this past week while the Greenies sent both Thompson and Wheeler to the men's regional tournament.
Thompson led the state in scoring with a 72.7 stroke average, was selected to the C-USA all-conference first team and was named a collegiate golf player of the week and won two tournaments.
Walshe was the C-USA player of the year, won the league title and posted a 73.45 stroke average. She ranked as high as 12th in the nation during the season and finished fourth in the NCAA east regionals.
Bower led the Lady Wave to their second straight C-USA title, to a fourth straight trip to the NCAA regionals and to a first ever berth in the NCAA championship tournament.
LSWA MEN'S ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE GOLF TEAM
Michael Thompson, Tulane, Soph, Tucson, AZ
Chris Wells, LSU, Soph, Mobile, AL
Tim Kunick, UL-Monroe, Jr., Bismark, ND
Preston Smith, La. Tech, Soph, Monroe
Chris Wheeler, Tulane, Senior, Ilen, TX
Player of Year: Michael Thompson, Tulane
Coach of Year: Bob Bass, Louisiana
Freshman of Year: Pat Collogan, Louisiana-Monroe
LSWA WOMEN'S ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE GOLF TEAM
Alison Walshe, Tulane, Soph, Westford, MASS
Liliana Alvarez, Tulane, Jr., Durango, Mexico
Lisa Westman, McNeese, Soph, Stockholm, Sweden
Melissa Eaton, LSU, Soph, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa