Mark Engel promoted to head golf coach

By Jimmy Halmhuber

Mark Engel, former head golf coach at the University of Detroit-Mercy for 24 years and interim head coach at Oakland since October 2014, was officially named head coach of the golf team on April 29.

The promotion took place after Engel led the Grizzlies to a second place finish in the Horizon League tournament this season – the program’s highest finish since 1995.

Engel brings with him a successful coaching career. At UDM, he won six Horizon League championships and was named coach of the year four times.

“It was a little strange [coaching at Oakland] at first because I recruited all those players, and I know them and their families so well, but I’m Oakland’s coach now and part of our job is to beat my old team every chance we get,” Engel said.

Moving forward, Engel hopes to build a championship team around co-captain Evan Bowser. Bowser was selected to compete in regionals after becoming the fourth player in Oakland history to win the Horizon League.

“Every recruit who sits down to talk in my office, I’ll always ask them if they know their ring size, because they’ll need to know, playing for Oakland, since we are playing for championship rings,” Engel said.

Engel isn’t the only one setting the bar high for next season. Athletic director Jeff Konya is also excited for the future of the program.

“I would expect the golf team to continue its ascent in the Horizon League golf hierarchy, and we are confident that Coach Engel is the man to continue that trajectory,” Konya said.

Something Engel likes to do during spring practices is a Ryder cup-style intra-squad tournament. Instead of Team USA vs. Team Europe, it is Team Bowser vs. Team Burgess.

Though all players train and prepare for their games differently, “play hard, have fun” is one part of the process Engel makes sure they share. 

Engel’s goal for next season is to win the Horizon League championship.