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Thompson Named New Bruin Men’s Golf Coach; McCloskey to be Director of Golf
Written by Blair Cash    Thursday, 15 August 2013 14:35   

NEWBERG, Ore. - George Fox University’s search for a new men’s golf coach has ended in its own backyard as Branden Thompson, the golf operations supervisor and head professional at the Chehalem Glenn Golf Course in Newberg, has been named as the new head coach for the Bruins’ six-year-old program. 

 

In conjunction with the naming of Thompson, George Fox director of athletics Craig Taylor has also announced that MaryJo McCloskey, head coach of the nationally-ranked Bruin women’s program, will assume additional duties as the director of golf operations for both programs.

 

Thompson, who will continue his work at Chehalem Glenn, replaces Matt Beck, who established the George Fox men's team in 2007 and directed the Bruins through the fall 2012 schedule.  McCloskey assumed the men’s duties on an interim basis for the remainder of the spring season, with volunteer assistance from Brent Wilson, the father of Bruin golfer Kyle Wilson. 

 

Thompson has been at Chehalem Glenn since 2005.  He also served as the head coach of the Newberg High School golf team since 2006, building the program virtually from scratch to a third-place finish in the Pacific Conference at the Class 6A level, Oregon’s highest, this past season.  He previously worked as the head golf professional at the Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore. (1997-2001), and for three years thereafter as an independent golf sales representative to accounts throughout the Pacific Northwest.

 

A native of Seaside, Ore., Thompson played golf for four years (1991-94) at Pacific University (Ore.), helping the Boxers to four straight appearances in the NAIA National Tournament. He was a two-time All-Northwest Conference player in 1992 and 1994, and was named to the NAIA All-District 2 Team in 1994.  He graduated from Pacific in 1994 with a degree in business administration. 

 

Thompson inherits a George Fox program that lost three seniors to graduation but returns three players around which to build, with three newcomers joining the team as the program looks toward a bright future under its new coach.

 

In explaining his decision to seek the George Fox position, Thompson said, “I love coaching and seeing kids get better, and I remember my own college playing days as one of the best times of my life.  This was a good opportunity to move on in my coaching life to a higher level from high school.

 

“I have followed the George Fox program from a distance for several years with its presence at Chehalem Glenn, and have known MaryJo for a long time when she would bring her previous teams down to Langdon Farms.  George Fox’s core values fit well with my own faith, and its commitment to athletic excellence is consistent with what I believe the college experience should be about.”

 

Taylor, in announcing the hiring of Thompson, commented, “Branden’s track record as a teacher and builder of golf programs speaks for itself.  His familiarity with our golfers already and his designs for strengthening our program mean that the George Fox men’s golf program should be in good hands for quite a while.  He is a welcome addition to our overall athletics department.”

 

McCloskey added, “Branden and I have worked well together over the last several years as our teams have practiced at Chehalem Glenn.  He is well-respected by all our players, and is passionate about taking the men's team to the next level.  I am excited to have him on board.”

 

Thompson, a Class A member of the Professional Golfers Association, and his wife Christine have two sons: Palmer, age eight, and Jack, age five, who are already avid golfers.  He enjoys coaching youth league teams for the Chehalem Parks and Recreation District in his spare time.

 

McCloskey, who has led the Bruin women to four consecutive NCAA Division III National Championship Tournaments, including a fourth-place finish at the nationals this past spring, was asked by Taylor to become the director of golf for the university at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.  She will maintain her role as head women's coach while also assisting with operational direction and needs for the men's golf program.

 

“I am honored that George Fox would ask me to take on this new position,” said McCloskey.  “Over the past four years, as our women's team participated in the National Championship tournament, I noticed that several of the top programs have both men's and women's teams competing at the nationals.  Our goal is make Bruin golf, both our women's and men's teams, one of those top programs.  With Branden on board, I know we can get it done.”

 

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