The men's golf team has only seen three coaches in its history. In that time, it also saw 47 team members receive Academic All-Honors. DN File
Men's golf: Earl Yestingsmeier, NCAA Tournaments and Academic All-Honors
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Throughout its history, Ball State men’s golf has known just three head coaches.
The late Earl Yestingsmeier is a big reason why, having held the position for 36 years until retiring in 1998.
Yestingsmeier led the program to 107 tournament titles and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. A four-time coach of the year in three different conferences while at Ball State, he earned his way into the Ball State Athletics, Golf Coaches Association and Indiana Golf halls of fame. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State, essentially spending his entire professional career with the university.
Yestingsmeier died in January 2014 at 80 years old. Thirty-one years of his coaching career were spent doubling as the university’s sports information director.
Mike Fleck, the program’s current head coach, took over for Yestingsmeier after his retirement, holding the position since 1998. As of 2016, Fleck has led the Cardinals to 17 tournament victories and in 2012-13 the team reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. That same season saw the team reach NCAA Nationals for the first time since 1986, ranking as high as 27th in the nation.
Men’s golf is yet another Ball State sport that fields top student-athletes. Ball State held the nation’s top scholar-athlete in 1998 when Jamie Broce won the Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Coaches Association. The Ben Hogan Award, which has been around since 1990, is given to the best college golfer in the country each year.
Ball State has been home to 47 men’s golfer who have earned Academic All-America honors, and 11 of those came between 2011-16.
Timothy Wiseman, who will be a senior this year, became the first Ball State men’s golfer to compete in a major championship while still in college when he qualified for the 118th U.S. Open in June. With two spots up for grabs, Wiseman and Web.com Tour player David Gazzolo got past PGA Tour player Corey Conners in a playoff to make it to one of the biggest golf outings of the year.