NOTRE DAME, Ind. - After 13 seasons as head men’s golf coach at the University of Notre Dame, Jim Kubinski will not return in that role for the 2017-18 season.
Kubinski departs with a Notre Dame resume that included four Big East Conference Championships (2005, 2006, 2011 and 2012) and two other runner-up finishes (2007 and 2010) in that league. As a team, his Irish four times qualified for the NCAA Championship—participating in regional competition in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2012.
Notre Dame finished seventh in the league championship meet in its first season of play in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014, then ended up 11th in 2015 and 10th the last two years.
“I am appreciative of the way in which Jim and his team have represented the University, both on and off the golf course,” said Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick.
"However, our expectations regarding competitive performance are also high, and we regrettably have not been able to meet those in recent years. I'd like to thank Jim for all he has done for the program-- while at the same time we begin a national search to identify a new head coach for our men’s golf program."
Kubinski was just the sixth head coach in the history of the Irish men's golf program that began play in 1929-30 and features an NCAA title in 1944 and 37 trips to NCAA postseason competition. He mentored his Notre Dame teams to 18 tournament championships, and his players collectively earned seven PING all-Midwest Region honors and 24 all-conference accolades.
"I appreciate the opportunity I've had as Notre Dame men's golf coach these last 13 seasons,” said Kubinski. "I'm very proud of our team's academic achievement awards, our 100 percent graduation rate and the six NCAA appearances (four team/two with individuals). My wife and children have thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the community, which has been yet another blessing of our years with Notre Dame. I certainly wish our players, past and present, and all those associated with Notre Dame athletics continued success. I feel the program is positioned to climb the rankings in the years ahead."
After leading his team to its third appearance in seven years at the 2011 NCAA Championship, Kubinski was selected as the Big East Coach of Year for the first time in his tenure with the Irish. He repeated the honor in 2012, as the Irish claimed a 16-shot victory at the Big East Championship (852, -12), good for a spot in the NCAA Central Regional. Kubinski piloted the Irish to consecutive Big East Conference titles in 2005 and 2006, and back-to- back NCAA regional appearances both years, before accomplishing that same feat again in 2011 and 2012.
Under Kubinski's guidance, Notre Dame registered 63 top-five finishes, including those 18 tournament titles, two of which came in sudden-death playoffs. The Irish also carded the top 10 single-season team stroke averages in school history under Kubinski, including a 289.52 in 2016-17, the best mark in program history.
Under Kubinski, Niall Platt became the fifth golfer in program history-- joining Mark Baldwin, Cole Isban, Doug Fortner and Max Scodro-- to receive all-Big East accolades in three consecutive seasons when he was tabbed with the honor in 2013. Scodro earned all-conference distinction in each of his four seasons (and twice was the conference player of the year) to set the program standard during its 18-year affiliation with the Big East.
Isban became the first three-time PING All-Midwest Region selection (2005-07) in program history under Kubinski's tutelage, and graduated as the school record-holder for single-season stroke average (72.71 in 2006-07) and career stroke average (73.76). Josh Sandman in 2008 became the first Notre Dame golfer chosen as an individual qualifier for NCAA regional play. During Kubinski’s tenure 10 Notre Dame golfers played in the U.S. Amateur Championship, most recently Blake Barens in 2016.
Scodro etched his name in Irish annals by posting the lowest single-season stroke average (71.25) in Notre Dame history during the 2011-12 campaign. He became the first golfer under Kubinski's guidance and first for the program in 32 years to receive All-America recognition.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Kubinski was a three-year golf letterman and two-year team captain at Springfield (Massachusetts) College before his 1993 graduation. He spent a season and a half as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at Duke in 2003-04 before coming to Notre Dame in January 2005. Kubinski previously served as co-head golf professional for three years at the Duke University Golf Club, another three years as first assistant professional at The Tournament Players Club at River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut—and also spent time at course in Tennessee, South Carolina and Massachusetts.