CHAMPAGNE, Ill.— Illinois Head Coach for Men’s Golf mike small announced on Wednesday that assistant coach Justin Bardgett has accepted a new role as Director of Collegiate Relations at PGA TOUR University and will depart the Illinois program upon completion of Fighting Illinois’ 2023 postseason run.

“Illinois Men’s Golf is very happy and excited for Justin as he embarks on a new and exciting career path,” said head coach mike small called. “Justin has done an excellent job as our men’s assistant coach and his coaching talents will certainly be missed. Head coaches are always proud when their players and/or staff find growth and satisfaction in their professional lives, and I know Justin will continue to do great things in his new career path with PGA TOUR University.”

Bardgett has been a key part of Small’s program in each of the past four years since joining the Illini ahead of the start of the 2019-20 season. During his tenure, the St. Louis Illinois native has helped extend his streak of consecutive Big Ten championships to a conference-record seven consecutive titles in 2020-21 and 2021-22 after the 2019-20 campaign was abruptly canceled due to the Covid -19 Pandemic. The Illini competed in both 2021 and 2022 NCAA Regionals and qualified for the 2021 NCAA Championship, where they advanced to matchplay and finished in the top five as a team for the seventh time since 2011.

Bardgett has helped the Illini capture 13 team tournament titles and four singles wins while assisting on the coaching frontline as three golfers won four All-America selections. During his time with Orange and Blue, the Illini have also received two Big Ten Golfer of the Year honors, a Big Ten Freshman of the Year honor and consecutive Les Bolstad Award winners for the conference’s top batting average. The Illini have also captured 10 All-Big Ten laurels from six golfers. Academically, Bardgett helped the Illini collect 19 Academic All-Big Ten honors from 10 individuals, seven Big Ten Distinguished Scholar nods from four golfers, and 14 GCAA All-America Scholar selections from seven student-athletes.

“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at such a great university with a great athletic department and for one of the greatest college coaches of all time mike small‘ said Bardgett. “Working, learning and growing with our student-athletes day in and day out is something I will miss dearly. The decision to leave Illinois was a very difficult one, but ultimately this opportunity could not be passed on to my family and I. But first I’m looking forward to completing our strong season by chasing championships with our boys.”

The Illini, currently ranked 5th nationally by Golfstat and in the GCAA Coaches’ Poll, finished second in last weekend’s Augusta Haskins Award Invitational and have two regular-season events left on their schedule before turning the tournament around Postseason page to begin the hunt for an eighth straight Big Ten Championship April 28-30 in Galloway, NJ

Following the Big Ten Championship, Illinois will compete in one of six yet-to-be-determined venues at the NCAA Regionals (May 15-17) with a goal of qualifying for the 14th-season national titleth th time since 2008 at the NCAA Championship (May 26-31) in Scottsdale, Ariz.

However, fans will first have the opportunity to see the Fighting Illini in action as the team will wrap up the regular season by hosting the inaugural Fighting Illini Spring Collegiate on April 22-23 at the newly renovated Atkins Golf Club in Urbana. The event is the first men’s collegiate tournament hosted by the Illini in the Urbana-Champaign community since the 2011-12 season. For more information on Fighting Illini Spring Collegiate 2023, click here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *