Jaguars leaving indelible mark with recent success

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On the back wall behind Josh Gregory's desk rests a wooden plaque.

It's the Dave Williams Coach of the Year award in 2010, which Gregory won after leading Augusta State to the NCAA Division I golf championship. Now, Gregory is hoping to replicate a feat performed by Williams, the legendary Houston coach.

In 1985, Williams led the Cougars to their second consecutive national title. Since then, no team has repeated.

"You dream of winning one, much less two," Gregory said. "I never thought how important winning one would be to Augusta. To win two, I could only imagine what that would be like."

A second NCAA championship would only add to Augusta State's growing legacy. The Jaguars will make another run at a title with one of the strongest squads in school history. Augusta State is led by four-year starter Henrik Norlander and two-year starter Patrick Reed.

Norlander has been the steadiest golfer in school history.

The 24-year-old Swede owns the career mark for most rounds at par or better (75 of 131), and he possesses a 71.63 career stroke average -- a record for four-year players. He also owns four career victories, one short of the career record set by European Tour golfer Oliver Wilson.

Reed, who transferred after playing his freshman season at Georgia, has made his own mark in two years at Augusta State.

The 20-year-old Reed, whose family lives in Martinez, won his second career college event, at the Southeast Regional on May 20. He holds the school record for career scoring average at 71.32.

"Those two guys will be on TV before long," Gregory said. "You don't get to coach those guys very often. They make me look really good."

Mitch Krywulycz (73.84 career average) and Carter Newman (73.93) also have had solid careers, especially the past two years. This season, the duo has combined for 11 top-25 finishes.

"I don't know if I'll ever get an opportunity to coach a group like this again," Gregory said.

"That's not just from a talent standpoint," he said. "That's from a personality standpoint of having guys who truly get it. Their passion for college golf is the same as mine, and that doesn't happen very often."

Krywulycz, Newman, Norlander and Reed have helped Augusta State post one of the most successful two-year runs in the program's history. They've collected five victories and five runner-up finishes among 18 top-five showings in 22 events.

And they captured the most important win of all, the 2010 NCAA Division I Championship.

"I think we've already left a mark that not many of us thought we'd be leaving before we came," Newman said. "It's been a great five years."

Of course, Augusta State is not done. The Jaguars enter with thoughts of winning a national title on Oklahoma State's home course, a feat that would make a major impression around the golf world.

"It would solidify what we did last year," Krywulycz said. "You can't ignore back-to-back national championships."

"It's an awesome opportunity one last time for these five guys to kind a make a statement," Gregory said. "What a better place to do it than at Oklahoma State."

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