As coach of the Cougars for 31 years, he worked with Johnny Miller, Mike Weir, Mike Reid, Buddy Allin, and Bobby Clampett. All of whom went on to win on the PGA Tour. RIP.
Karl Tucker, who built BYU’s golf program into a national power and sent dozens of players to the PGA Tour, died Friday at his home in Orem. He was 83.
A member of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the Utah Golf Hall of Fame, Tucker is best known for coaching the Cougars to the 1981 NCAA championship. His 31-year career, which ended in 1992, also was highlighted by two second-place finishes and 13 top-five placements in the national tournament, remarkable achievements for a cold-weather school.
“He’s just legendary,” said Bruce Brockbank, who played for Tucker, assisted him and then followed him as BYU’s coach. “There are so many people who were influenced by him.”
Tucker created strong loyalty, as evidenced by the way so many golfers have come back regularly for Cougar Day, joining in a fund-raising tournament for the program. He coached nine first-team All-Americans, including Johnny Miller and Mike Reid, who went on to long and successful tour careers. Mike Weir, a member of Tucker’s last team, won the Masters in 2003.
Known for trademark expressions such as “Just go play” — his way of telling golfers to disregard the weather or any other potential excuses — Tucker usually succeeded in getting the most out of each player.
“His great gift as a coach was he had such a keen understanding of the personalities of college kids,” Reid said. “He knew us so well. He probably never read it in a book, he just knew that everybody was different. Two guys would make the same mistake — one, he would chew out; the other, he would ignore.”
Citing Tucker’s outgoing nature, Reid one joked that nobody played golf for BYU “without learning how to talk.” Miller, Jim Nelford and Bobby Clampett became network broadcasters, while Reid went from being shy and withdrawn to a polished speaker.
“He put BYU golf on the map,” Miller said in a Utah Golf Association posting. “He had a great personality and was a great recruiter. He got people to come to BYU, even with the Utah weather.”
- CBS Golf announcer Bobby Clampett apologizes for comment
- Johnny Miller apologizes in NBC statement for comments on Mediate
- Houston Cougars Basketball Coach Tom Penders resigns
- Season opener- PGA Tour SBS Championship begins today
- Former PGA Tour winner Buddy Allin dead at 62
- The Day after- Mark Wilson wins The Honda Classic
- Utah State hires Utah coordinator Gary Andersen as head football coach
- Verizon ends sponsorship of S. Carolina PGA Tour stop
- Why do media organizations hire clueless people to write about golf?
- Dustin Johnson wins rain shortened AT&T Pebble Beach
- Eight is Enough- Edmonton beats Chicago 8-4
- Lydia Ko wins New South Wales Open
- The Comeback I- Pittsburgh Penguins beat NY Islanders 5-0
- Seattle Mariners Outfielder Greg Halman stabbed to death at age 24
- Hee Young Park wins CME Titleholders Championship
- Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Kurt Budke dead at 50
- Costly mistake- Blackhawks waive Rostislav Olesz
- Manager Tony La Russa announces retirement
- Puck Drop- Florida Panthers start the 2011-12 NHL season
- 13-time PGA Tour winner Dave Hill dead at 74
Comments are Closed