May 4, 2009
AUBURN---Mike Griffin, who has served as the Auburn men's golf coach for the previous 25 seasons is stepping down from his coaching responsibilities and will remain with the program as the director of golf. A four-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, Griffin led the program to an SEC title in 2002 and eight SEC runner-up finishes, 16 NCAA Championship appearances and 19 NCAA Regional appearances.
"I have been here a long time and after looking at things through experienced eyes, I decided this is what was best for me and my family and for Auburn golf and the young people here," Griffin said. "When I was brought here, my purpose was to get a golf course, practice facility and team home built, and those have been completed.
"We've been very competitive, winning several tournament and individual titles, including SEC and Regional team and individual titles, and an NCAA individual title. The only thing we've not accomplished was winning a team title, however, what makes it better was having the opportunity to host an NCAA Championship."
A 36-year coaching veteran, Griffin was the head coach at his alma mater, Troy State, for 11 seasons from 1973-84 before coming to Auburn.
"I'm very appreciative of Coach Dye hiring me and to Buddy Davidson for recruiting me to Auburn. This program has become very competitive, and I think our next coach can take this program and run with it, and that's what is exciting to me. I'm looking forward to assisting with the transition."
Griffin was named the Region III South Coach of the Year five times in 1984-85, 93-94, 94-95 and 96-97. He was also named four times the SEC Coach of the Year, being recognized in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2002. In 2000, Griffin was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
"Mike Griffin has experienced a tremendous amount of success during the last 25 years and we appreciate everything that he has done not only in building this golf program to one of the finest in the nation, but for what he gave to the department, university and community," Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. "Mike possesses great character and integrity and is one of the most respected coaches in the golf world. He has touched the lives of countless student-athletes, developing many not only into successful golfers, but also into productive students and citizens. We are pleased that Mike will be staying on and assisting with the transition of the program."
In 25 seasons at Auburn, Griffin coached 20 All-Americans and 60 All-SEC performers, one NCAA Champion, one SEC Player of the Year, three SEC Individual Champions and three SEC Freshmen of the Year. More impressive was the academic success of his student-athletes. During his tenure at Auburn, Griffin has had 13 All-America Scholars and 36 SEC Academic Honor Roll recipients.
While at Auburn, Griffin led the Tigers to 39 tournament titles. He also played an instrumental role in bringing the 2000 NCAA Men's Golf Championship to Grand National's Lake Course, which was the first ever NCAA Championship in men's golf hosted by Auburn University and the state of Alabama. He also orchestrated the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, which Auburn hosted from 1988-2006.
In Griffin's first season at Auburn, he led the program to a pair of tournament wins and a berth in the NCAA Championship, where it finished 18th. He was awarded the District III South Coach of the Year in his first season. In his second year, he took Auburn back to the NCAA Championship and finished 22nd. The highest finish the Tigers achieved nationally under Griffin was tied for seventh in 1994. He had two other top 10 finishes.
At Troy State, Griffin won three NCAA Division II Championships in 1976, '77, and '84 in nine consecutive appearances and won seven conference titles. He was a nine-time Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year and coached 32 All-Americans.
A native of Thomasville, Ala., Griffin was a stand-out golfer at Troy State, graduating in 1970 with a degree in education.