Open Announce

Jake Harrington Named Head Coach of Lobo Men’s Golf

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –– University of New Mexico Vice President/Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez has announced that Jake Harrington, who most recently led Little Rock to three straight NCAA Regional appearances and an appearance at the 2021 NCAA Championship, has been named the head men’s golf coach of the Lobos.

“Our approach from the beginning was to hire someone of integrity and high character that is a proven winner to lead our tradition rich men’s golf program,” Nuñez said. “Jake Harrington is a proven winner everywhere he has been. His vision to continue to build on the history of our program, while competing for championships and focusing on exceptional player development on-and-off the course will help propel our program to future success.”

Harrington spent the last decade taking the Little Rock program to new heights. The Trojans were ranked in the 200s nationally when he took over the program in the fall of 2013, but he built them into a top-50 team by the end of his tenure. Little Rock made three straight NCAA regional appearances from 2021-23, including advancing to the program’s first NCAA Championship in 2021. The Trojans won the 2022 Sun Belt Conference and 2023 Ohio Valley Conference titles, ending the 2021 and 2022 seasons ranked a school-record No. 43 nationally.

“I want to thank Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez, Associate AD Ed Manzanares and the entire UNM staff for giving me this opportunity to lead Lobo golf into the future,” said Harrington. “I look forward to meeting the team and building on a foundation set by the great coaches that led New Mexico before me. My family and I are excited to get to know the Lobo community and making Albuquerque our home.”

The past three seasons have been the best era in the history of the Little Rock men’s golf program. In 2022-23, Harrington led the Trojans to four tournament titles, their most in a season in over 20 years. In their first season in the Ohio Valley Conference, the Trojans took the title and Harrington was named the league’s coach of the year. Little Rock competed in the NCAA Regionals for the third straight season and ended the year ranked No. 54 nationally by GolfStat.

In 2021-22, Harrington led Little Rock to its first Sun Belt Conference title in 21 years, one of three tournament titles for the Trojans that season. He was the SBC Coach of the Year as Little Rock ended the season ranked No. 43, tying the school record from a season before. The Trojans finished sixth at the NCAA Palm Beach Regional, missing a return trip to the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale by one place.

Little Rock broke onto the national scene in 2020-21, advancing to the program’s first NCAA Championship. The Trojans were seeded ninth at the NCAA Stillwater Regional, but finished fifth to advance to Scottsdale. Little Rock used a dramatic comeback on the final hole of the third round to advance, as all five players birdies the 54th hole to slip the Trojans past Auburn and Baylor for the final qualifying spot. At Grayhawk, the Trojans finished 30th at the NCAAs, the best finish in program history.

In Harrington’s first seven years at Little Rock, the Trojans won five tournament titles as he built the program, making 13 total titles during his decade in charge of the program. The success of the Trojans wasn’t limited to just the course, however, as Little Rock has earned academic honors from GCAA in eight of the last nine seasons, including President’s Special Recognition in 2021.

Prior to taking over the Little Rock program, Harrington was the head coach at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, where he led the Cougars to National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Championships in three of his last four seasons. He turned SMCC into a perennial power in his six years with the Cougars, leading the program to NJCAA Division II National Championships in 2010, 2012 and 2013, as well as a runner-up finish in 2011. Competing in the NJCAA Region I and Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, the Cougars won four region titles and four conference championships among the 41 tournament victories in Harrington’s time as head coach. Harrington was a two-time recipient of the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year award (2010, 2012), a four-time winner of the ACCAC Coach of the Year honor (2009, 2011-13), and was named the GCAA Western United States Coach of the Year in each of his final six seasons (2008-13) at SMCC. In the summer of 2013, Harrington served as head coach of Team USA at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup Championship at Chukyo Golf Club in Toyota City, Japan.

Harrington played one season for SMCC from 2001-02 before finishing his playing career and earning his bachelor’s degree in business management from Holy Names University in 2004. He went on to earn his master’s degree in global management from the University of Phoenix in 2006. In March of 2013, Harrington became the first golfer to be inducted into the Holy Names University Athletic Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a student-athlete.

Harrington is a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America and serves on the selection committees for the GCAA’s Hall of Fame and Palmer Cup. He served as President of the NJCAA Division II Coaches Association from 2012-13.