LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - UofL head coach Mark Crabtree planned to retire after the UofL men’s golf season. With the NCAA cancelling all spring sports on March 12, his retirement came a few months early.
“Well I would say that there won’t be too many coaches that this is the way that they’ll write the last of their script, will they?” Crabtree said. “There will not be too many coaches that that’s the way that it goes, but you know, it stopped or ended abruptly. No way of knowing that that’s the way it was going to be. Like I’ve said before, I’m fine, I’m, these young men have put their heart and soul into this, you know, you’re concerned about them and them not being able to accomplish some things, but it’s really out of our control.”
His final team was ranked #19 in the nation and a threat to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
Crabtree is ready for the next chapter.
“I think it’s the perfect time,” he said. “I think it’s the right time. I’m fortunate to go out with a tremendous group of young men who worked ambitiously hard every day to try to accomplish something great. We built on last year. We were doing some tremendous things.”
Led by junior Matthias Schmid, the Cards made the NCAA Championship in 2019, finishing 29th.
“This group of young men was as special as any group I’ve ever had, in bonding together, working together for a common purpose,” Crabtree said about his 2020 team. “What I leave with is a group of young men, the seniors Trevor Johnson, Devin Morley, John Murphy and Keegan de Lange, those four seniors are so, so special because of what they’ve gone through. Not to leave the other players, Matthias Schmid, who is our first team All-American and the greatest player, in my opinion, to this point, that’s ever played here. Jiri Zuska, a sophomore, all of these guys bonded together in such a way, a common purpose to accomplish something special and we were on track to do that.”
The Cards were expected to contend for the ACC Championship and be competitive in the NCAA Tournament.
“Our numbers showed that,” Crabtree said. “We finished the season #1 in the country in scoring average, so we were going to be there at the end.”
The end for Crabtree at UofL comes after 21 seasons, 11 NCAA regional appearances and four trips to the NCAA Championships.