The championship tradition of the Oklahoma State Cowboy Golf program.
In seven seasons as the head coach at Oklahoma State, Mike McGraw has undoubtedly left his mark on one of the nation's proudest programs. Labeled as one of the top 20 recruiters in any sport by ESPN The Magazine, the fruits of McGraw's labor are evidenced by the impressive list of compiled achievements, both individually and by his squads as a whole.
The 2010-11 campaign was one filled with numerous accomplishments. McGraw's Cowboys won eight times en route to finishing the season as the top-ranked squad in the country. Among the squad's triumphs was its fifth Big 12 title in a row. Following the win, McGraw was named the league's coach of the year for the fifth-straight season.
Individually, Peter Uihlein became the fourth player in program history to capture the prestigious U.S. Amateur title en route to being named the Ben Hogan Award winner as the nation's top player. Uihlein was joined by teammates Morgan Hoffmann and Kevin Tway as first-team All-Americans, making them just the second trio from the same school to earn first-team All-America status in the same year.
In 2010, McGraw narrowly missed leading the Cowboys to their second national title under his direction. OSU's runner-up showing at the NCAA Championship brought to a close a successful campaign that produced five victories. The Cowboys also finished the season as the nation's top-ranked squad for the second consecutive year. Among the squad's wins was a fourth consecutive Big 12 title that saw McGraw named the league's coach of the year for the fourth-straight time.
McGraw also oversaw five medalists and three of his players achieved All-America status.
OSU has now won 21 times overall with McGraw at the helm. Additionally, 23 individual medalists have been crowned under his watch.
The 2008-09 season saw the Cowboys win five times. OSU was impressive in victory, winning four times by double-digit totals. Overall, McGraw's squad won by an average of 16 strokes, including a 14-shot win at the Big 12 Championship and a 22-stroke victory at the NCAA South Central Regional.
Following the conference victory, McGraw was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, while Morgan Hoffmann was named the league's player and newcomer of the year, making him the fourth consecutive Cowboy to be named the Big 12's top player.
Individually, five different players combined to win seven times led by Hoffmann, who became the third player under McGraw's direction to earn the Phil Mickelson Award as the nation's top freshman. Hoffmann was also one of two players on the squad to reel in first-team All-America honors.
With three victories during the 2007-08 campaign, McGraw added to an already impressive resumé by claiming his second-straight Big 12 Coach of the Year honor. With their first victory coming in the fall at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, the Cowboys closed with wins in two of their final four events. Following a convincing defense of its title at the Big 12 Championship, McGraw's squad ran its winning streak at The Maxwell to seven consecutive years.
Individually, the Cowboys continued to flourish under McGraw as well with four players earning All-America honors. Highlighting the quartet was first-team selection Rickie Fowler, who also became the first-ever freshman to win the Ben Hogan Award.
In process, he became the third consecutive Cowboy to be named the Big 12 Player of the Year and the second OSU recipient of the league's newcomer of the year under McGraw.
In 2006-07, he guided the Cowboys to three team titles, including the school's fifth Big 12 crown, and produced his second Big 12 Player of the Year in Pablo Martin. McGraw was also named the Big 12 Coach of the Year after leading the program to its 50th conference championship.
No better script could have been written in McGraw's inaugural season at the helm as he guided the Cowboys to their 10th NCAA title.
After taking command of a talented squad that returned four starters and had won seven tournaments during the 2004-05 season, McGraw began his first year with lofty expectations and did not disappoint. He broke through with his first career victory at the Hall of Fame Invitational before collecting the team title at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. However, the back-to-back titles were just a precursor to the success that would lie ahead as he guided the squad to three consecutive victories, including the NCAA Championship, to close out his rookie season.
After triumphs at The Maxwell and the NCAA Central Regional, McGraw delivered the school's 10th national title in Sunriver, Ore. at Crosswater Golf Club before being named the Dave Williams Award winner as the national coach of the year.
Just the third head coach in the 60-year history of the storied program, McGraw assumed the position held by former Cowboy head coach Mike Holder, who had manned the post since 1973.
"This job is a big responsibility, because I know how much this program has meant and means to Mike Holder," McGraw said. "I realize what a great job Labron Harris did and Mike built on that. That is why the position has a lot of responsibility, because I have to do the same thing they did. My expectations are to continue their success and try to make the program better."
A native of Ponca City, Okla., McGraw grew up in the shadows of the Cowboy program and has never been far from its reaches.
During his youth, McGraw watched as Holder brought his squad to Ponca City Country Club and spent numerous days on the course as a caddy for former OSU All-American Roger Brown.
"I was raised 40 miles north of here and knew all about the program when I was growing up," McGraw said. "I never dreamed I would be the head coach, so this opportunity means a lot from the standpoint that I have followed the program for more than 35 years and realize its stature."
McGraw was raised in a golf family as his father, Gervis, competed in the 1949 U.S. Open at Medina at the age of 19. His older brother, Tim, was a state champion at Ponca City High School and his twin sister, Patty, who played at OSU, has won nine Oklahoma amateur state titles.
Prior to his appointment, he spent the 2004-05 season working as the head coach of the Cowgirl golf squad after a seven-year stint as an assistant with the men's team. While leading the women's team, McGraw directed the Cowgirls to the 2005 Big 12 title and was named as the conference coach of the year in the process. Under his guidance, the squad produced two first-team All-Americans in Karin Sjodin and Annie Thurman-Young.
During his tenure as an assistant coach for the men's team, the Cowboys won 16 tournament titles, and produced 19 All-Americans. OSU enjoyed marked success at the NCAA Championship with McGraw on staff, winning its ninth national title in 2000 and posting four top-five finishes, including a pair of runner-up finishes.
Among his pupils were Charles Howell and Hunter Mahan, who both earned national player of the year honors, and fellow first-team All-Americans Bo Van Pelt and Anders Hultman.
In 2003, McGraw was named the inaugural recipient of the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year award, presented by TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, after spending the year in a dual role as assistant coach and tournament director for the NCAA Championship.
The following season, McGraw once again found himself with multiple roles within the OSU golf program, adding the title of assistant women's coach to his list of duties. He helped the Cowgirl squad to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship.
McGraw came to Stillwater in 1997 after heading the golf program at Edmond (Okla.) North High School for four seasons. Under his watch, the Huskies captured three state titles. Overall, his squads won 36 out of 46 tournaments entered and were runners-up on seven other occasions.
McGraw served as an assistant coach at Edmond Memorial High School from 1987 until 1993, helping the Bulldogs to six state championships in seven seasons.
The Daily Oklahoman's Coach of the Year in 1994, 1996 and 1997, he served as the President of the Oklahoma Golf Coaches Association in 1994.
During his time in Edmond, he coached a total of seven individual state champions and sent over 20 players on to play at the Division I level.
In addition to his coaching duties, McGraw served as the junior golf director at Kicking Bird Golf Course in Edmond for several years. He also taught in the Edmond Public Schools system from 1990-97.
As a player, McGraw was a three-year letterwinner for Central Oklahoma and was named an honorable mention All-American in 1981 after finishing 16th at the NAIA Championship that season. He graduated from UCO with a bachelor's degree in broadcast communications in 1982.
Born April 18, 1960, McGraw and his wife, Pam, were married in October of 1996.