Beginning in 1947, the Oklahoma State Men's Golf program can
be consistently described with one word: success. The Cowboy
Golf program has accumulated ten NCAA national championships
and 16 runner-up finishes. OSU has made the NCAA
Championship field a record 64 times in a row, and has
finished lower than fifth on only 14 occasions. OSU players
have captured 8 individual national championships, 13 player of the year distinctions, and 160
In five seasons as the head coach at Oklahoma State, Mike McGraw
has undoubtedly left his mark on one of the nation's proudest
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
OSU has now won 21 times overall with McGraw at the helm.
Additionally, 23 individual medalists have been crowned under his
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
With three victories during the 2007-08 campaign, McGraw added to an
already impressive resume 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 the 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
No better script could have been written in McGraw's inaugural
season at the helm as he guided the Cowboys to their 10th NCAA
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
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 and currently serves as the head women's golf coach at
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
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
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
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 letter winner 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.
Head Coach, 2005-Present
1 National Championship
4 Big 12 Championships
3 NCAA Regional Championships
16 Team Runner-Up Finishes
2-Time National Coach of the Year
4-Time Big 12 Coach of the Year
During his 32-year coaching career, Mike Holder's name became
synonymous with success in college golf.
His successes include not only his team's results on the course, but
his players' performances in the classroom and beyond. His vision
and fund-raising abilities resulted in the creation of Karsten
Creek, a magnificent layout in Stillwater that serves as the home to
the OSU golf program and was selected as the Best New Public Course
in 1994 by Golf Digest magazine.
In 2000, Holder's team claimed the national championship, marking
the eighth time his squad carried home that championship trophy. And
while top-five national finishes are the norm at Oklahoma State, the
accomplishments of his teams didn't stop at the 18th hole.
Since Holder took over the OSU coaching post on July 1, 1973, his
teams set standards that were unequalled on the golf course as well
as in the classroom.
While he coached more than 110 All-America selections, including 38
first-team choices, and has numerous former players competing on the
PGA Tour, overseas and on mini-tours, Holder saw to it that his
players excelled in the classroom as well.
During his tenure, OSU produced three Ben Hogan Award winners. Kevin
Wentworth earned that honor in 1990, Trip Kuehne claimed the
prestigious award in 1995 and Hunter Mahan was named the recipient
During his tenure, only 14 times was a player named a first-team
athletic All-America and academic All-America in the same season,
and nine of those times that player was from Oklahoma State. Holder
had 21 Academic All-America selections since the inception of that
honor in 1984 as well as countless academic All-Big Eight and Big 12
The five regulars on his 1994 and 1995 teams all earned All-America
honors and Academic All-Big Eight honors during both seasons, giving
new definition to the term "student-athlete".
Holder was only the second golf coach in the history of the Cowboy
program. Labron Harris coached the team from 1947 to 1973 and won 24
league titles and the 1963 NCAA Championship during his 27 years.
Holder won 25 league crowns and eight national championships in his
Since a fifth-place national finish in his inaugural season,
Holder's teams finished lower than fourth at the NCAA Tournament
just eight times, including a string of 13 first- or second-place
finishes in 14 years from 1975-88. OSU placed first or second at the
national tournament in 18 of the 32 seasons under his guidance, and
his players won 22 conference individual titles in addition to five
NCAA individual crowns.
Over those 32 seasons, Oklahoma State entered 448 tournaments and
won 178 titles for a 39.7 winning percentage. OSU also posted 99
runner-up finishes, which means that OSU place first or second in 62
percent of its tournaments.
As a member of the OSU golf team from 1968-70, Holder earned
honorable mention All-America honors as a sophomore and third-team
status after his junior and senior seasons. In 1970, Holder captured
Big Eight medalist honors while leading the Cowboys to the team
After graduating in 1970 with a degree in marketing, Holder earned
his MBA in 1973 and then assumed control of the Cowboy golf program.
The well-respected coach was a member of the seven-person NCAA Golf
Committee from 1992 to 1998.
Mike Holder was one of five coaches all-time, regardless of sport,
to have won national championships in four different decades.
Three times Holder had individual champions in the same year as the
NCAA team title: 1978, 1987 and 2000.
Head Coach, 1973-2005
8 National Championships
5 Individual National Champions
25 Conference Championships
18 Top-Two Finishes
26 Top-Five Finishes
"The Father of OSU Golf"
When then-athletics director Henry
Iba asked then OSU business professor Labron Harris to coach the
first Cowboy golf team back in the 1946-47 season, Iba may or may
not have known the significance of that hire.
Harris instantly gave OSU golf credibility, and success was inherent
in the program from day one - on and off the course.
Harris' teams won 24 conference titles and one NCAA championship
(1963), and his charges posted 20 top-five finishes at the national
tournament during his 27 years as the school's head coach. And while
those numbers are impressive, the fact that all but four players who
played out their eligibility during his time were able to graduate
is a tribute to the excellence that made up Oklahoma State golf then
and is still a foundation of the school's success today.
Harris, who taught and inspired countless numbers of golfers - not
only at OSU but also in Stillwater and across the country - with his
approach to golf and life, retired on June 30, 1973 at the mandatory
retirement age of 65.
He was largely responsible for the building of Lakeside Golf Course
and the Stillwater Country Club, both in Stillwater. He served as
the professional at Lakeside teaching the game to anyone who wanted
Harris was born Nov. 26, 1908, and grew up as one of 14 siblings in
Dardanelle, Ark., until the family moved to Wewoka, Okla., when he
was eight. He graduated from Wewoka High School in 1927 after
playing basketball, baseball, track, tennis and football.
He then went to college at Southwestern in Weatherford, Okla., where
he wrestled in the first match he ever saw and played tennis and
golf before graduating in 1935. An outstanding tennis player, Harris
played his first round of golf in 1930 at the Weatherford
Country Club, and he soon became an accomplished golfer, winning 152
tournaments prior to his retirement.
At Oklahoma State he coached 31 All-America selections, as well as
1953 NCAA individual champion Earl Moeller. Among the OSU
All-Americans he coached were Ab Justice, Dave Eichelberger, Bob
Dickson, Mike Holder, Danny Edwards, Mark Hayes and 1968 NCAA
medalist Grier Jones.
His son Labron, Jr. was an outstanding golfer at OSU earning
All-America honors twice and also winning the U.S. Amateur in 1962.
Harris, Sr. who lived in Sun City, Ariz., after retiring from
Oklahoma State, died on August 14, 1995 at the age of 86.
Head Coach, 1947-73 1 National Championship
2 Individual National Champions
24 Conference Championships
5 Team Runner-Up Finishes
20 Top-Five Finishes