Chance Cain chosen to lead resurrection of Tarleton men’s golf program


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State University is bringing back men’s golf for the first time since 1995 and the Texans have selected Chance Cain to lead the revival.

“We’re excited to name Chance Cain as our next head men’s golf coach,” said Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman. “Chance comes to Tarleton with experience at the highest level of Division I competition after six seasons with the University of Utah. He brings experience, but what stood out most was his energy, enthusiasm, and his work ethic.

“I have no doubt that Chance will do a tremendous job and quickly bring a prominent men’s golf program back to Tarleton State University,” he continued.

Cain comes to Tarleton following a six-year stint as the assistant coach for Utah, where last spring his Utes snapped a 29-year postseason drought with a berth in the NCAA West Regional. Utah ranked among the top 50 programs in the nation and had three individuals in the top-194 nationally. In addition to the team success, individual Tristan Mandur recorded the highest individual finish in Utah history at 17th in the nation.

Following Utah’s success in 2021, Cain was named a finalist for the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to come home and get this team back in action for Tarleton State University,” said Cain. “I’m thankful to President Dr. James Hurley, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman, and the hiring committee for welcoming me home to Texas and for entrusting me with this tremendous opportunity. I’d also like to thank (Utah Head Coach) Garrett Clegg for the last six seasons. He was a great mentor and I learned a great deal from him about how to be a head coach and lead a team of outstanding student-athletes.

“I’ve been a part of some great men’s golf teams in my career and I’m ready to add Tarleton to that list,” he continued. “Historically, men’s golf has been a storied program and it has a rich history of success. I’m excited for the opportunity and ready to build it to the standards our university and fans deserve.”

Utah has had some of its best seasons during Cain’s time on staff.

In just his second season with the Utes, Utah notched its first event win since 2009 with a first-place finish (-22; 842) at the 2017 Mark Simpson Invitational at the University of Colorado. was the team’s first event win since 2009. Utah improved at the Pac-12 Championships in each of Cain’s first four seasons, finishing tied for fifth in 2019 – its best finish since joining the league.

In 2019, Cain and the Utes sent a student-athlete to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006 when Kyler Dunkle finished tied for 28th in the nation, which was a high for the program at the time. That mark fell with Mandur’s fourth-place finish last spring.

Cain, a native of Big Spring, began his coaching career in the Lone Star State as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for Texas Tech in 2012. He remained with the Red Raiders through 2014 before taking a year away from athletics. He returned to the links in 2016 as the assistant at Utah.

Over two seasons at Texas Tech, Cain was a part of the 2013 Red Raider squad that went on to compete at the NCAA Division I Tournament that finished 14th overall for the program’s third-best finish in school history at the time. The following season, Texas Tech finished second at the 2014 Big 12 Championship Tournament.

After a standout career at Big Spring High School, Cain advanced to the collegiate ranked and played two seasons at Midland College. He helped guide his team to the 2008 NJCCA National Championship before completing his associates degree and moving on to Texas Tech. He earned a bachelor’s in general business from Texas Tech in 2010 before completing a master’s in sports management at his alma mater in 2012.

Cain becomes the sixth head coach in the history of men’s golf, which dates back to 1929. Legendary athletic director and multi-sport coach W.J. Wisdom was the school’s first men’s golf coach and provided two tenures from 1929-39 and again from 1941-49. Earl Rudder coached for two years in between before his call to military service.

After Wisdom, Dutch Flory led the program from 1949-69 before giving way to Hall of Fame Coach Donnie Campbell. Campbell led the program from 1969-91. He won three conference titles, two District 8 titles, and sent players to four NAIA National Golf Tournaments. Campbell was inducted into the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005 after a 36-year Tarleton career that spanned three different sports.

Jim Johnson coached the team from 1991-95 before the program was put on hiatus in the early stages of Tarleton’s move to NCAA Division II.

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