ANGOLA — With the retirement of Bill SanGiacomo last season there will be a new face leading the Trine University men’s golf team this season.
As a coach SanGiacomo was a fixture at the university leading the Thunder golf team for the past 50 years. He has set a standard of excellence for small college men’s golf in the state of Indiana. SanGiacomo led the Thunder golf team to its first Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship last fall.
Women’s golf coach Noah Warren, a 2007 graduate of Trine University, is taking over for the legend.
“It is very big shoes to fill,” Warren said. “The guy is a legend. I am honored to take over the program.”
Warren was a member of the Thunder men’s golf team from 2003-07. After graduation he was named assistant pro at Zollner Golf Course and then became the course’s pro before taking over the women’s team in December 2017.
“I graduated and never left,” he said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Thunder’s spring golf season was cut short as campus was closed in March.
Warren said that closure was somewhat of a blessing, because it allowed him to focus on recruiting as he was quarantined at home.
“With the season canceled the only thing I had to do was recruit,” he said.
Looking ahead to this fall two of the team’s top golfers will be returning for a fifth year of eligibility as the NCAA has allowed players a fifth year because of the pandemic. The two fifth year seniors were MIAA top five ranked players.
“The 2020 season is looking surprisingly great,” Warren said. “We have a very strong recruiting class coming in.”
Lyndsey Welper, a 2020 Trine graduate and number one player on the women’s golf team will be taking over as assistant coach for the men’s and women’s team.
Last season’s team only lost one major tournament one of the first of the season Aug. 30-31 at Olivet. The team dropped that tournament by one shot. From there they never looked back.
SanGiacomo said in a story earlier this year that he doesn’t feel his age and still has the energy to coach.
“I’m only retiring because it’s time. Fifty is a good round figure to quit,” SanGiacomo said.
SanGiacomo led the Thunder men’s golf team to 19 conference championships, 14 state and regional titles and 14 national tournament appearances as an NAIA program. Zollner hosted three of those tournaments in 1987, 1990 and 1992.
Upon becoming an NCAA Division III member in 2004, SanGiacomo’s team never finished worse than fourth place in the MIAA.