2014-15: Scott Limbaugh, who spent five years as the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of Alabama and played a major role in one of collegiate golf’s most dominating runs, brought his experience and enthusiasm to the Commodore men’s golf team after behing hired as the head coach in June of 2012. His successful ways have continued at Vanderbilt.
Limbaugh, who finished his third season with the Commodores, has pushed the Vanderbilt program to new heights under his leadership. Since his arrival prior to the 2012 campaign, Vanderbilt has won six team tournaments, had seven medalist winners, garnered three consecutive NCAA Regional bids, and pushed the Commodores to back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances in 2014 and 2015 for only the second time in program history.He has also had one of his players participate in a PGA Tour event - Hunter Stewart in 2014 at the RBC Heritage, where he barely missed the cut, and placed Matthias Schwab on the All-Freshman Team in 2014, the first time a Vanderbilt golfer has been honored by the league since 2010.
In 2014-15, Vanderbilt had one of the most successful seasons in the history of the program, with Stewart leading the way by winning the SEC Player of the Year, the first by a Commodore men’s golfer, and being named as a first-team All-SEC selection and a first-team All-American.Schwab was also named as an all-SEC first-team member and a third-team All-American by the GCAA,and Zack Jaworski was named an honorable mention All-American selection.Carson Jacobs was named to the All-SEC second team and Theo Humphrey to the All-SEC Freshman team.2014-15 marked the most selections to the All-American and All-SEC teams in the history of the program.Astonishingly, Stewart, Schwab, Jacobs, and Humphrey have four of the top eight single-season stroke averages in the history of the program, with Stewart posting the program’s all-time best stroke average at 69.49.
The Commodores also made a splash at the 2015 NCAA Championship, finishing in second place in stroke play competition before falling in the quarterfinals of match play to eventual national champion LSU in their first ever appearance in the Elite Eight.The exploits of the 2014-15 season earned Limbaugh a spot among the nation’s top collegiate coaches when he was named one of five finalists for the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year in the spring of 2015.
Prior to his arrival in Nashville, Limbaugh spent the last five seasons serving as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for the SEC and national powerhouse Crimson Tide,who finished as the NCAA runner-up (2012), captured SEC championships in two seasons (2008, 2012) and won two NCAA East Regional titles (2009, 2012). Alabama also played in four NCAA Championships and claimed 20 team tournament titles during his tenure.
“I believe that Vanderbilt is a special place and we can build champions on and off the golf course,” said Limbaugh after his hire. “There are many things that attracted me to Vanderbilt: First of all, Vanderbilt is a great university and Nashville is such an awesome location. We will have the opportunity to build champions in the classroom, on the golf course, and have young people that represent Vanderbilt in a way that Vanderbilt needs to be represented.”
Individually, Limbaugh has helped mentor 13 All-Americans on the course, with four of those being first-team selections (Michael Thompson, 2008; Bud Cauley, 2009, 2010, 2011; Justin Thomas, 2012; Hunter Stewart, 2015).Thomas, who was recruited by Limbaugh, claimed the prestigious Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson awards, while also earning SEC Player of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year honors. He has also coached two Walker Cup team members (Bud Cauley, Hunter Stewart), five Palmer Cup members (Michael Thompson, Bud Cauley, Justin Thomas, Hunter Stewart, Matthias Schwab), three SEC Players of the Year (Michael Thompson, 2008; Thomas, 2012; Stewart, 2015), and two additional SEC Freshmen of the Year (Bud Cauley, 2009; Cory Whitsett, 2011).
Off the course and in the classroom, Limbaugh also helped recruit and tutor some of the nation’s best. In 2012, he coached the NCAA Elite 89 winner in Whitsett, and in 2008, Joeseph Sykora claimed the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Student-Athlete of the Year honor. In all, he has coached 58 Academic All-SEC team members and five Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-America Scholar members.
Limbaugh is considered one of the nation’s best recruiters. On the recruiting trail, Alabama recruited two of the top-ranked junior golfers in America in his tenure with the Crimson Tide (Bud Cauley (2008) and Bobby Wyatt (2010)), one U.S. Junior Amateur Champion (Cory Whitsett, 2010), and six American Junior Golf Association All-Americans. The Crimson Tide, according to Golfweek, also landed three top 10 recruiting classes (2008, 2010, 2011) in his time in Tuscaloosa.
A 2003 Huntingdon College (Ala.) graduate, Limbaugh played for the Hawks for two seasons after helping lead Central Alabama Community College to two NCAA Junior College National Championships. Limbaugh was a co-captain on that 2000 National Champion team for Central Alabama. As a golfer at Huntingdon, he competed at nationals and was team captain in 2002. After his playing career was over, Limbaugh was hired as an assistant coach at his alma mater and was elevated to head coach in June of 2004, where he served until Alabama men’s golf hired him as an assistant in 2007.
Limbaugh, a Childersburg, Ala., native, was the 2005-06 Eaton/Golf Pride South Region NCAA Division III Coach of the Year. He coached Huntingdon to a fourth-place NCAA Division III men’s golf finish in 2007, which was its best finish in school history. It was Huntingdon’s third straight NCAA appearance as Limbaugh’s teams qualified in all three of his seasons as head coach.
His first Huntingdon team in 2005 finished ninth before the 2006 team finished 15th. His 2006 team was ranked No. 1 for almost the entire season in Division III.
He produced three All-Americans during his time at Huntingdon, including Alex Balog, Jacob Collinsworth and Matt Mahanic. Collinsworth was a first-team selection after finishing second individually at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Limbaugh and his wife, Kate, have two daughters, Malley (4), and Annie (2).
What Others Are Saying About Limbaugh
"Scott Limbaugh has an infectious attitude and is a tireless recruiter. I look forward to getting to know him even better and know he is the coach that will bring Vanderbilt golf back to relevance on the national level. We have found the right man for the job."
- Brandt Snedeker, Vanderbilt All-American, PGA Tour, Search Committee Member
"In my career, we've played with Alabama, and I think with Coach Limbaugh, you're getting a guy with a lot of energy who's going to put 110% behind the program. That type of energy is what really is going to benefit our program and take it to where we all want it to go. With Coach Limbaugh, he's going to bring out every ounce of potential in all of the guys."
- Adam Hofmann, Vanderbilt Men's Golfer, Class of 2012
"Coach Limbaugh has been a tremendous asset to our men's golf program over the past five seasons. His wealth of experience as both a player and coach has been vital in helping our men's program at Alabama reach new heights. We wish Scott the best as he moves forward in his career."
- Mal Moore, Former Director of Athletics, University of Alabama
"Coach Limbaugh has been an unbelievable influence on me and our team. He is a great coach. He brings so much energy to his job and that translates to our team. Coach always had a positive approach to everything we did. He is going to be missed, but all of us are very happy for the opportunity that he is getting at Vanderbilt. He is so driven and determined and I think he will do a great job in Nashville."
- Justin Thomas, 2012 SEC Freshman and Player of the Year, University of Alabama