2015 Central Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year
Jeff Roche is beginning his 12th year as head coach of the Bradley men’s program. No stranger to The Hilltop, Roche had served as a volunteer assistant for both the Bradley men’s and women’s golf programs since 1998 before taking over the head coaching duties prior to the 2005-06 campaign.
During his time as the men’s golf coach, the Braves have produced two all-conference performers, nine First-Team MVC Scholar-Athletes and three Capital One Academic All-District V honorees. Bradley had not produced a First-Team MVC Scholar-Athlete in men’s golf since the 1998-99.
Roche and the Braves tied for fourth at the 2014-15 Missouri Valley Conference Championship played at the Club at Porto Cima in Sunrise Beach, Mo., marking the third straight year the squad placed in the top four in the league. Bradley had not posted three straight top four finishes in The Valley since 1984-86.
The 2014-15 squad was one of the most successful in recent years for the Braves, with junior Lyle Burns making a big impact in his first season The Hilltop. The former junior college All-American tied for eighth at the MVC Championship and his team-best 74.52 stroke average ranks fourth among Bradley season marks. Danny Masrin was close behind with a 74.60 average (6th in school history) and tallied the second longest streak of consecutive sub-80 rounds (30) in school history. In addition, Seth Trolia capped his career with a 75.09 average as he finished his Bradley playing days with the second lowest career average (75.39) by a Brave along with breaking the school career mark with 104 sub-80 rounds.
All three individuals (Burns, Masrin & Trolia) earned MVC Golfer of the Week honors in 2014-15. The trio helped the Braves defend their team title at the Butler Fall Invitational in addition to a pair of second-place finishes in a pair of spring tournaments.
In 2013-14 the Braves post the lowest team stroke average (76.70) in school history to break the previous record of 77.41 set in 1967-68. Bradley won the Butler Fall Invitational for the team’s first title since the fall of 1996 and went on to claim top team honors at the Beu Mussatto Invite as the Braves won a pair of titles in the same season for the first time since 1995-96.
The Bradley men’s golf team capped the 2013-14 season with a third-place finish at the MVC Championship, for the team’s best showing at the league championship since 1986 (2nd). The Braves recorded the lowest 54-hole total at the MVC Championship in program history (897). The season also included the lowest team round in school history (279) in the opening round at the Butler Fall Invitational and five of the 10 lowest team rounds in school history.
Masrin tied for fifth at the MVC Championship to garner All-MVC honors and won one of three individual titles for the Braves in 2013-14. Trolia won medalist honors at both the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate and Bradley Invite en route to a team-best 74.79 season stroke average which ranked fifth among Bradley season marks at the time and was the best by a Brave since 2002-03.
The 2012-13 season saw the Braves finish on a strong note, with the team placing fourth at the MVC Tournament in Cape Girardeau, Mo., for the squad’s best league showing since 1995. Trolia, who is the only individual to have four season averages rank among the top 20 in school history, led the 2012-13 team with a 75.88 stroke average for the lowest individual average by a Brave since 2006-07. In addition to Trolia’s success, Andrew Weisenborn won medalist honors at the Bradley Invitational and Daniel Young garnered First-Team MVC Scholar-Athlete honors.
Trolia’s strong sophomore year came on the heels of a freshman campaign which saw him lead the Braves with a 75.9 stroke average in 2011-12. His season str
While Roche aided both the Bradley men’s and women’s programs his time as a volunteer assistant, the majority of his focus had been with the women’s golf team. During those nine years, the Bradley women won the Missouri Valley Conference team championship in 1999, 2002 and 2003 and advanced to NCAA regional play in 2002 and 2003. The Bradley women also produced three MVC Championship medalists and 14 all-conference performers during his time with the squad.
Roche, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Illinois State University in 1989, boasts over 25 years of experience in the golf industry. After serving as the boys and girls golf coach at Bloomington (Ill.) High School from 1991 to 1992, Roche was the assistant golf professional at the Illinois State University Golf Course (1992-95) and Soangetaha Country Club in Galesburg, Ill. (1995-96) before serving as the head professional at Shewami Country Club in Sheldon, Ill. from 1996 to 1997.
From 1997 to 1998, Roche was the head golf professional at WeaverRidge Golf Club, where he created and directed golf instruction programs for individuals and groups. He was also responsible for all facets of the WeaverRidge golf shop operation, including the supervision of a staff of 30 and organizing more than 100 events.