Valparaiso University director of athletics Mark LaBarbera has announced that David Gring has been named the school’s new head men’s golf coach while Mat Blair has accepted the head women’s golf position at the university.
“We are excited to be welcoming two golf coaches to the Valpo Athletics family,” LaBarbera said. “As we reviewed the progress each team had made and reaffirmed our commitment to competing for Horizon League championships, it was clear this was the appropriate time to provide each program with its own leadership.”
Gring played golf for the Crusaders from 1985-1988 where he was a two-time team Most Valuable Player. He earned All-Heartland Conference honors in 1985 before receiving All-AMCU accolades in 1987.
He played on the U.S. Amateur Tour during the summers of 1986 and 1987. Gring has been the runner-up at the Club Championship at the Course at Aberdeen, Valpo’s home course, three times.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my university experience and playing on the golf team when I was in school,” Gring said. “It is special to come back and be a part of the program and the university as the men’s head coach. The level of excitement the players bring to the team as well as the talent level of the players is really exciting.”
“Dave Gring has a passion for Valpo and for golf,” LaBarbera said. “It is tremendous to have him returning to campus to help reestablish the men’s program.”
Blair has been the teaching professional at Briar Leaf Golf Club in LaPorte, Ind. for the last three years. With his private instruction, he has taught numerous All-State and All-Conference athletes, including the 2001 and 2006 Indiana High School state champions.
A Second Team All-State selection for Michigan City Rogers High School in 1990, Blair was a junior college All-American one year later at Anderson College in South Carolina. He then went on to play three years at Ball State University. He played on the Hooters Tour for three years and qualified for the Virginia Beach Open on the Nationwide Tour in 2005.
“I am excited to be a part of the Valparaiso University golf program,” Blair said. “I am excited about the challenge and look to continue making strides quickly with the new program. I am really looking forward to working with the girls.”
“Mat Blair is a respected teacher and player in Indiana,” LaBarbera said. “It is great to have him bring his skill and passion to our women’s program.”