USC hires Missouri’s Mark Hankins as next head men’s golf coach
USC’s national coaching search is over.
The Trojans have hired Mark Hankins as the school’s next head men’s golf coach. Hankins, previously the co-head men’s golf coach at Missouri, replaces J.T. Higgins, who resigned just over a month ago after three disappointing seasons in Los Angeles.
USC is expected to officially announce Hankins, who the Trojans expect to lead them back to national prominence, on Sunday afternoon.
Hankins was hired by Missouri in May 2021 with plans for him to take over the Tigers’ program once longtime head coach Mark Leroux retired at the end of the 2022-23 season. Prior to Missouri, Hankins had head-coaching stops at Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State and Texas-Arlington. He also served as Iowa’s assistant athletic director for four years, from 2014 to 2018, and has been both president and vice president of the Golf Coaches Association of America (2006-2014) and a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee (2016-2020).
At Michigan State, Hankins led the Spartans to a pair of Big Ten titles. He then guided Iowa to six NCAA regional appearances in seven seasons, including a 10th-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championship. In Hankins’ first of two seasons at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers finished fifth at Big Tens, the program’s best finish ever. And in two seasons at Missouri, Hankins helped lead the Tigers to a pair of SEC Championship match-play berths and two NCAA regional appearances.
In the past three seasons under Higgins, USC didn’t finish better than eighth at the Pac-12 Championship. The Trojans also missed NCAA regionals as a team each of the past two seasons. Prior to Higgins, Chris Zambri led USC to 12 NCAA Championship appearance, three NCAA regional wins and three Pac-12 titles in 14 seasons.
USC was ranked No. 63 in Golfstat last season, but the Trojans were ineligible for the postseason as they finished with a head-to-head winning percentage below .500. Missouri was ranked No. 43 before finishing seventh in its regional.