The Roos’ first Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament championship came last year. Men’s golf received commemorative rings at halftime of basketball game against Utah Valley.
The championship team was led by Antoine Rozner, who is now a pro golfer. Finishing in second place was Francois Lagraulet. He returned to the Roos this year as a sophomore.
“Guys were very excited – they had a very good sense of what we were capable of doing there,” said Coach J.W. VanDenBorn. The reaction was, “I think a little bit of obviously elation, a lot of excitement, and probably a little bit of relief in there as well.”
In 2014 the team finished mid-table in the WAC. The next year they returned and were runners-up. In similar fashion to the Kansas City Royals World Series win, UMKC returned the following year to take the crown.
The team is currently in third place in the WAC. Their last tournament took was on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Hawaii. Their next tournament, the Louisiana Classic, takes place this upcoming weekend.
“I think if you asked any of our players, our last fall was pretty disappointing,” said VanDenBorn. The level of expectations for this year’s team has yet to be met. The Roos have been trying to replace a key part of last year’s team.
“They (current roster) certainly know the level of player he is and was,” said VanDenBorn. “They got to see the process of what it takes to be an All-American and be one of the top players in the country. They saw the work ethic, they saw the attitude, they saw the leadership.”
Aside from winning the WAC tournament, Rozner finished eighth in the NCAA championship and was named WAC player of the year.
The team and coaches were behind the design of the championship rings.
“That’s kind of been one of the fun parts of this,” said Coach VanDenBorn. “I think the rings are cool – they’re big.”
The Roos best finish this year came in the Bill Ross tournament where the team took third place.