A former standout as a member of the Bearkat Golf Team (1995-1999), Head Coach Brandt Kieschnick took over the SHSU Golf Program on August 1, 2012 and has brought the winning tradition to the program.
Under the direction of Kieschnick, the Bearkats claimed consecutive Southland Conference Championships for the first time in program history, doing so in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The 2014 league title was the first in 20 years for Sam Houston and occurred in just the second season under the new head man.
The 2015 Bearkats’ league title came behind the lowest stroke average in program history (288.7), more than a stroke lower than the previous school mark of 289.9 set in 1986-87. The SLC championship was highlighted by a Day 3 comeback to edge out McNeese State and send Sam Houston to the Washington Regional at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain.
During the regular season, the Kats took part in 11 tournaments, all against top caliber NCAA Division I opponents. Sam Houston won three events, finished as runner-up twice and third once.
Individually, Zach Cabra was named to the 2015 PING NCAA Division I All-Central Region men’s golf honor squad by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The senior was also honored as the Southland Conference men’s golf “Student-Athlete of the Year.”
Cabra, alongside J.T. Taylor were named to the conference’s men’s golf all-academic team, as Sam Houston was the only school with multiple honorees.
In 2014, by virtue of winning the Southland title, Kieschnick led the Kats to their first NCAA Regionals appearance as a team. Sam Houston narrowly missed out on qualifying for the National Championship, coming up five shots shy of advancing from the Auburn Regional.
The men took home some early season hardware at the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate hosted by Kansas State and the SHSU Harold Funston Invitational.
In addition, Zach Cabra claimed medalist honors at the Southland Conference Championship to go with his victories at the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate and SHSU Harold Funston Invitational. Cabra, also, set the lowest SHSU season scoring average of 72 along with an SHSU 18-hole record of 62 at Southern Miss. Cabra was the first Bearkat selected to the prestigious Ping-All Region Team.
Senior Albert Miner earned First-Team All-Conference for the second year in a row and claimed the UALR First Tee Classic medalist honors for his second career victory.
Freshman Klein Klotz recorded the lowest Bearkat finish at the NCAA Regionals, finishing tied for third with a low final round of 66.
In the classroom the Bearkat men posted one of their highest GPA’s in program history, finishing the year with a team GPA of 3.35.
On the women’s side Kieschnick helped lead the team to a fourth place finish at the Southland Conference Championship. The Women won the SHSU Harold Funston Invitational. Alisa White was named first team All-Southland Conference and the Southland Newcomer of the Year for 2013-14. The Women posted a team GPA of 3.45 for the year.
In his first year the men’s golf team recorded two first place team championships, at the ULM Wallace Jones Invitational and the SHSU Harold Funston Invitational. To go along with the wins, the men recorded three second place team finishes at the College of Charleston Shootout, Carter Plantation Intercollegiate, and SFA Crown Classic. Coach Kieschnick also helped guide junior Albert Miner to seven top-10 finishes, first-team All-Southland Conference, and a win at the ULM Wallace Jones Invitational. In addition, Kieschnick helped guide Micah Hill to first-place Medalist at the SHSU Harold Funston Invitational. Three other Bearkat men’s golfers earned Southland Conference honors with sophomore Logan Boatner earning Newcomer of the Year, Justin McKay earning third-team honors, and JT Taylor selected as an honorable mention.
On the women’s side, Kieschnick helped guide the team to a school record national ranking. The Women started the year 130th in Golfstat ranking and finished the season 87th, the highest in ever at SHSU. Like the Bearkat men, the women’s team collected two first place team championships on back-to-back weeks at the UALR Women’s Golf Classic and HBU Intercollegiate. Along with their wins, they compiled three second place team finishes at ORU Intercollegiate, UAB Fall Beach Bash, and Southland Conference Championships. To go with the team runner-up finish at the conference championship, senior Shelby Hardy carded a Southland 54-hole total of 212 (4 under) to take Medalist honors. Shelby Hardy won three events her senior year (ORU Intercollegiate, UAB Beach Bash, Southland Conference) to finish her career with five victories, an SHSU women’s record and claimed 2013 Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year Award. Freshman Nicole Budnik earned second-team Southland Conference honors.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Kieschnick played professional golf from 1999-2003 competing on the Adams Tight Lies Tour, Hooters Tour, Teardrop Tour, and Prairie Tour. In 1999, Kieschnick claimed the season-ending Prairie Tour Championship in Alvamar, Kansas. He recorded several top-10 finishes on the professional circuit including a third place finish in his first pro event at the 1999 Adams Tight Lies Tour event at Weston Lakes. He participated in three PGA Tour Qualifying School advancing to second stage in 2001 and followed the Monday qualifiers on both PGA Tour and Web.com Tour.
After professional golf, Brandt became the Assistant Golf Coach at Sam Houston State University from 2003-2005 where he led the women’s team to three team victories and their first Southland Conference Championship in 2004. Kieschnick coached two conference medalists in same year with women’s golfer Raman Saran claiming the 2004 Southland Conference tournament medalist and men’s golfer Robert Jefferson winning the 2004 Southland Conference tournament medalist, beating Chris Stroud in a playoff.
From 2005-2012, Brandt became the Assistant Golf Professional at Whispering Pines Golf Club, the No. 1 Golf Club in Texas. During his tenure he became a PGA Member and managed the golf operation, taught lessons and junior golf, hired and trained staff, and conducted tournaments. As a Southern Texas PGA member, Kieschnick continued to compete in tournaments at a high level and became one of the top playing PGA Professionals. In 2006 and 2010, Brandt qualified for the PGA National Assistant’s Championship conducted at PGA Golf Club in Florida. Kieschnick qualified for the 2011 National Club Professional Championship and competed at Hershey C.C. in Hershey, Penn. As the PGA of America’s premier event, the tournament was televised on the Golf Channel. In 2010, Brandt won the 2010 STPGA Match-Play Championship, a STPGA Major event, and competed in the 2007, 2009, 2011 Texas State Open. 2010 and 2011 saw Brandt finish the season in top-10 STPGA Playing Points List.
As a Bearkat Golfer, Kieschnick ranks second at SHSU with five career tournament victories including three wins his senior season (‘99 Southland Championship Co-Medalist, 1998 Baylor Invitational, and 1998 SFA Crown Classic). Along with his 1999 Southland Conference Individual medalist title and he was Southland Conference individual runner-up in 1996 and 1997.
Kieschnick holds a school record for being the only two-time Southland Conference “Player of the Year” in 1997 and 1999 as well as being the only two-time Division-1 NCAA Regional individual selection. Kieschnick competed at the NCAA Central Regional hosted by University of Oklahoma at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club in 1997 and at the NCAA Central Region hosted by Ohio State at the OSU Scarlet Course in 1999.
Keischnick is one of only three men’s golfers in Sam Houston history to earn All-Southland honors each of his four years of competition (1996-1999) with a school record of three first-team selections (1996, 1997, 1999) and one second-team selection (1998).
Kieschnick led the SHSU team with a 73.4 stroke average in 1997 and a 73.6 in 1999. He is tied for the school record low 54-hole tournament score of 206 (-10 under) (1998 Rice Intercollegiate).
In 2008, Brandt Kieschnick was inducted into the Sam Houston Lettermen's Hall of Honor.
The Bay City product claimed the 1994 Texas Class-4A State individual championship as a junior and almost went back-to-back after tying for first in 1995 Texas Class-4A State individual championship before losing a playoff to Mark McEntire, now the head men’s golf coach at College of Charleston. After graduating high school in 1995, Kieschnick qualified for the Texas State Open, a professional event, and made the cut as an amateur. Later that summer, he won the local Houston qualifying and made it to the “Centennial” 1995 U.S Amateur Championship in Newport, Rhode Island where he was paired with Tiger Woods the first two rounds.
Brandt Kieschnick File:
· Led Sam Houston State University to back-to-back Southland Conference Championships (2014, 2015) -1st in school history
·Led Sam Houston State University to back-to-back NCAA Regional Championships, 2014- NCAA Auburn Regional, 2015- NCAA Washington Regional – 1st in school history
· Coached Southland Conference individual champions Zach Cabra, 2014 and JT Taylor, 2015
·2-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year (2014, 2015)
· 1st Coach to be named Southland Conference Coach of the Year (2014, 2015) and Southland Conference Player of the Year (1997, 1999)
Wins- Jim Colbert Intercollegiate, SHSU Harold Funston Intercollegiate, Southland Conference Championship
Selected to: NCAA Auburn Regional
Wins – Wisconsin Badger Invitational, SHSU Harold Funston Intercollegiate, Southland Conference Championship
Selected to: NCAA Washington Regional
2012-present: SHSU Head Golf Coach
2003-2005: SHSU Assistant Golf Coach
Men’s Golf (2012-13)
· 2 Wins – ULM Wallace Jones Invitational, SHSU Harold Funston Invitational and 3- 2nd Place Team Finishes – College of Charleston Shootout, SFA Crown Classic, Carter Plantation Invitational
· Coached 2 Bearkats to Individual Titles – Albert Miner – ULM Wallace Jones Invitational
Micah Hill – SHSU Harold Funston Invitational
· Southland Conference 1st Team Selection – Albert Miner
Southland Conference 3rd Team Selection – Justin McKay
Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year – Logan Boatner
Southland Conference Honorable Mention – JT Taylor
Women’s Golf (2012-13)
· 2 Wins – UALR Women’s Golf Classic, HBU Intercollegiate
· 3 – 2nd Place Team Finishes – UAB Fall Beach Bash, ORU Intercollegiate, Southland Conference Chpshp
· SHSU Women, runner-up finish, Southland Conference Championship
· Shelby Hardy – 2013 Southland Conference Championship Medalist, SLC Lowest 54 hole Total – 212 (-4 under),Southland Conference 1st Team Selection
· Shelby Hardy, Senior: 3 tournament wins – ORU Intercollegiate, UAB Fall Beach Bash, Southland Conference
· Southland Conference 2nd Team Selection – Nicole Budnik
· Helped guide the SHSU Women’s Golfstat Rankings from 130th to finish season at SHSU school record low – 87th
Assistant Coach (2003-2005)
· Coached Bearkat Women to 1st Southland Conference Team Championship, 2004
· Coached the 2004 Southland Conference Men's Individual Champion, Robert Jefferson and
2004 Southland Conference Women’s Individual Champion, Raman Saran
· Led Bearkat Women’s Team to 3 Team Wins as Assistant Golf Coach, 2003-2005
· 1993 South Texas Junior Golf Classic Champion
· 1994 4A Texas State High School Individual Champion
· 1994 4A Regional Champion, 4A District Champion
· 1995 4A Texas State High School Individual Runner-up (lost Playoff), 4A District Champion
· 1995 Texas State Open – first pro event, made cut as Amateur
· 1995 U.S. Amateur participant (Newport C.C.)- paired with Tiger Woods first 2 rounds
· 1997, 1998 U.S. Public Links Championship Participant(Kearney Hill Golf Links, Torrey Pines GC)
· 1997 Southern Amateur Participant (Mira Vista C.C.)
· 1998 STGA Inaugural South Texas Amateur Champion
College Golf (1995-1999)
· Won 5 Division 1 Tournaments (t-2nd in SHSU history)
1996-97 - Elkins Lake Fall Invitational, Waterwood Spring Invitational
1998-99- Greg May Honda Baylor Invitational, SFA Crown Classic, Southland Conference Championship-Co-Medalist (t-3rd for most wins in Season, SHSU history)
· 2-time NCAA Regional Individual Qualifier 1997- Jimmie Austin GC, 1999- OSU-Scarlet Course, (most in SHSU history)
· 2-time Southland Conference Player of the Year, 1997 and 1999 (most in SHSU history)
· 4-Time All-Southland Conference Team
· 3-Time Southland Conference 1st Team All-Conference Selection (1996, 1997, 1999) – (t-1st in SHSU history)
· 1-Time Southland Conference 2nd Team Selection (1998)
· T-1st in SHSU School Record, lowest 54 hole Total – 206
· Low Team Individual Stroke Average – 1997-98- 73.4, 1998-99- 73.6
· 2008, Inducted in SHSU Hall of Honor
· 1999-2003 – Played professionally on Adams Tight Lies Tour, Hooters Tour, Teardrop Tour, Prairie Tour, PGA Tour and Web.Com Qualifiers
· 1999 – Won – Prairie Tour Championship – Alvamar, KS
· Competed in Texas State Open (1995, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2011); Colorado Open (2001, 2002, 2004), Oklahoma Open (2001), Kansas Open (1999, 2000)
· Numerous Top 10’s on Adams Tight Lies Tour including 3rd place in 1st Pro Event – Adams Tour-Weston Lakes (1999)
· Competed in 3 PGA Tour Qualifying Schools (1999-2001), advanced to 2nd Stage in 2001 (Deerwood GC)
· As a PGA Class A Member competed in:
- 2011 PGA Club Professional Championship – Hershey CC, Hershey, PA
- 2006 and 2010 PGA National Assistants Championship – PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, FL
· 2010 Southern Texas PGA Match-Play Champion
· 2010 and 2011 STPGA Top 10 Points List