Jan. 15, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech golf coach Bruce Heppler, whose Yellow Jackets’ golf program has been one of the nation’s top collegiate programs for more than 20 years, has been named an Honorary Georgia Tech Alumnus by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.
Heppler, in his 23rd year heading the Tech program, will officially receive that honor on Jan. 25 as part of the Alumni Association’s Gold & White Honors Gala.
Unequivocally ranking as one of the top collegiate golf coaches in the nation, Heppler has led the Yellow Jackets to 11 Atlantic Coast Conference championships—including eight in the past 12 years—16 trips to the NCAA Finals and four trips to match play in the NCAA Championships over the last eight years.
“Bruce Heppler is a guy who gets it at Georgia Tech,” said Joe Irwin, president and CEO of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. “He understands how to recruit the right type of student-athlete and to keep them focused on the long term so that they all graduate and walk away with a Georgia Tech degree. It’s a lot easier to say than it is to do. We’re happy to count him among our alumni.”
“Coach Heppler’s contributions to the Institute are countless,” said Todd Stansbury, Tech’s director of athletics. “For nearly 23 years, he has served Georgia Tech’s students, alumni and fans with distinction. The championships that he has brought to The Flats make us proud but, more importantly, his program’s 12 straight years of perfect Academic Progress Rates are the gold standard in collegiate sports. He has done as much as anyone to develop Georgia Tech student-athletes into Everyday Champions that change the world. I invite the entire Georgia Tech community to join me in congratulating Coach Heppler on this well-deserved honor.”
Heppler, a 1985 graduate of Brigham Young University, has guided the Yellow Jackets to an NCAA regional every year since 1998, while 16 of those teams advanced to the NCAA Finals, and 11 finished in the top eight, including three runner-up showings. During his tenure, Tech has won or shared 11 Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Only two ACC coaches have led their teams to more ACC titles and justifiably, he has been named the ACC Coach of the Year eight times.
Heppler’s program also has received a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) score – which measures academic eligibility, graduation and retention – 12 years in a row. Twenty-one of his student athletes have been named All-America Scholars (a total of 36 times) by the Golf Coaches Association of America, which requires a minimum 3.2 GPA and participation in at least 75 percent of a team’s events.
“This is an unexpected honor that I greatly cherish. I want to thank my beautiful wife Traci for all of her unmeasurable devotion,” said Heppler. “When I visited with Homer Rice in 1995 about the golf program, I asked him why I should take the job. He immediately responded that the alums of Georgia Tech love their school more than most, and they would provide unimaginable support. He spoke truthfully that day and their generosity is why I’m here. It is a magnificent honor for me to now be associated with that elite group in this most prestigious way.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 23rd under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 51 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_Golf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.