__COACH OF THE (MID)YEAR
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Mark Hankins, Iowa
In his six years with Michigan State, Hankins managed to guide the Spartans to two Big Ten titles. His time at Iowa has been similarly impressive, with the Hawkeyes reaching nationals in 2009 and moving into the top-10 in the Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll at the end of this fall after winning four straight tournaments, most of any Division I school.
Critics will argue that Iowa's success has come against weaker fields than other schools in the top-25 are facing, but it's hard to argue with the results that Hankins' team is showing. And if you claim you saw this coming this season at Iowa, than you're either lying, you're related to a member of the team or you're somebody I want coming with me the next time I'm headed to Las Vegas.
Honorable mention: Jay Seawell, Alabama
You had a feeling the freshmen duo of Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett would be heard from at some point in the 2010-11 season, but to Seawell's credit/good fortune their impact was felt from the very first event. In turn, the Crimson Tide claimed two wins and two other top-five finishes in their four fall starts. The easy transition of Seawell's two rookies along with All-American Bud Cauley has given the folks in Tuscaloosa high hopes for the spring.
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Karen Bahnsen, LSU
She was inducted into the NGCA Hall of Fame in December 2008, an achievement that might have been accompanied by some looking in the review mirror rather at his accomplishments. Instead, Bahnsen has been stepping on the accelerator, her team winning the Mason Rudolph Collegiate this fall and finishing second at the NCAA Fall Preview and the Tar Heel. Her 2010-11 squad has more depth than any group she has had in Baton Rogue in recent memory, plus it has the go-to player in Megan McChrystal that helps win championships. For Bahnsen, keeping her players focused shouldn't be a problem considering conference rival Alabama isn't going to go away anytime soon. If she can get them to find the proverbial extra gear, she will have a good shot at making her 27th season with the Tigers her best yet.
*Honorable mention: *Mic Potter, Alabama
Unlike his counterpart on the men's side, Potter's experienced squad was expected to be a national power this year after claiming its first SEC title and a third-place showing at NCAAs. Sure enough, the Crimson Tide hasn't disappointed, rewriting the school record books while claiming the No. 1 spot in the Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll.