The University of Houston is one of the biggest-name golf programs in the country.
On a couple of levels.
The coaching staff is now Dismuke-squared.
Ryke Dismuke, the director of golf at the University of Central Arkansas for 14 seasons, is now the associate head golf coach at the University of Houston, which is coached by Jonathan Dismuke, no relation.
Earlier in the summer, Ryke Dismuke, while watching UCA player Pep Angles at the Palmer Cup in England, ran into Jonathan Dismuke.
"We actually joked about what kind of marketing opportunity it would be for us to coach at the same school; we could make T-shirts and different stuff. We thought it would be hilarious," Dismuke said.
Later that night, Dismuke ran into his counterpart again who told him, "If you’re really serious about coaching with me, I think I can make that happen. It was a job I never thought about or applied."
In fact, it was an tough decision.
"Honestly, it was the hardest decision of my life to leave (UCA)," he said. "I loved being at UCA, we were building a good program and my wife was happy here and was curriculum coordinator for a school district. It really took a week or so to make a decision. It was agonizing. I wasn’t going to move unless it was a life-altering job. But the Houston job was just something I couldn’t turn down."
Houston has won 16 nationals championships and has produced a long line of top PGA golfers such as Fred Couples. Fuzzy Zoeller, Nick Faldo, Steve Elkington and brodcaster Jim Nantz.
Dismuke will be in charge of player development.
"That’s the fun part," he said. "You get to develop plans and programs for the golfers to improve their game. You get to work with tme and help them grow."
Jonathan Dismuke, in his sixth season at Houston, said, "Ryke’s tremendous success at Central Arkansas made him stand out. Ryke has outstanding player-development skills and a proven record in international recruiting and knows how to relate to student-athletes on a day-to-day basis."
Disumke spent the last 11 seasons at UCA as head coach of both the UCA men’s and women’ programs. He joined UCA and assisted in the enhanced development of the of the men’s program in 2000 and helped start the women’s program two years later.
He was recognized as the 2003 AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year.
While the Bears competed in NCAA Division II, Dismuke enjoyed a combined 18 All-Gulf South Conference Players, four Gulf South Conference individual champions, two Freshmen of the Year, three All-Americans and eight Academic All-Gulf South Conference selections. In 2004 and 2005, both men’s and women’s programs competed at the NCAA South Regional with one individual advancing to play at the NCAA Championships each season. His women’s teams won Gulf South Conference crowns in 2003 and 2005 and ranked as high as No. 2 nationally by GolfStat after winning seven of 10 tournaments.
On the men’s side, his 2005-06 squad won five of 10 events and moved as high as No. 2 nationally in the GolfStat poll.
While in Division I and the Southland Conferences, Dismuke’s men’s and women’s teams won a combined 22 tournaments, including five straight titles for the men’s team in 2010-11 and the women’s victory at the 2010 Kiawah Island Intercollegiate over 42 other teams, the largest field in NCAA Division I history.
His golfers went on to receive five Southland Conference Players of the Year awards, 23 All-SLC Team honors, 18 SLC Players of the Month and six Academic All-SLC accolades. Five student-athletes competed in NCAA Regional play with one (Angles) competing in the prestigious Palmer Cup.
"I was expecting this kind of job opportunity," he said. "It’s exciting to join a program that is one of the best in the country on a national level. And to work with a coach with the same last name is just crazy."