Nick Sparling will make his collegiate debut
Thirteen teams get the season started on Friday at Richard Harvest Farms
Wood comes to Columbus from Rice University
Head Donnie Darr set for his sixth season at Ohio State
The Dublin, Ohio, native is a two-time Ohio state high school champion
2014 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate
2012 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional - Day Two Photos taken by Lon Horwedel
2012 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional - Day One Photos taken by Lon Horwedel
Donnie Darr became the 10th head coach in the 89-year history of the Ohio State men's golf program when he was hired in June 2009. In his five years with the Scarlet and Gray, Darr has compiled a 418-309-11 overall record and has led the Buckeyes to three NCAA Regional appearances. His 2010-11 squad advanced to the match play portion of the NCAA Championships after placing sixth in 54 holes of stroke play.
Academic success follows Darr as well, evidenced by OSU men's golf earning an NCAA Public Recognition Award in 2013-14, given to programs scoring in the top 10 percent of the most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR). In addition, Buckeye student-athletes have picked up 33 Academic All-Big Ten honors in Darr's five seasons directing the program.
Darr's 2013-14 team finished on a hot streak, earning four consecutive top-5 showings to wrap up the regular season before qualifying for the NCAA Columbia Regional. Then-junior Boo Timko was placed on the All-Big Ten Second Team for the second straight season. Timko also picked up PING All-Region honors for consecutive years, joined by freshman Frederik Hammer in 2013-14 under the tutelage of Darr.
The 2012-13 season showcased a youthful, but talented Buckeye lineup. Highlighting the season was the team's play at the Windon Memorial Classic as the squad captured first of 15 teams with a lineup of two sophomores and three freshmen. In total, the Scarlet and Gray finished the year with seven top-5 finishes and concluded the season tied for fourth at the Big Ten Championships.
During the 2011-12 season, Darr guided the Buckeyes to two regular-season tournament victories (Marshall Invitational, Wildcat Invitational) with lineups that consisted primarily of underclassmen. Ohio State made its 45th appearance at the NCAA Central Regional, playing in Ann Arbor and finishing 12th overall. Then-freshman Grant Weaver became the second Buckeye overall and the first under Darr to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
In his second year at the helm of the Buckeye program, Ohio State reached its first NCAA Championships under Darr and made its 31st appearance overall following a fourth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. A sixth-place finish in stroke play secured a spot in the match play portion of the championship for the Scarlet and Gray. The Buckeyes fell to host Oklahoma State in the first round, 1-3-1. Ohio State posted a 121-50-0 tournament record on the season and captured first in two tournaments (Marshall Invitational, FAU Spring Break Championship).
During his first season with the Buckeyes, the team gained plenty of experience in a season that brought success to many of the golfers while posting a 70-58-2 tournament record. The Buckeyes posted three runner-up finishes throughout the year, including twice in the final month of competition.
Darr returned to his home state from national powerhouse Oklahoma State, where he served as assistant coach from 2006-09. While with the Cowboys, the team extended their record of consecutive NCAA Championship appearances while placing fourth in 2008 and advancing to the match play portion of the event in 2009 after leading the field in stroke play.
Each of those seasons, Darr helped Oklahoma State nab the top recruiting classes in the nation. Among them were Rickie Fowler, the 2008 College Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and a two-time First Team All-America honoree now on the PGA Tour and a member of the United States' 2010 Ryder Cup team. Darr also recruited Morgan Hoffmann, the 2009 Freshman of the Year, First Team All-America selection and the Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Year.
Prior to Oklahoma State, Darr gained experience as the head coach at the University of Akron in 2005-06. During his season with the Zips, he began to rebuild the program and ended the team's nine-year tournament victory drought.
A 1996 Kent State graduate, Darr began his coaching career at his alma mater. He was the assistant coach for the men's and women's golf teams in 2001-02, and was promoted to associate head coach of both programs from 2002-04. Darr also served as assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma during the 2004-05 season.
A standout golfer with the Golden Flashes, Darr was a four-time First Team All-Mid-American Conference honoree from 1993-96 and was chosen as the MAC Sportsman of the Year in 1996. He earned Third Team All-America honors as a junior and also received the Merle Wagoner Award as a senior, given to Kent State's outstanding senior male athlete. Darr was inducted into Kent State's prestigious Varsity "K" Hall of Fame in 2004.
After college, Darr toured as a professional golfer for one season (1997-98) before serving four years as an assistant golf professional in northeast Ohio at Windmill Lakes Country Club in Ravenna and Lakewood Country Club in Westlake.
Darr and his wife, Tina, also a Kent State graduate, are the parents of 9-year old triplets Allie, Anna and Leo as well as their 7-year old daughter, Lucy.
Buckeye Spotlight - Josh Wick