When he took over a middling North Carolina men’s golf program in 2011, coach Andrew Sapp had a simple formula in mind to rejuvenate the sagging Tar Heels.
“I wasn’t reinventing the wheel,” said Sapp, a UNC graduate and architect of decorated golf programs at Michigan and Purdue. “I basically did the same thing that I’ve done in 20 years of coaching, trying to help our guys develop, improve and become one of the best teams in the country.”
UNC hasn’t made it to that pantheon just yet. The team advanced to the 2013 NCAA regionals in Tempe, Ariz., but fell woefully short of nationals.
Michael McGowan and Patrick Barrett, the standouts who helped carry UNC to Tempe, have graduated. The ACC, which sent nine teams to the 2013 regionals, remains a punishing conference, as deep as they come in college golf, Sapp said.
The task stays just as burdensome. But so does the goal, Sapp said, of advancing to the national championships. So, too, does the formula, which faces its first exam this weekend at UNC’s first tournament of 2013-14, the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Georgia.