By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
A staple of Durham College’s golf program is returning as head coach, as Michael Duggan will once again take the reins of the team.
Duggan says the time is right for him to come back, as Tyler Martin has stepped down from his role as head coach because “he just got a new job at OPG and the hours, he just couldn’t do it anymore. So, when he first told me, I thought ‘Maybe it’s time to come back,’” explains Duggan.
Duggan previously spent 16 years as the coach of the Lords between 1997 and 2013.
As he previously coached both the women and men’s golf teams, Duggan has had plenty of opportunities to add to his resume.
With the men’s team, Duggan won five provincial titles, and earned medals in six straight Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) championships.
He took his provincial success on to the national level as well, as he lead the men’s team to three straight Canadian Colleges Athletics Association (CCAA) silver medals between 2004 and 2006, and won bronze in 2002 and 2012.
He also found plenty of success with the women’s team, as they won back-to-back CCAA gold medals in 2010 and 2011. They also received medals on the national stage with a silver medal in 2005, and a bronze in 2004.
He was also named the OCAA and CCAA coach of the year in 2010.
Duggan has also coached internationally with Team Canada, serving as head coach in 2012 at the World International University Sports Federation Games.
In addition to returning as coach of the golf teams, Duggan will continue in his role as the Intercollegiate Athlete Academic Success Program coordinator for Durham.
The reason he stepped away in the first place was to spend more time with his son.
However, his son is now attending university and Duggan feels he has the time to take on the position once again.
On whether or not he will change his approach to coaching this time around, Duggan says, “Yes and no. Obviously times have changed, rules have changed, and the game of golf [has changed]. But people have to realize golf at the college level is team golf. Even though golf is an individual sport, it’s still a team game.”
He has some ideas on what the team needs to do differently. For example, he believes the team needs to start training earlier, with more focus with team bonding, and work on the “team concept.”
He will be joined on the coaching staff by a former Lord in Craig Conroy, who graduated from Durham’s marketing program in 2016.
Conroy helped lead the Lords to back-to-back CCAA championship appearances in 2014 and 2015.
All in all, Duggan enjoyed his time away but is ready to get down to business.
“I didn’t regret stepping away the first time,” says Duggan. “But here’s my opportunity to build the program back up, and maybe have that chance to get my men’s national championship, which is really the only thing I’m missing from my resume.”