Quotes following round 2 of the NCAA Columbia Regional
Coaches and players address the media following first round action
Kraus, Zech lead Tigers during Sunday's final round
Cuartero, Kraus finish second to pace strong Mizzou effort
Emilio Cuartero owns a two-shot lead heading into Tuesday's finale
Columbia Orthopedic Group Intercollegiate
Missouri Men's Golf - C.O.G. Mizzou Intercollegiate - April 9, 2012
2013 Dave Williams National Coach of the Year Finalist
Second In Mizzou Golf History With 18 Career Tournament Wins
More Than 40 Career Wins As A Collegiate Head Coach
Mark Leroux enters his 10th season as the head coach of the Missouri Golf program and under his watch the Tigers have enjoyed unprecedented success, including a run of three postseason be0rths over the last four seasons and 15 tournament victories since 2009.
Overall Leroux has guided Missouri to 18 wins in nine seasons, an average of two wins per year, and has more than 40 career victories at the collegiate level after starting his tenure at Austin Peay. During his seven seasons in Clarksville, Tenn., Leroux led the Governors to three consecutive NCAA Regional berths and parlayed that success by building the Tigers into conference title contenders in both the Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences.
Leroux and Mizzou came off a spectacular first season of play in the SEC in 2012-13. Nationally-ranked for the entire season, including a No. 11 ranking after four consecutive wins to open the year, Missouri won a single-season best six events and had individual wins from Jace Long (four) and Emilio Cuartero (one). Four of Missouri's five starters led the team at least once, including Long, who was named a First Team All-SEC player after pacing the club with s 71.8 scoring average.
While Long, a native of Dixon, Mo., developed into one of college golf's top performers, Leroux steadily grew all aspects of the program, including recruiting the state's top talent, providing oversight on the construction of a new indoor clubhouse and practice facility and hiring his first full-time assistant coach, Judd Easterling.
The growth of the program both on the course and through its first-class facility development has Missouri poised to take another step and continue its ascension as one of college golf's fastest-rising programs.
Leroux's turnaround at Missouri began on June 22, 2004, when Leroux was tabbed as the sixth head coach in program history.
Leroux took a program that was ranked around 100th in the country, and engineered one of the most successful seasons in Tiger history, culminating in a berth to the 2005 NCAA Men's Golf National Championships - Mizzou's first such berth since 1986. The Tigers made it two-for-two in NCAA Regional appearances under Leroux, advancing again in 2006.
The turnaround included a storybook spring 2005 season in which the Tigers posted back-to-back tournament wins at Belmont and Purdue. At Belmont, Leroux's charges broke every single individual and team scoring record on the Mizzou charts. That included stellar rounds of 63 from sophomore Shawn Jasper and Chris Mabry in the first round, and went all the way to the team tournament scoring record of 28 under par (824).
Armed with tremendous momentum going into the Big 12 Conference Championships despite being seeded ninth, the Tigers finished third - MU's best-ever finish in the then nine-year history of the league, and its best overall at a conference championships since 1988.
That propelled Mizzou to a sixth-place showing at the NCAA Central Region Championships, which not only was MU's best-ever finish in the 17 years of the regional qualifying format, but sent the Tigers to their first NCAA finals in 19 years.
The momentum from Leroux's first season carried over into the 2005-06 campaign, as the Tigers opened the season by claiming the tournament title at the Missouri Intercollegiate.
Missouri added three more top-five finishes and qualified for the NCAA Central Regional once again.
The 2006-07 season was highlighted by eight top-10 finishes. That season also saw Tiger senior John Kelly finish as the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur Championships. The following year, the Tigers added three top-four finishes, including a second-place showing at the UK Owens/Brewer Invitational.
Missouri opened the Fall 2009 schedule by claiming the tournament title at the Turning Stone Intercollegiate in Verona, N.Y. It was the fourth championship for the Tigers since Leroux took over in 2004.
The Tigers closed the fall 2009 schedule by recording the best 18-hole team total in school history with a 283 in the second round.
In addition to the performance on the course¬, Mizzou has shown success in the classroom under Leroux, as the Tigers led the Big 12 Conference with five Academic All-Big 12 selections in 2006 and 2007 and had two Academic All-Americans in 2006. The Tigers have had at least one Academic All-American in each of the last four years, including Peter Malnati, who last year was also a finalist for the Byron Nelson Award. The academic honors continued for Mizzou after the move to the SEC as well, as Hunter Kraus shared Top Scholar-Athlete honors as voted on by the conference coaches.
In 2011, Leroux led his Missouri Golf team to finish fifth in the Big 12 Championship, topping nationally-ranked foes Oklahoma (#28) and Baylor (#43). The team also advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship, where Jace Long took home the Regional title and advanced the the NCAA National Championship. He became the first Tiger to win an NCAA Regional. The Tigers completed the tournament 6-under-par as a team, hitting 274 in the final round of play for a sixth place finish at the tournament.
Leroux came to Columbia after leading Austin Peay to the school's first three NCAA Regional Tournament appearances ever. He served seven seasons as head men's golf coach, and the final six leading the women's program as well. While in Clarksville, Leroux elevated the Governors back to conference and regional prominence. He led the Govs to an Ohio Valley Conference Championship and the school's first NCAA Regional appearance in 2001. The Govs repeated both feats the next two seasons, with Leroux earning back-to-back OVC Coach-of-the-Year honors in 2002 and 2003.
At the same time, he built the Lady Govs program from scratch, going from one of the nation's worst to one of the league's best. He assumed control of the women's program when it was reinstated for the 1998-99 season after a nine-year absence, and led the women's program for each of the next six years. Leroux previously served as head golf professional at Citrus College in Azusa, Calif.
The New York native received his bachelor's degree in physical education from SUNY-Cortland. Leroux also earned a master's degree from California State University-Fullerton in physical education (pedagogy) with an emphasis in sports psychology. He was assistant PGA golf professional at Alta Vista Country Club in Placentia, Calif., from 1992-94. In 1994, he was named head golf coach at West Brunswick High School in Supply, N.C. His team won the golf championship during Leroux's one-year stay, and Leroux was named Coach of the Year.
After returning to California, Leroux again served as assistant PGA golf pro at Alta Vista, and then head pro at Citrus Community College in February 1996.
Leroux's 2003 squad set several national benchmarks for performance, including a single-round score of 269 and a weekend total of 832 (32-under-par) at the Eastern Kentucky Colonial Classic.
He and his wife, Leslie, have two sons, Lake and Ty.
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