The University of Wisconsin men's golf program lost its top assistant coach Wednesday when Blaine Woodruff, who spent the last two years working under Michael Burcin, announced he is leaving for Pepperdine University.
Woodruff, who replaced Robbie Ziegler at UW at the semester break during the 2015-16 season, joins a program headed by Michael Beard that enjoyed a 13th-place finish at the 2017 NCAA Championships, the school's best finish since 2004.
It was the program's first appearance since 2011. The Waves' end-of-year ranking by GolfStat (20th) was also the team's best since 2004.
“Blaine has assisted a great coach and program at Wisconsin the last two years,” Beard said. “We feel fortunate to have him join us as our assistant coach and we’re looking forward to the impact he will make on our program.
"He’ll bring a high level of competitiveness, knowledge of the game and experience to the team. I love Blaine’s passion for coaching and his desire to invest in relationships. He’s a great fit for the university and our men’s golf program.”
Woodruff is a former college standout at South Carolina and was a two-time Georgia PGA Junior Player of the Year.
“I want to thank Coach Beard and Pepperdine for giving me this opportunity,” Woodruff said. “I feel extremely blessed to be part of the Pepperdine family – it is not a position I take lightly. I am very excited to be a part of the successful men’s golf program here at Pepperdine and I am fully committed to the school’s core values. I am eager to invest in our student-athletes to help them reach their fullest potential on and off the course as we compete for the national championship.
“I’m also grateful for Coach Mike Burcin, the University of Wisconsin athletic department, and the Badger players that believed in me and helped better prepare me for this opportunity today.”
Woodruff joined the Badgers' coaching staff in January 2016. In his first full season, he helped the Badgers improve from 14th to seventh at the 2017 Big Ten Championship.
He graduated with honors from South Carolina in 2014 with a degree in business administration. He made the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll four times. A four-year letterwinner, he earned team MVP accolades as a freshman with a team-best 74.11 scoring average. He played in 25 career college tournaments, earning five top-20 finishes with a career scoring average of 74.79.
A native of Acworth, Georgia, Woodruff was a three-time Atlanta Junior Player of the Year. He qualified for match play at the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur. He finished second in the 2009 Georgia PGA Junior Championship. He played in the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Amateur.
Pepperdine begins the spring season by hosting the Waves Challenge on January 29-30 at Saticoy Country Club in Somis, California.