Dean Ellis, who spent 20 years as the Northern Michigan head golf coach, has been hired as an assistant coach for the South Dakota State golf program, head coach Casey VanDamme announced Tuesday.
“I am extremely excited to announce the hiring of Dean Ellis as our assistant golf coach. Dean’s personality, passion, and experience coaching will help our players immeasurably,” VanDamme said. “Thru the years Dean has been a trusted advisor and mentor to me, he understands and shares my vision for the future of SDSU golf. It will not take long for our players, staff, and our community to feel the impact of Dean’s hiring. Today is a great day for Jackrabbit golf.”
Ellis, who was named the head golf coach at Northern Michigan in 1993, led NMU to the 2014 NCAA Regionals, where it placed 14th, and finished eighth at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Golf (GLIAC) Championships. Additionally, he guided the Wildcats to the 1999 NCAA Division II Tournament.
While at Northern Michigan, Ellis served as the Golf Association of Michigan Governor, on the NCAA Division II, District IV Golf Regional Advisory Committee, and organized and administrated the 1999 and 2010 GLIAC Golf Championships.
“After a career as a coach at the NCAA Division II level I am extremely excited to be a part of the energetic and progressive Division I athletic programs at SDSU,” Ellis said. “Casey VanDamme is one of the top golf coaches in the country and we will work to make the Jackrabbit golf program a success while providing each player an environment to improve and mature as student-athletes.”
In 2011-12, Ellis was the lead instructor at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa where he provided individual and group lessons with use of JC-Video and Foresight GC2. He was also the head golf professional at the Wawonowin Country Club in Ishpeming, Mich., in 1991, winning the club championship in 1995. Additionally, Ellis won the Upper Peninsula men’s amateur championship in 1981. Ellis was also the men’s basketball coach at Northern Michigan beginning in 1986-87. He posted a 369-303 record, becoming the winningest coach in program history in 2005. Ellis stepped down as head coach in 2010 after 24 years. Under Ellis’ leadership, the Wildcats made 13 appearances in the GLIAC postseason tournament and won the 1999-2000 title. His 1993, 1999 and 2000 squads won GLIAC regular-season titles and also qualified for the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament. He had four 20-win seasons (1993, ’94, ’99, ’00) and was selected 1993 GLIAC Coach of the Year.