Phil Rowe, an assistant or associate head coach at UNLV the past six seasons, has been selected as head men's coach of the Swanson Cal Poly Golf Program.
Rowe, who became an assistant coach with the Rebels in 2014 and was promoted to associate head coach in June 2017, succeeds Scott Cartwright, who announced his retirement in December after 19 years with the Cal Poly men's golf program. Cartwright also was women's head coach for 12 seasons from 2003-15.
“We are delighted to welcome Phil Rowe into the Mustang Family," said Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman in making the announcement Wednesday. "When we began the search, we engaged with our community and our student-athletes to determine what our needs would be and what characteristics we were looking for that would best serve our university.
"Among those are the ability to recruit to a high-achieving academic university, technical knowledge of the golf swing and teaching, ability to interpret feedback derived from golf technology, fundraising, access to tournaments, teach course management, mentorship, leadership, and a disciplined approach to our competitiveness," Oberhelman added.
"Coach Rowe checked every single box.”
Prior to his coaching stint in Las Vegas, Rowe spent four years as assistant coach for the men's golf program at Stanford, his alma mater.
"I am honored that Don Oberhelman and the search committee have appointed me to the team at Cal Poly and to lead the men's golf program," said Rowe. "Cal Poly's tradition of academic excellence combined with the support and enthusiasm of the community present a great opportunity to continue to build on what Coach Cartwright has started.
"Besides the beautiful campus in San Luis Obispo, I was impressed by the golf training environment that is being created with the construction of the golf clubhouse at Dairy Creek and development of its surrounding practice areas," Rowe added. "Current and future Mustangs will be inspired by the vision of donor project manager, Bill Swanson, and the team.
"While the current circumstances are challenging for one and all, this time will be used to explore possibilities and learn The Mustang Way. For this opportunity to be a head coach, I owe a debt of gratitude to Coach Conrad Ray (Stanford) and Coach Dwaine Knight (UNLV) with whom I served apprenticeships."
Rowe was instrumental in helping UNLV return to the top of the Mountain West, winning its first conference championship in 14 years in 2016. The program again won the conference title in 2017, then captured the NCAA West Lafayette Regional championship. It marked just the second time in program history winning the league and NCAA Regional titles in the same season. That year's team went on to make an Elite Eight appearance at the NCAA Championship.
In 2018, the Rebels captured the Mountain West crown for the third straight year, finished third at the Columbus Regional and placed in a tie for 19th at the national finals. In 2019, the team again qualified for the NCAA Championship, finishing tied for 20th.
Rowe has helped lead two Rebels -- John Oda and Shintaro Ban -- to first-team All-America honors while Harry Hall made selections to Walker Cup and Arnold Palmer Cup teams. In addition, at least seven Rebel student-athletes have earned Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors a total of nine times during Rowe's tenure at UNLV.
A three-year letterwinner for the Cardinal from 1999-2002, Rowe came back to Stanford after eight years of competing on various world tours, including a five-year stint playing on the professional circuit in France. Rowe won four world-wide tournaments as a professional, including a pair at the Open de La Réunion, and was ranked ninth by the Allianz Golf Tour in 2009.
Rowe also was the attached touring professional golfer for the Trevose Golf & Country Club near Padstow, Cornwall (England) from 2005-10.
He was a two-time Academic All-American at Stanford, captained the team as a senior and posted team-low scoring averages of 72.8 in 2001 and 71.8 in 2002. Rowe captured the 2002 U.S. Intercollegiate Championship held at Stanford and earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior.
A native of Cornwall, England, Rowe played for the England Boys Team at age 16, and competed with the Great Britain & Ireland Boys Team in 1996 and 1997. He accumulated 30 team match representations (caps) for the England Men's Team.
In 1999, Rowe teamed with future PGA stars Luke Donald and Paul Casey on the victorious Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team that defeated the United States at the Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. Rowe won all three of his matches to help secure the team win.
Rowe was also a four-time Palmer Cup team member highlighted in 2000 when he led Great Britain & Ireland to victory by sinking the deciding putt on the 18th hole. He also competed in the 2000 British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.
As an assistant coach at Stanford, he helped lead the team to a NCAA Final Four (national semifinals) finish in 2014 and the team boasted the individual national champion (Cameron Wilson) in addition to the national player of the year (Patrick Rodgers).
That Cardinal squad recorded seven team victories (in just 12 total events) for a winning percentage of .583, while Rodgers and Wilson combined to win an incredible nine individual tournament titles.
Stanford's team and individual championships increased each year during Rowe's time as an assistant coach and he helped lead eight student-athletes to All-American honors and eight achieved All-America Scholar status.
He also served as Europe's Palmer Cup Team Assistant Coach in 2013 at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware and in 2014 at Walton Heath in London. He assisted his 2014 squad to an 18.5-11.5 victory over the United States.
Rowe earned a degree in psychology from Stanford in 2002. He is married to Claire and they have three children.
Rowe can also still hold his own on the course. After regaining amateur status in 2016, he won the Southern Nevada Amateur Championship by two shots. In 2018 he competed in the South Beach International and The Sunnehanna, making the cut in both highly-ranked amateur events.
Rowe begins his new duties June 1.
-Provided by Cal Poly