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Thomas Repeats as VCGCA Coach of the Year

June 29, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Following an historic season, Liberty golf coach Jeff Thomas has been named to the Virginia Collegiate Golf Coaches Association (VCGCA) Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

Additionally, Liberty had three representatives on the VCGCA All-State team. Robert Karlsson and Chase Marinell earned first-team honors, while Niklas Lindstrom took home second-team honors.

Thomas led the Flames to three straight victories late in the season, including a second consecutive Big South Men's Golf Championship title and a three-shot victory over Florida to capture the 2012 NCAA Greensboro Regional title.

In its first-ever national championship appearance, the Flames finished 10th at the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf National Championship at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The 10th place finish was the highest Division I national championship finish by any program in Liberty's history. The Flames finished one shot shy of forcing a three-way playoff for the eighth and final spot in the match play portion of this year's national championship event.

Following the close of the season, Liberty ranked No. 21 in the final Golfstat team rankings and No. 28 in the last Golfweek listing, the highest season-ending rankings in program history.

Karlsson capped off his storied career at Liberty by capturing medalist honors at the Big South Men's Golf Championship and finishing tied for first place at the NCAA Greensboro Regional. The senior finished among the Top 10 in 10-of-13 events, including eight Top 5 finishes and led the program with a 71.6 stroke average.

Marinell followed his Big South Freshman of the Year season with five Top 10 finishes during the 2011-12 season, spotlighted by a fifth place finish at the Big South Men's Golf Championship. The sophomore ranked third on the team with a 73.7 stroke average.

Lindstrom doubled his total number of rounds played from his freshman season and posted three Top 5 finishes and his first collegiate individual title. He finished second on the team with a 73.2 stroke average, a figure that was 2.7 strokes per round lower than his freshman average.

Golfers from Liberty, Virginia and Virginia Tech completed the 10 all-state honorees. Virginia led the way with four all-state selections, followed by Liberty and Virginia Tech each placing three members on the all-state squads.

Virginia Collegiate Golf Coaches Association
2012 All-State Teams

First Team
Robert Karlsson, Liberty (Sr.)

Ben Kohles, Virginia (Sr.)
Chase Marinell, Liberty (So.)
Denny McCarthy, Virginia (Fr.)
Scott Vincent, Virginia Tech (Fr.)

Second Team
Trevor Cone, Virginia Tech (Fr.)
Niklas Lindstrom, Liberty (So.)
Blake Redmond, Virginia Tech (Sr.)
Ben Rusch, Virginia (So.)
Bruce Woodall, Virginia (Sr.)

Coach of the Year
Jeff Thomas, Liberty