After leading the Flames to their fifth Big South title in the last eight years, Liberty Head Men's Golf Coach Jeff Thomas has been named the 2018 VaSID Coach of the Year.
Additionally, the Flames Ervin Chang and Mickey DeMorat were named to the 2018 VaSID All-State University Division Men's Golf teams, which were announced earlier today by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID).
Joining Thomas as a major award winner on this year's VaSID All-State Men's Golf team was Virginia junior Thomas Walsh, who was named VaSID Golfer of the Year, and James Madison's Ignacio Montero, who was selected the VaSID Rookie of the Year.
Thomas was selected the VaSID Men's Golf Coach of the Year for the third time in his career at Liberty and the first since 2011. He received the same honor in both 2010 and 2011.
Thomas guided Liberty's men's golf program to its fifth Big South Conference title and its seventh NCAA Regional appearance during past eight years.
The Flames finished the year ranked No. 42 in the final Golfstat rankings. Liberty posted six top-three team finishes in 2017-18, including a first-place finish at the Oregon's Duck Invitational and the Big South Men's Golf Championship.
DeMorat was a VaSID all-state first-team honoree, marking the third time he has been named to an all-state team. He was a second-team selection in 2016 and 2017.
DeMorat recently completed a successful run at the 118th U.S. Open where the recent Liberty grad became the first Flame to qualify for the national Championship. DeMorat made the cut and finished tied for 56th place after firing a 17-over par 297 (72-72-80-73) on the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in Southampton, N.Y.
DeMorat finished off his senior year at Liberty, last month, posting a 72.00 season stroke average, while recording four top-10 finishes and a team best three top-five finishes. The senior finished his Liberty career with a 72.28 stroke average, the second-best mark in program history.
The native of Merritt Island, Fla., played 17 of his 39 rounds at par or better during the season (43.6 percent). He posted under-par tournament totals five times, including a 7-under par 209 for a runner-up finish at the Big South Men's Golf Championship and a 4-under par 209 for a 17th-place showing at the NCAA Raleigh Regional.
DeMorat earned All-Big South first-team honors as a senior and was named to the Big South All-Championship team following his runner-up finish. Additionally, he was recently named to the PING All-Region team.
Chang was named to the VaSID all-state second team after nearly improving his season stroke average by four shots over his freshman year with a 72.15 season stroke average (3.85 stroke improvement). He also paced the Flames with six top-10 finishes.
The native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, played 20 of his 39 rounds at par or better this season (51.3 percent). He posted an under-par tournament total in four events during his sophomore season, including a 6-under par 204 at the Sea Best Invitational, an event he claimed medalist honors after winning the tournament in a one-hole playoff.
A total of seven University Division programs in the Commonwealth were represented on the 2018 VaSID All-State University Division Men's Golf first and second teams. James Madison, Liberty, and Virginia each had multiple selections on the all-state listings, while George Mason, Radford, VCU and Virginia Tech had one golfer each named to the all-state teams.
2018 VaSID All-State University Division Men's Golf Team
First Team Myles Creighton, Sr., Radford Mickey DeMorat, Sr., Liberty Mark Lawrence, Jr., Virginia Tech Danny Walker, Sr., Virginia Thomas Walsh, Jr., Virginia
Second Team Ervin Chang, So., Liberty Matt Cowgill, Sr., James Madison Eric Edwards, Sr., George Mason Ignacio Montero, Fr., James Madison Kristian Tannum Donaldson, Fr., VCU
VaSID Golfer of the Year – Thomas Walsh, Jr., Virginia VaSID Coach of the Year – Jeff Thomas, Liberty VaSID Rookie of the Year – Ignacio Montero, James Madison