FORT WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2023) – The Ben Hogan Award Foundation, in cooperation with the Friends of Golf (FOG) and Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), is honoring longtime TCU head golf coach and GCAA Hall of Fame member Bill Montigel with the 2023 Eddie Merrins Award.
Recipients of the Eddie Merrins Award are to be highly regarded for their service, dedication and contributions to college and amateur golf while upholding the highest standards, values and ethics of the game. Merrins was the inaugural recipient in 2022.
“Bill Montigel is a perfect selection to be this year’s Eddie Merrins Award recipient,” Harold Muckleroy, Chairman of the Ben Hogan Award, said. “He is revered throughout the college golf community and the city of Fort Worth for his teams’ many successes, all achieved while displaying a kindness, humility and grace that are nearly unequaled.”
Montigel, now in in his 36th season as the TCU head men’s golf coach, has guided the Horned Frogs to the NCAA Championships 18 times. TCU is one of just two Division I programs to qualify for 31 consecutive NCAA Regionals under the same head coach. The Horned Frogs have finished in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships on 13 occasions and have won eight conference titles.
“The first NCAA Tournament I attended as a spectator was in 1988 when UCLA won the national championship,” Montigel said. “I remember seeing Coach Eddie Merrins and was impressed by his presence on the golf course and his coaching style. The program he built at UCLA was what I envisioned for TCU. To have my name associated with Eddie Merrins and to receive the Eddie Merrins Award is one of the greatest honors of my life.”
During his time at TCU, Montigel has been named conference coach of the year seven times in four different leagues (Southwest Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA and Mountain West Conference). In addition, he has coached 16 different players to a total of 26 All-America honors on the links.
Montigel is a member of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the GCAA. He previously has served as the Chairman of the District VI Selection Committee and as a member of the NCAA Men’s Golf Committee. He also was an advisor for the Ben Hogan Award prior to and during its move to Fort Worth in 2002.
His TCU golf program has been dedicated to supporting the Fort Worth community over the years. Among the organizations that the Horned Frogs have served are First Tee of Fort Worth, Kathy Whitworth Golf Clinic for the Boys and Girls Club, Wish Upon A Par benefitting Make-A-Wish, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Tarrant County, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Cook Children’s Hospital, Alliance for Children, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities and Cornerstone Assistance Network.
Created in 2022, the Eddie Merrins Award is issued annually at the Ben Hogan Award Dinner to an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to college and amateur golf. The founder of FOG, Merrins was instrumental in the formation of the Ben Hogan Trophy, which was first issued at Bel-Air Country Club in 1990. Affectionately known as “The Little Pro,” he has stayed involved as a key figure in the award following its move to Colonial in 2002.
“None of this would have been possible without the encouragement and support I have received over the years from alumni, current and former players and the TCU family,” Montigel said. “I share this honor with all those who have helped make me successful as a collegiate men’s golf coach.”
Montigel will receive the honor at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday, May 22. The winner of the 2023 Ben Hogan Award presented by PNC Bank, which honors the college and amateur golfer of the year, will also be announced that evening at the black-tie dinner featuring the award’s three finalists.