Bridgewater College Men’s Golf Team Included on the List of Potential Program Cuts

Team Feels ‘Betrayed’ by Recommendation for Removal

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Photo by Leyton Pullin

Coach John Rogers’ door remains shut as he awaits the fate of the men’s golf program. The final decision will be made in November by the board of trustees.

Leyton Pullin, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – The Bridgewater men’s golf team is being recommended to be discontinued as part of the strategic resource allocation process. The report, which was released on Oct. 6, will be considered by the board of trustees at the November meeting.

BC golf coach John Rogers said that he was shocked by how fast word got out. Rogers went on to say he received numerous texts from current and former players alike the night the report was revealed. 

“We’re a little distraught and extremely disappointed and maybe a little betrayed,” said senior men’s golf team member Jacob Laughlin. 

Laughlin led the team a year ago to their best season in recent record, as the Eagles won two tournaments in the same season for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The team ranked No. 65 in the country and coach Rogers felt the team was a solid fourth in the ODAC a year ago. 

Senior Jason Spaar captured the team’s lone individual tournament win at the Shenandoah Invitational, the first for the team since the 2013-14 season. The team also broke the school’s average scoring record by three strokes. 

Despite the athletic success in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, the program was determined to “not be cost-effective for the number of students served,” according to the SRA report. 

As for the effect this may have on the athletes, they will still receive their spring season, but in June 2021, if the board of trustees agrees, the program will be disbanded. According to Laughlin, some athletes have expressed the possibility of transferring at the end of the year as “they have to look at what’s best for them.” 

“Our goal is to compete at a national level and hopefully win the ODAC and get into the NCAA tournament,” said Laughlin of the upcoming spring season. “We felt we had a group of guys coming in this year and next that could push us to where we wanted to be.” 

Rogers has the very same goal for this season. “I would like for our players to be able to go out in style. We have a very experienced team, one of the best in the ODAC, so I hope we have a chance to show that,” said Rogers. 

Laughlin also added that despite the college’s decision to cut the men’s team, Rogers will presumably stay on staff as the women’s golf coach. “I’ve spent much of my last seven or eight years at the golf course and no one works as hard as John Rogers. It’s heartbreaking for him,” said Laughlin.

Programs of study and sports teams alike were evaluated by a task force that included faculty and staff. The recommendations of the task force were then considered by the president, the vice presidents, and the athletic director.