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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Brian Kortan steps into new role

Mens+golf+coach+Brian+Kortan+has+been+named+head+coach.
Photo by FILE

Men’s golf coach Brian Kortan has been named head coach.

On Aug. 14, news broke that long-time Texas A&M head men’s golf coach, J.T. Higgins, accepted a new job as head coach at the University of Southern California. A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork also announced along with this news that assistant coach Brian Kortan would take the interim position for the 2020-2021 season.
Since joining the program in 2013, Kortan has helped lead the Aggies to multiple finishes in the national top five rankings and All-American honors for seven players. Continuing with this caliber as interim head coach is what Kortan and the Aggies are looking forward to this season.
“The biggest change in the position is being the final decision maker in everything we do,” Kortan said. “Thankfully, our group collaborates well with everything, making the transition easier.”
Before joining A&M’s staff, Kortan spent four years at his alma mater, the University of New Mexico, as an assistant coach from 2009 to 2013. He helped lead the Lobos to their highest finish in program history in his final year there.
During his time as a student-athlete for the New Mexico’s golf team from 1990 to 1994, Kortan was a conference champion and collegiate All-American. Following his college career, he continued on to the professional level. Spending 16 years competing on different tours including the PGA and Nationwide, he had 15 wins over the course of his professional career and even competed at the 2008 U.S. Open.
“I was very fortunate enough to play and gain the experience that I had,” Kortan said. “I can truly say that I understand what it takes to get to that level and help the team out as much as I can.”
With his experience and knowledge of the sport, it was only right that he became a coach. Fast forward to the present, and he is “excited to see my name on the board next to this team of Aggie golfers for the first time,” Kortan told 12thman.com.
Though this job change was last minute, both Kortan and the players found it to be a smooth adjustment.
“The transition has been really easy, everything is the same from our daily schedule to wanting the best out of all of us on and off the course,” senior Brandon Smith said.
The Aggies’ season ended early last year due to the pandemic and the team has been unable to play since March. A&M ended the short season ranked No. 8, with accolades on the course and in the classroom as well with a team average 3.63 GPA — the highest of the A&M men’s spring sports programs.
Luckily, the SEC granted the team a three-tournament fall season and gave dates that begin after Oct. 1. Although there are restrictions such as no spectators, the tournaments will be televised.
“The fall will be a great test to see where everyone is and get us prepared to hit the ground running for the spring,” Smith said. “We have the high expectations of the National Championship on our minds and we plan on executing that plan.”
The Aggies and Kortan are looking forward to getting back to the tee box and begin competing again. Despite the pandemic, the team feels confident about playing and is ready to showcase what they have been working on during the offseason.
“We control what we can control and are taking it day by day,” Kortan said. “We are excited to see what the playing field is going to look like and take care of business.”
The A&M men’s golf team tees off Monday, Oct. 5 at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The tournament will be broadcast on the GOLF Channel followed with news and digital coverage at 3:30 p.m.

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