Jason Bedard returns for his ninth season with the Saint Michael's men's golf team in 2019-20, and his fifth as head coach.
Bedard has helped the Purple Knights reach new heights during his tenure, with the 2018-19 season featuring Matt Johnson '20 becoming the first golfer in College history to qualify for an NCAA Championship event, as he finished 50th among 107 competitors at the three-day NCAA Atlantic/East Regional Championship. In addition to winning the Northeast-10 Conference Team Academic Excellence Award for having the highest grade-point average among all men's golf teams in the league, the Purple Knights regularly competed with the best squads in the region, and registered two of the lowest four round scores in school annals. Four players shot 75 or better for the first time in program history during an eighth-place tie with two 2018 NCAA qualifiers at Southern New Hampshire University in September, when the Purple and Gold's tournament score was its best in at least 25 years. Saint Michael's later fired its second-fewest strokes at an NE10 Championship. By taking sixth out of 12 schools at October's Le Moyne College Invitational, the Purple Knights trailed four 2018 NCAA competitors while besting the hosts, another NCAA squad.
Bedard's charges broke a handful of school records at the NE10 Championship during the 2017-18 season, firing their two lowest rounds and carding their lowest final score in 22 36-hole championships. After being chosen by the league's coaches to place ninth, the Purple Knights took seventh, coming within two strokes of fifth place. Four Saint Michael's golfers broke 80 on day one of the meet for the first time, then five did so during the final round. The Purple Knights, who came within one shot of a seven-year-old team record on Sept. 19 while downing three defending NCAA Championship qualifiers, registered their best New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Championship finish in 29 years on Oct. 23, taking 15th, carding their fewest strokes since at least 1982. After four Purple Knights had not broken 80 in the same round since Sept. 25, 2010, the 2017-18 squad turned the feat four times, including registering two rounds where all five entrants cracked 80 shots. Purple and Gold competitors recorded 36 rounds in the 70s and finished in the top 50 at tournaments on 20 occasions.
The Purple Knights took ninth place at the NE10 Championship during the 2016-17 season, their highest showing since 2011-12. They had similar success at the NEIGA Championship, tying for 25th for their top placement also in five years. With seven golfers all in either their first or second season of college competition, the Purple Knights recorded 22 rounds in the 70s and cracked the top 50 at tournaments on 16 occasions.
During his first year as a college head coach in 2015-16, the Purple Knights took 29th at the NEIGA Championship, their top showing at the meet in three years. With a roster that included five golfers new to the college game, Bedard's charges fired nine rounds in the 70s and cracked the top 50 at tournaments 12 times.
In his four seasons as an assistant coach, Bedard helped Saint Michael's to a top-10 finish at the NE10 Championship each year, including a tie for sixth in 2011, his debut season, and two finishes among the top 30 at the NEIGA Championship.
Bedard has run the Hook a Kid on Golf Program for children ages 8 to 14 through Colchester Parks and Recreation since 2014 in addition to serving as an assistant coach for the Burlington High School varsity baseball and boys' ice hockey and Essex High School varsity baseball programs.
Bedard has qualified multiple times for the Vermont Amateur Championship, caddied in professional tournaments in his native Vermont and Maine, and volunteered in the Vermont First Tee National School Program, whose aim is to establish a lifelong interest in golf by engaging children between kindergarten and fifth grade.
When not coaching, Bedard is a woodworker, restoring antiques for Champlain Valley Antique Center in Shelburne since 2010 while co-owning Green Mountain Crafts since 2011. Also production manager for GMC, he oversees daily operation and production of Vermont-made wooden crafts that are sold throughout New England. Bedard is a 2002 graduate of the University of Vermont.
|2018-19||10th||n/a||First golfer qualifies for NCAA Championship|