Jan. 21, 2012
By Brandon Naidus
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Last year at this time, UCF men's golf assistant coach Bill Rankin was playing golf professionally. However, this past summer, after a successful collegiate playing career at Michigan and two years playing professionally, he traded his clubs for a clipboard and became an assistant coach for the Knights.
This is Rankin's first collegiate coaching job. He admits it is different to go to the golf course and coach rather than play.
"My entire life, my experience with the game of golf, up until this year, has been in a playing role," Rankin said.
Rankin thinks having great leaders in front of him has helped make the transition to his new leadership role a smooth one.
"I think the transition has been pretty easy," Rankin said. "I have good leadership from coach (Bryce) Wallor and I was fortunate to have the chance to learn from teammates in leadership positions when I was playing collegiate golf."
He also attributed great team chemistry as something that has helped make his new job easier.
"We have such a great group. They are so tight. I have played all different sports, and I have never been on a team that is this close," he said.
Rankin has experienced early success in his coaching career. The Knights won their first two tournaments of the fall, the Northern Intercollegiate and the Adams Cup of Newport. Those first-place finishes propelled the squad to a No. 6 national ranking. The team will start the spring half of its season ranked No. 16. This type of success is something Rankin experienced in his time with Michigan. In 2009, Rankin's senior year, he was a co-captain when the team tied for third at the NCAA Championship.
After finishing up his playing career at Michigan, he served as an assistant for the program.
Rankin added: "I was in that role for a semester. My responsibilities were to set up our home golf tournament and organize some of the necessary items that go on behind the scenes that you don't experience as a student-athlete. It was definitely a valuable experience in that I was more prepared to hit the ground running on day one."
Wallor likes what Rankin has brought to UCF.
"From a standpoint of work-ethic first, he shows up on time and early every day. He stays late. He demonstrates the qualities that you need in someone to help lead your organization," Wallor said. "When the student-athletes look at him, they see someone that comes to work every day comes prepared and gets the job done."
Rankin enjoys being a collegiate coach. He would tell any member of the team, who aspires to be a collegiate coach, the benefits of the job.
Rankin said: "There is so much benefit from being able to give back to your university and wear your team logo every day. It really means a lot to be able to come here and be a UCF Knight in that sense. If any of the guys decide to pursue a career in coaching, I really think they will understand and appreciate having the opportunity that I have now, which is to be a part of a group working towards a singular goal - it is very rewarding."