Brent Jensen begins his fourth season at the helm of the FGCU men’s golf program in 2013-14 and sixth overall with the university. Jensen was named the second head coach in FGCU history on July 8, 2010.
In just three years, Jensen has already led FGCU to seven team victories, including four alone during the 2011-12 season. In the 2012-13 season, Jensen coached Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and A-Sun Second Team member Edward Figueroa. He also led the Eagles to a championship at the 15-team Cobra/PUMA Invitational in October 2012, and followed that up with a 2nd-place showing at the Stetson/CFSC Invitational in November. In the spring, Jensen guided the Green and Blue to a tied for 2nd at the 16-team FAU Spring Break Championship.
The ’12-’13 campaign was one of the best yet as the Eagles set a 54-hole record low of -27 (837) at the Cobra/PUMA Invitational. On the year they recorded 375 birdies, which is the fourth-highest total in a single season in program history.
Positioning players to compete at the national level has been an emphasis of focus for Jensen since taking over the program, and for each of the past two years an FGCU golfer has competed in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. In 2012, Brandon Pena capped his illustrious career at the Athens Region, and in 2013 Figueroa closed his initial year in the Green and Blue at the Tallahassee Region.
Overall, Jensen has navigated FGCU to its highest team national ranking in the Division-I era as in 2011-12 it closed the year No. 88 and in 2012-13 it was ranked No. 146. Additionally, in just three years, Jensen has had six players garner Atlantic Sun Conference postseason accolades.
In the 2011-12 season, Jensen led FGCU to four team tournament victories and six top-5 finishes. At the end of the year, three different Eagles were named to A-Sun all-conference teams.
Team and individual records fell in Jensen’s first season as head coach in 2010-11, leading the Eagles to a pair of team titles at the Stetson Invitational and the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate that helped the Blue and Green climb to as high as No. 72 in the Golf Week Top 100 rankings. Along with the two wins, FGCU also had a pair of runner-ups and finished in the top 5 of eight of 11 tournaments. Along the way, the Eagles set a single-season team scoring average with a 290.8 over 33 rounds, breaking the record for par or better rounds (15), as well.
FGCU placed a player in the top 5 of eight of 11 tournaments, highlighted by senior Dan Mazziotta’s pair of individual wins. On three different occasions, four players finished in the top 20 of the same tournament, while all five accomplished the feat at the Stetson Invitational in which the Eagles set a single-round record against par with a 16-under 272 in the round two and a final 54-hole score of 20-under par 844.
Jensen’s tutelage also saw three players earn postseason honors from the Atlantic Sun, as Mazziotta was named to the All-Conference first team, junior Brandon Pena snagged second team accolades and Matt Cote was deemed the Freshman of the Year. Five players posted scoring averages below 74, led by Mazziotta’s 71.6 average that was the second-best in program history and ranked third in the A-Sun.
After serving as an assistant under legendary coach and instructor Dr. Jim Suttie for two years, Jensen inherited the reigns of a program he helped guide to five tournament titles and an impressive 16 top-5 finishes out of 21 events from 2008-10. A trio of runner-ups from the 2009-10 season were included in those top-5s, highlighted by second place showing at the 2010 Atlantic Sun Championship. In the final round of last year’s conference championship, FGCU fired a four-man score of six-under par 282 to nearly erase East Tennessee State’s 10-stroke lead.
“It is with great pleasure that we witness the well deserved elevation of Brent to our head men’s position. He has earned the utmost respect from our student-athletes and others closely connected to FGCU Golf,” said Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “Likewise, he has done a tremendous job working with Coach Suttie in developing our program to the point that we are now amongst the best in the Atlantic Sun and regionally. We now look forward to reaching our goals of perennially competing for the A-Sun championship and an NCAA berth. Based on the terrific performance of this year’s team and the strong core group returning, we are already excited for next year.”
“I am very excited about the opportunity to continue to work with Dr. Suttie and the athletic staff at FGCU as a head coach. I believe that the future of the golf program here at FGCU is bright and I hope to help carry on the tradition of excellence that has been set in place before me,” said Jensen, a native of Hinsdale, Ill. “With the continued guidance of Dr. Suttie, my goal is to make the golf program one of the strongest in the country and I will work tirelessly to help that become a reality. We have a great group of guys on our golf team that are willing to work hard and put in the time and energy it takes to be excellent. I’m excited to help guide them to another successful year.”
Prior to joining Suttie at FGCU in 2008, Jensen was the assistant coach at his alma mater St. Mary’s (CA) College. Jensen served three years under five-time West Coast Conference (WCC) Coach of the Year Scott Hardy, whom he also played for at St. Mary’s. Jensen assisted in golf swing analysis, practice drills and tournament directing as a member of the St. Mary’s staff. During Jensen’s time at his alma mater, the Gaels picked up four team titles, never finished worse than fourth at the WCC Championship and turned in three of the top five single-season four-man stroke averages. Jensen also worked with six players that earned All-WCC honors, including 2005 Conference Player of the Year Joe Lanza.
As a player at St. Mary’s, Jensen was a four-year letterwinner and a two-year captain. In 2000, Jensen led the Gaels in scoring average and was named the WCC Co-Freshman of the Year. Jensen finished his collegiate career with 24 rounds of par or better while ranking fifth all-time with five top-5 finishes, tied for fifth with nine top-10s and fifth with 19 top-20s.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT JENSEN
“I’m excited for Brent and the wonderful opportunity he has ahead of him. He’s been a terrific assistant over the last two years and was vital in helping me build the program to where it is today. Brent has a great knack for relating to players and getting the best out of them.”
– Dr. Jim Suttie, Former FGCU Men’s Golf Coach
“FGCU has landed one of the most talented young golf coaches in the country. Brent has an amazing ability to relate to the student-athlete. He is a role model and excellent mentor for today's young men. His ability to coach and mold student-athletes into talented and successful graduates will be a tremendous asset for the FGCU golf program. He brings a wealth of knowledge with his experience as a stand out collegiate player and has the rare ability to combine his playing experience with his vast knowledge of the fundamentals of the game. The FGCU men's golf program will grow and benefit greatly with Brent Jensen as the Head Coach. I am anxious to watch the success that Brent will bring to the golf program at FGCU.”
– Scott Hardy, St. Mary’s Head Men’s Golf Coach
“Brent's passion and energy will be the perfect catalyst to the success of the men’s program at FGCU. I have no doubt that when we are through the Division I transition period, National Championship trophies will be the only option for Brent and his players. During my time playing for Coach Jensen, I had my best season and I owe that to the enormous belief he had in me and the team. It was a pleasure playing for him and I wish him much success in his time at FGCU.”
– Michael Hart, 2010 FGCU Men’s Golf Team Captain and Recent Graduate