Entering his 10th season at the helm of the men's golf program, Brad McMakin has returned Lamar to the top of the Southland Conference and back to the national scene, where the Cardinals were a perennial top 20 program in the early 1980s.
McMakin has guided Lamar to five consecutive NCAA Central Regional appearances and three of the last five Southland Conference championships. During that five-year span, the Cardinals have had three players earn SLC individual medalist honors, 16 all-conference performers, newcomer of the year, two freshmen of the year and the conference's only four-time player of the year.
The Cardinals won the 2001 SLC Championship, the school's first championship since 1987 and 17th overall in the program's storied history. Lamar earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla., the school's first postseason appearance since 1991, where they tied for 18th place.
Lamar repeated as SLC champions in 2002, the school's 18th title, receiving the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regional in Little Rock, Ark. The Cardinals tied for 17th place in their third regional appearance in school history.
The Cardinals made it a three-peat in 2003, claiming their 19th league title and receiving the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regional at Colbert Hills Golf Club in Manhattan, Kan.. Lamar tied for 13th place in its fourth regional appearance. Chris Stroud tied for sixth at the regional advanced to the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., where he tied for third place, which is the best-ever finish by a Lamar golfer.
Lamar missed its bid for a fourth straight SLC title, losing to UL-Monroe in a playoff. However, the Cardinals did make their fourth straight NCAA Central Regional appearance at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. Lamar posted a 13th place finish.
The Cardinals made their fifth straight NCAA Central Regional appearance in 2005 at Warren Golf Club in South Bend, Ind. Lamar finished in a school-best 12th place, missing out on advancing to the NCAA Championships by one stroke. McMakin won three straight SLC Coach of the Year honors (2001, 2002 and 2003) and has won the award in four of the last six seasons, earning the honor in 1999 as well.
The current success of the program can be traced back to McMakin's recruiting efforts. He has been able to attract top quality student-athletes, which has fueled the program's resurgence.
A Beaumont native, McMakin knows well the program which he has inherited, as well as the high standard of excellence that has been maintained by the Cardinal golf program.
Lamar returned to the Southland Conference for the 1998-99 season, which is the scene of much of the Cardinals past success and tradition. Lamar won a conference record 16 team championships and had 12 individual champions from 1964-87.
Prior to accepting the head coaching job at Lamar, McMakin spent four years as a professional golfer. McMakin competed on several mini tours as well as playing on the Nike and Hooters tours.
Originally signing with Lamar out of high school, McMakin transferred to Oklahoma when former LU coach Greg Grost accepted the Oklahoma men's golf job.
It proved to be a wise move for McMakin as he would help the Sooners win a national championship during the 1989 season. McMakin, a co-captain of that squad, served in the same capacity the following year as Oklahoma finished fifth at the national tournament.
"I know what it takes to win a national championship and it is that type of attitude that I try to instill in my players," said McMakin. "Lamar has a great golf tradition and I aim to build on that success."
There were early indications at Oklahoma that McMakin was the type of player that might one day find success as a coach. Besides being a two-year team captain, he was awarded the Jim Begwin Leadership Award during his last year of competition.
McMakin was also a standout golfer on the Kelly High School golf team as he would play in the TCIL state tournament and win medalist honors four times. While at Kelly, McMakin played for former Lamar coach Charles Rodemacher.
The 39-year old McMakin earned a bachelor degree in communications from Oklahoma in 1991. He and his wife, Tonia, reside in Beaumont and have one son - Matthew.