Head coach has successful surgery, hopes to rejoin team at national finals.
The UNLV golf program's success is due, in great part, to the tremendous support it receives from the community and staff. A great majority of the support falls on the shoulders of assistant coach JC Deacon.
Deacon is in his fourth season as assistant coach with the Rebels golf program, but he is no stranger to it - having been a part of it as a student-athlete from 2001-05.
"I'm really proud to have him back," said head coach Dwaine Knight. "He played a big role with Ryan Moore and that group when he was here in school."
Playing alongside one of the greatest to ever play for the Rebels in Moore, Deacon was a key figure for the Rebels during those years and helped the team win a Mountain West title in 2002.
Deacon finished tied for second individually at the 2002 Mountain West Championships and helped the Rebels advance through the NCAA West Regional to the NCAA Championship. That year Deacon won the Maze Award, which is given annually to the UNLV golfer who best exemplifies the spirit of Rebel Golf. He recorded another top-10 finish at the Mountain West Championship in 2003, again helping the squad through the West Regional and on to the finals, where the team finished 13th.
During his college days, Deacon was recognized as a member of the Academic All-Mountain West team.
After graduating from UNLV with a bachelor's degree in communications in 2005, Deacon went to play professionally on several tours, including the Gateway and Canadian. He played in 35 events over three years (2008-10) on the Canadian Tour, making 17 cuts. His best finish on the Canadian Tour was a tie for fourth place at the 2008 Saskatchewan Open.
In 2007, Deacon won two Minor League Golf Tour titles - the Emerald Hills Classic and the Miami Shores Shootout.
In 2005, he advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur.
"JC knows the team, he knows our goals - which is to play at the highest level - and having played on the Canadian Tour really helps him," Knight said. "These guys want to go to the next level, and he has great connections throughout the country having played professionally and collegiately.
"It's a big draw for us in recruiting because he doesn't have to go out there and establish those contacts, they are already there. He has a lot of enthusiasm and such a great personality. He was in the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur several years ago, where he lost a tough match on the 17th hole. He has played at the highest level as an amateur and as a professional too, and has been a Rebel all those years. We are very happy to have him.
"He has been a great addition for us and has really helped elevate our recruiting. He is very comfortable with coaching, as there are so many different aspects to the job - more than just playing golf and working with the guys. He is so competitive and loves recruiting, which is the lifeblood of having a good program."